MRCPCH Clinical examination changes - from September 2019

The Examinations Executive Committee are introducing modifications to the structure and scoring system of the MRCPCH Clinical examination. Trainees and examiners have provided significant input into these changes, which were approved by the GMC (General Medical Council) in July 2018. These changes will help ensure that the examination remains consistent across centres and provides candidates with meaningful feedback on their performance.

Update as of 14 May 2019: You can now see more detail on our MRCPCH Clinical exam changes - information for candidates page.

About the changes

The structure of some examination stations will change. 

  • Clinical stations will continue to focus on assessing signs and making a differential diagnosis. However, candidates will no longer need to provide a management plan within the 9 minute station. There will be four clinical stations instead of the five in the current examination. Clinical stations will no longer be restricted to particular individual systems or specialties.

  • Video stations will no longer consist of an MCQ (multiple choice questions) format. Each station will be comprised of a short video clip and a structured discussion with an examiner. There will be two video stations, both 9 minutes in length.

  • The Development station will be extended to 22 minutes and include the opportunity for candidates to complete a full developmental assessment including gathering information from a parent/carer.

The scoring system and marking sheets will also change. Candidates will be scored on several competencies or ‘domains’ assessed across stations - rather than be provided with a single global mark at each station. The more detailed results and feedback will help inform and direct candidates' future professional development. 

It is important to note that a significant amount of the existing structure and content will remain the same. An examination circuit will still run for approximately two and a half hours and contain ten stations, which will still include two Communication stations and a 22 minute History taking and management planning station.

There will still be one examiner per station. Station times will still be either 9 or 22 minutes in length, with 4 minute breaks between stations. The focus of tasks provided within stations will be very similar to the current examination as will the standard expected of the examination candidate.

Each of the domains assessed within the examination are mapped to the learning outcomes listed within the RCPCH Progress Curriculum Level 1 Generic Syllabus - download below.

All changes and modifications to the MRCPCH Clinical examination model are designed to benefit trainees. Trainees should continue to apply to sit their MRCPCH Clinical at a point when they feel ready to do so and in discussion with their educational supervisor.

When it will happen

The first MRCPCH Clinical exams to be held in the new format will take place in India and Egypt in September 2019.

These will be followed by exams in other countries, including the UK in October 2019.

We expect that candidates will be able to apply for the September 2019 India and Egypt exams from June 2019.

What next 

We will provide more detailed guidance on this website over the coming months including updated example mark sheets.

Our examination rules and regulations are scheduled to be updated from 24 June 2019.