COVID-19 - impact on our examinations: FAQs

As a consequence of the ongoing global COVID-19 situation, the College has taken the extremely difficult but necessary decision to postpone all scheduled MRCPCH and DCH examination activity in the UK and internationally from now until the end of August 2020.  This page provides information for exam candidates, examiners and hosts, and all involved in the delivery of our exams, and will be updated as we get more information.
Last modified
26 March 2020

The welfare of trainees and all exam candidates is very important to us, and we hope that this notice provides some clarity and will allow trainees to plan for the coming months while continuing to provide vital care to the public during these unprecedented and most challenging of times.

We are reviewing these frequently asked questions on a regular basis, and will publish any updates as soon as possible.

To get an email notification of each update, you can log in and select the pink button in the grey box 'Notify me when updated'.

Introduction

We are working closely with our partners who help us deliver our theory and clinical exams around the world, and reviewing local guidance.

We are directly contacting candidates booked on to exams that are postponed, or that are at risk of being postponed, as soon as possible.

FOP/TAS 2020.2 (17 June)

The Foundation of Practice and Theory and Science theory exams due to take place on 17 June 2020 at test centres around the world have been postponed. We had not yet opened the application window for this exam.

If you are planning to apply to sit FOP/TAS exams this year, please refer to the exam and exam application window dates for the 14 October FOP/TAS exam - see our 'how to apply' page.

AKP 2020.2 (13 May)

The Applied Knowledge in Practice theory exams due to take place on 13 May 2020 at test centres around the world have been postponed.

We have contacted all affected candidates with the aim to reschedule all candidates booked for May to our next scheduled AKP exam on 16 September 2020 exam at the same centres. All booked May AKP candidates will be treated as a priority for September, but we hope to able to provide some additional centres/seats where possible for any other trainees seeking to secure a space for September. We expect that demand for spaces will be higher than usual so May candidates can feel reassured that their space for September will be secure. 

If you are not able to sit your AKP exam on 16 September please email us as soon as possible on exams@rcpch.ac.uk, including your RCPCH number and the test centre you were due to sit at in May. We will arrange to process a full refund of your exam fee. Due to the challenges of working remotely it may take longer than normal to process refunds - please bear with us while we work through this.

If you have any questions regarding your exam or any associated concerns with exam progression, then please contact us and we will do our best to help you. Please continue to check the website over the coming weeks for further details - see our 'how to apply' page.

MRCPCH Clinical 2020.1 and 2020.2

The vast majority of MRCPCH Clinical exams that were due to take place between March and June 2020 in the UK and across a number of international centres have been postponed. These are the postponed MRCPCH Clinical exams in this period:

  • Egypt - March 2020
  • Jeddah - March 2020
  • Sudan - March 2020
  • Nepal - April 2020
  • Singapore - May 2020
  • UAE - May 2020
  • UK - June 2020
  • Malaysia - June 2020
  • Egypt - June 2020
  • Jeddah - June 2020

See below for more information on how we are managing the postponement of these exams.

DCH Clinical 2020.1 and DCH Clinical in Egypt, June

The Diploma of Child Health Clinical exams that were due to take place in the UK in April and in Egypt in June have been postponed.

See below for more information on how we are managing the postponement of these exams.

What happens if my exam is postponed?

If you have booked and paid for an exam that is postponed, we will give you the opportunity to transfer your booking to the next available exam. There will be no further charges.

We will contact you directly with more information, and to confirm any specific requirements. You will not need to book this through our online booking system.

Can I get reimbursement for any travel or accommodation?

Unfortunately we are unable to reimburse you for travel or accommodation costs incurred for your exam booking. 

For candidates who plan to book exams, we strongly recommend you delay booking related travel and accommodation until closer to the exam date. Some transport business and hotels are now allowing bookings that can be fully or partially refundable, and we advise that you consider refundable options during this period.

I am a UK trainee (Level 1, ST1-3). How will these postponements impact my training progression?

The College understands that some of the challenges for level 1 trainee progression during this time are likely to be related to the MRCPCH examination. Currently, there are two exam-dependent progression points: (a) trainees progressing to ST3 need two out of the three theory components of MRCPCH, and (b) trainees progressing to ST4 (level 2) need the MRCPCH clinical exam.

The challenges posed by examination restrictions and cancellation are likely to take some time to solve. This will require discussion with the GMC and likely solutions will depend upon: (a) number of trainees affected, (b) patient safety considerations, and (c) potential for mitigating risks to patient safety by other means.

The Exams team will explore options to reduce the impact of postponed theory and clinical exams on trainee progression. We are currently working hard to provide more clarity to these concerns and will publish further information regarding these matters as soon as we can.

I've recently sat an exam. How does this affect me?

We are not expecting delays with the processing of recently sat examinations.

Should there be any delays with our standard processing times, the Exams team will be in contact with candidates who are awaiting results or other important correspondence.

How can I contact you?

If you have any questions that are not answered on this web page, or any specific concerns, you can contact the Exams team as usual at exams@rcpch.ac.uk. Please be aware that we may get more emails than usual, but will try to respond as soon as possible.