MRCPCH Clinical exam - how to apply

Find out when and how to apply to MRCPCH Clinical in the UK and overseas centres, how places are allocated and what to expect after you submit your application.
Last modified
1 May 2024

Announcements

As of February 2023 the MRCPCH Clinical exam in the UK includes patients in the four short clinical stations. The development station remains scenario based. Our web page on face-to-face exam guidance webpage is being updated.

All candidates should note: If you have applied for an MRCPCH Clinical exam event (UK or overseas) then until such time as a decision is made on whether you are placed on an event you would not be able to apply for another MRCPCH Clinical exam event (the booking system will not accept the application). Once we have determined the final placement for an event and completed all placements and all rejections then candidates who are rejected from an event will be able to book on to new open events.

We are highlighting this as some candidates have not been able to book onto new events while they wait to hear if they are placed on an event they applied for earlier.

Requirements before you apply

You will need to have passed all three theory exams before you can apply for MRCPCH Clinical.

To optimise your chances of success in the MRCPCH Clinical we strongly recommend that you have:

  • completed a period of training lasting two and a half years from the graduation date on your diploma of medical qualification
  • spent no less than 12 months in posts involving the care of emergency paediatric patients (it is desirable that at least six months in a post with a strong emphasis on responsibility for unselected emergency admissions) within the five years prior to your exam date - note this does include clinical attachments
  • spent six months of your first year after graduation as a house paediatrician; if not, an additional six months in a post involving the care of emergency paediatric patients.
  • For UK trainees, you must not have sat your exam six or more times. If you have, you need to contact the exams team.
  • For all applications, please note the 7-year registration applies. This refers to the rule that you must past your MRCPCH Clinical exam with 7 years of having passed your final theory examination (FOP/TAS or AKP). If you are outside your 7-year registration, please get in touch with the exam team.

Your sponsor

All MRCPCH Clinical candidates must provide details on their application form about their sponsor. The sponsor is someone who, from personal knowledge and repute, can agree the candidate is ready to take the exam. The sponsor should also be an individual who agrees to receive feedback via email on MRCPCH Clinical examination candidate performance concerns once results are finalised. Ideally, your sponsor would be:

  • your current educational supervisor or senior colleague (whom you have worked with for at least 3 months)
  • an RCPCH member or fellow (where possible)

As referenced above, your sponsor will be notified if you receive a deferment mark (for more information on deferment marks please go to the 'Your exam results (MRCPCH and DCH') or an unprofessional conduct concern so please ensure that you have gained permission from them to include their details. Sponsors will be notified in writing/email to provide any support or guidance that they are able to in relation to the feedback that a candidate will have received from the examiner/examiners. This is typically found within a candidate's exam marksheet copies. Sponsors can also support a candidate who received an unprofessional conduct concern by reviewing and acting upon feedback received from the examiner who awarded it (from marksheets).

You must obtain permission from your sponsor to provide the information required below. You will be asked to provide:

  • full name
  • relationship to you (for example, educational supervisor or senior colleague)
  • position (for example, senior consultant or professor)
  • place of work
  • email address.

Exam centres and availability

MRCPCH Clinical exams take place in hospitals across the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and in other countries. Each exam centre has a fixed number of places per day. For those exams held in the UK, availability of host centres may vary from exam diet to exam diet. If your application is successful, we will email you an admissions document with the centre's full address approximately four weeks before your exam.

Candidates might have to travel to attend the exam host centre to which they have been assigned. Exams may be held on any date within the listed exam period, including weekends. Please ensure any travel or accommodation you book is fully refundable. The College will not reimburse costs for travel or accommodation in the event of a cancellation or if you cannot attend the exam.

Please make sure you read our guidance on regulations relating to the criteria used to allocate places for candidates. The demand for MRCPCH clinical places for many overseas centres is significantly higher than usual at the moment meaning some candidates are waiting longer than we would like for their opportunity to sit their clinical exam. We are investigating a range of options to address this and will update these pages with further information.

Candidate Availability & Special Requests

We understand that from time to time candidates might have days on which they are not available due to special events (weddings, graduations etc or family obligations). We will do our best to avoid dates where candidates notify us in advance of the application window closing about these special requests.

If you have any special requests for placements or dates to avoid, add these to the Notes section of the application form and immediately email us on clinicalexams@rcpch.ac.uk. Once the application window is closed, no requests for date swaps or transfers will be approved.

