COVID-19 - impact on our examinations: frequently asked questions

We have worked with examiners, trainees, and the General Medical Council to ensure our exams remain safe, reliable and fair during the COVID-19 pandemic. This page provides information and links for exam candidates, examiners and hosts and all involved in the delivery of our exams, and will continue to be regularly reviewed and updated.

Theory exams: We are offering candidates two options for safely taking the exams. See the Theory exams section.

MRCPCH Clinical / DCH Clinical exams: We are delivering these exams online, and you can see more details in the MRCPCH Clinical and DCH Clinical sections. Some overseas centres have been able to deliver and are continuing to deliver a modified MRCPCH Clinical exam with no patients, though this is regularly reviewed and may change at short notice.
Last modified
17 December 2021

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

The welfare of all trainees and exam candidates is very important to us, and we hope that this page 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 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.

Theory exams

Since 1 July 2020, we've provided candidates with two options for taking the FOP, TAS and AKP exams: test centre with social distancing, or online invigilation. You can read our FAQs and watch our webinar about both options.

Then, you can read more about each option in our candidate guides:

A series of addendums and additions to the exams rules and regulations have been in place to account for the expanded delivery methods (see Appendix L). You should read through them, in conjunction with the full rules and regulations, before you book your exam.

Our Theory exams - how to apply page includes new and upcoming application windows and exam dates, and details on how to apply. 

MRCPCH Clinical

On 24 August 2020, we published new guidance for the MRCPCH COVID Adapted Clinical exam, which has been delivered remotely from November 2020 in the UK. This online-delivered format has been delivered mostly during the standard UK MRCPCH Clinical exam diets (February, June, October) and has had to be targeted at career critical UK trainees. Due to limits on the number of candidates who can be accommodated on an exam day we have not yet been a position to provide many places to candidates out of programme or those based outside of the UK. We have been working hard with examiners, trainees, and the General Medical Council to ensure the exam remains safe, reliable and fair.

You can find and download all candidate resources related to this adapted exam on our MRCPCH COVID Adapted Clinical exam information hub. There you'll also find links to all of the updates we have provided so far about the adapted exam.

In May 2021 we introduced another alternative format of MRCPCH Clinical to be delivered in some overseas exam centres. This format of this exam is face-to-face (with social distancing and PPE protocols in place) but with no patient involvement. More details on this format of the exam can be found See more in our MRCPCH Overseas COVID Adapted Clinical exam information hub.

DCH Clinical

The Diploma of Child Health Clinical exams have also been delivered remotely/online as of October 2020. Candidates sit their exam on an online platform called Practique normally from home.

If you're planning to sit the DCH Clinical online exam, we recommend you watch our webinar and download our updated candidate information and anchor statements on the DCH Clinical candidate guide page

What happens if my exam is postponed?

If you have booked and paid for an exam that is postponed, we will endeavour to provide opportunity to transfer your booking to the next available exam. This may not always be possible due to the options that are available.

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.

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 at times where local or global changes in relation to the pandemic are of an urgent nature, but we will try to respond as soon as possible.