MRPCH Clincial exam in UK returning to a face-to-face format

The June 2022 Clinical examination in the UK will be face-to-face, with scenarios rather than patients in all clinical stations. Our new guidance hub has details, and applications open on 28 March.
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Background

Early this year, the Examinations team solicited opinions from stakeholders about the path forward for UK MRCPCH Clinical exam delivery from the 2022-2 diet of exams. After analysing the results of those surveys and in conjunction with senior officers and staff, we have decided to resume delivery of the MRCPCH Clinical exam at host centres in June.

However, there will be no patients on the June exam. Instead, we will continue to use scenarios for clinical stations for this diet. The risk of having to cancel June exams due to issues with patient participation was a primary concern. The resumption of host-based delivery of the exam allows us to stress test our system prior to considering returning patients to the exam.

We will continue to review our options looking ahead to October 2022. We all are keen to return patients to exams and will be working hard to make this a reality.

Details

In terms of practical matters for June UK exams, we will be delivering the Modified Clinical exam, which was the exam that was first delivered in October 2019 and includes the domain-based marking system.

We will return to four short clinical stations: one development, one history, two communications and two video stations. All stations will be based on scenarios and the development, history and communications stations will have role-players. The double length stations will remain at 23 minutes in length and the short stations will remain at nine minutes in length. There will be five minutes between each station for candidates to move to their new station and begin reading / viewing universal cues. During this time examiners will complete marking on paper-based mark sheets.

We have secured a number of host centres for June at hospitals across the UK. We have a backlog of UK- based candidates who very much want to sit the exam, and the number of seats we hope to have available for the summer will hopefully help to reduce our waitlists and provide more candidates with opportunities to sit the exam.

The process for applying for the exam will be the same as it always has been: candidates apply and we check eligibility and use our allocation criteria to allocate seats. We have clarified our allocation criteria on our MRCPCH Clinical - how to apply page, so all applicants should make sure they review this information in detail before submitting applications.

New guidance

We will be working over the next few weeks to update all guidance for candidates. We have created a new guidance hub for everything related to face-to-face MRCPCH Clinical exams, with or without patients. This includes a full update on the shift back to face-to-face exams in the UK this June. We'll be adding further guidance documents to that new page, so do check in regularly.

In the meantime, the existing MRCPCH COVID Adapted Clinical exam pages for UK and overseas still have valuable content about scenario-based stations. Candidates can continue to rely on the preparation and guidance documents on the Covid Adapted web page relating to scenario-based stations. The stations will remain the same in terms of having role players or scenarios. For clarity, there will be no extended clinical station, so please disregard any reference or guidance related to this, as well as any reference to Practique and online exams. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at exams@rcpch.ac.uk.

MRCPCH Clinical exam face-to-face exams - guidance hub