COVID-19 - how the College is responding

We are monitoring the ongoing issues with the outbreak of COVID-19, and the risks and impacts on our members and the wider child health workforce, and on children and young people.
Last modified
26 March 2020

The RCPCH is taking a number of steps to ensure we are protecting the health and welfare of clinicians and patients. This includes the decision to cancel conference to allow doctors to focus on their work in the coming months.

For other events, education days, exams, and training we are continuing to monitor the situation and make decisions on a case by case basis for the time being. Information about current events can be found on this page and we will keep it updated with new information as necessary.

Our offices across the UK

Our head office is in central London, with about 160 staff. We also have staffed offices in the devolved nations, in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. We are committed to continuing our important work and supporting our members throughout this period.

Given the latest advice from UK Government, College staff are working from home and our offices are closed.

Telephone calls are being diverted to staff mobile phones, but please be aware that calls may take longer to answer and that you may need to leave a message for staff to come back to you. We’d be grateful if you can supply an email and telephone number on any message. You may prefer to contact us via email in the first instance.

For key contact details, please see our Contact us page

RCPCH Conference and exhibition

On 10 March, we made the decision to postpone this event, which was scheduled to take place in Liverpool on 28-30 April 2020.

Dr Camilla Kingdon, Vice President for Education and Training, wrote to all members: "I'm very sorry to deliver this news, but it seems clear that it is the right and responsible decision. Our programme for the 2020 Conference is something I am really proud of and the Conference Committee is determined not to lose all the energy and ideas we had in putting it together."

You can read our frequently asked questions page, which we are updating as necessary.

Membership ceremonies and certificates

We always enjoy welcoming new Fellows and Members of the RCPCH, and their guests, at these special events, which take place throughout the year.

Following advice from the UK Government, we have cancelled all events, including membership ceremonies..or admissions ceremonies, through August.

Unfortunately, due to the temporary closure of the RCPCH offices (see below), we are also unable to issue FRCPCH and MRCPCH certificates, including reprint requests. Once our office can reopen and we have agreed new dates for our ceremonies, we will contact all new Fellows and Ordinary members to invite them to a ceremony or receive their certificate in the post.

In the meantime, we continue to offer our verification service to all Fellows and Ordinary members who require proof that they have achieved FRCPCH or MRCPCH status.

If you have any queries or concerns you can get in with our Membership team on membership@rcpch.ac.uk.

Courses and other events

Following advice from the UK Government, we cancelled all face-to-face educational courses and events until the end of July 2020. We are contacting all individual delegates who are affected by this decision to arrange a full reimbursement of the course or event fee.

We cannot at this stage guarantee when courses will recommence, but we will update this section as soon as any decisions are made about events scheduled after this date.

You can read our event cancellation policy. If you have any questions about an upcoming event, please contact our Events team on events@rcpch.ac.uk.

We offer a range of free online learning resources - including eLearnings and podcasts and an archive of past webinars.

MRCPCH and DCH examinations

As a consequence of the ongoing global COVID-19 situation, we have taken the extremely difficult but necessary decision to postpone all scheduled MRCPCH and DCH examinations in the UK and internationally from now until the end of August 2020.

We know that the uncertainties about what will happen around exams and training are causing considerable anxiety. We are working hard to provide clear positions on all aspects between ourselves and the training systems in the UK, and will provide more guidance on this website soon. 

You can find further information on our COVID-19 - impact on examinations: FAQs as well as our guidance on trainee progression in the UK.

START - assessment for trainees

We run a mandatory half-day assessment for trainees working in the UK. We have postponed the next START, which was due to take place in April - and will agree the new date(s) later.

We are contacting all trainees who had booked this assessment with more information. If you have any questions, contact training.services@rcpch.ac.uk.

You can read more about START as well as our guidance on trainee progression in the UK.

Meetings for committees and other College groups

We are holding remote-only meetings of our committees and other working groups from the start of April until the end of July. (These dates are subject to review as the outbreak progresses.)

Committee Chairs have been notified directly by the College of this change, and will be supported by their committee administrators in deciding on what alternative arrangements should be used.

Advice and guidance

Our guidance on paediatric services for our members and other professionals covers different settings, including community paediatrics, acute paediatrics and emergency departments, paediatric intensive care services and neonatal units, and it addresses particular needs, such as children with complex medical needs and vulnerable children.

We also have guidance on planning paediatric staffing and rotas. The healthcare workforce is fundamental to the NHS response to this huge challenge, and paediatricians have a responsibility to the wider profession. It's also vital that paediatric and neonatal services are maintained as much as possible. We cover rotas, rest, core skills and moving up/working across a system, and more.

Our membership is global, and our global child health programmes work in low-resource settings around the world. We are working with global partners to share new knowledge about the potential direct effects of COVID-19 among newborns, children and young people, as well as the indirect impacts of the disease on families and on health systems. See our resources for paediatric services in low- and medium-income countries.

We have also compiled authoritative and evidence-based resources for parents, carers and young people.