Once an application is confirmed and paid, transfers between centres are not normally possible. We will only be able to process cancellation requests after the application period closes.

Countries in which MRCPCH Clinical takes place

Not all countries will offer the exam during each exam diet (exam period).

  • UK
  • Egypt
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Malaysia
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Singapore
  • United Arab Emirates

Exams in Myanmar and Sudan are currently on hold until further notice.

Start and end times

For clinical examinations held in the UK the morning sessions normally start at 10:00 and finish at 12:30. The afternoon sessions normally start at 14:00 and finish at 16:30. However, candidates will have to arrive earlier than exam start times. The exact times will be provided in your admissions document. Candidates should plan to be at the exam centre for roughly 4.5 hours (1 hour prior to exam, 2.75 hours for exam, and .5 hours for debrief).

For clinical examination held overseas start and end times may vary depending on the centre. This information will be provided to candidates in their admission/placement letter.

2024 fees

For all countries except Hong Kong, you will need to pay online by credit card or debit card. We do not accept bank drafts or cheques.

Exam 2024 exam fee
UK £865
Egypt £1280
India £1620
KSA £1670
Malaysia £1420
Myanmar £1200
Nepal £1200

Oman - You'll be required to pay an additional fee of 68 OMR to the local OMSB (Oman Medical Specialty Board) exam administrator. You will receive an email from the OMSB team about the payment process. For more information, contact localexams@omsb.org or intexams@omsb.org

£1670
Pakistan £1420
Singapore (Conjoint MMED - MRCPCH Clinical fee) £1620
Sudan £1350
UAE £1670
Hong Kong Contact HKCP for 2024 fees

Dates of exams and application periods

All application windows open at 09:30 and close at 16:30 (UK time) unless otherwise noted.

All exam dates are subject to our ability to safely run the exam as a result of COVID-19. Therefore exam dates might change or exams might be postponed or cancelled. We will do our best to make such updates as early as we possibly can. Please check this page regularly for updates.

2024 exam dates

Please note, the face-to-face (F2F) with patients MRCPCH Clinical exam in the UK and overseas will include patients in the 4 short clinical stations. The development station will remain scenario based.

As we confirm dates with our overseas partners, they will be added to the tables below. These are all the confirmed dates we are able to secure at this time; please do not email if you do not see a given country's dates below as we do not have any further information at this time.

Please note that for overseas exams listed below, candidates should be aware there could be host country travel restrictions that might limit candidate placement to only those from within the host country. These restrictions might change quickly and without much notice.

2024-1
Country Exam date Application open date Application close date
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 19-20 January 2024 26 Oct 2023 27 Oct 2023
India

3-4 February 2024 (Ahmedabad)
10-11 February 2024 (Navi Mumbai)

2 Nov 2023 3 Nov 2023
UK 10-25 February 2024 22 Nov 2023 29 Nov 2023
Malaysia 24 & 26 February 2024 16 Nov 2023 17 Nov 2023
Oman 1-2 March 2024 4 Dec 2023 5 Dec 2023
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 1-2 March 2024 6 Dec 2023 7 Dec 2023
Egypt 8-9 March 2024 11 Dec 2023 12 Dec 2023
Hong Kong 12-13 March 2024 27 Nov 2023 8 Dec 2023
2024-2
Country Exam date Application open date Application close date
UAE 4-5 May 2024 30 Jan 2024 31 Jan 2024
Malaysia 11-12 May 2024 7 Feb 2024 8 Feb 2024
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 17-18 May 2024 12 Feb 2024 13 Feb 2024
Pakistan 18-19 May 2024 14 Feb 2024 15 Feb 2024
Singapore 25-26 May 2024 19 Feb 2024 23 Feb 2024
Egypt 7-8 June 2024 5 March 2024 6 March 2024
UK 8-23 June 2024 25 March 2024 2 April 2024
2024-3
Country Exam date Application open date Application close date
Egypt 13-14 September 2024 10 June 2024 11 June 2024
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 20-21 September 2024 12 June 2024 13 June 2024
Singapore 5-6 October 2024 1 July 2024 7 July 2024
Malaysia 12-13 October 2024 9 July 2024 10 July 2024
Hong Kong 15-16 October 2024 TBC TBC
UK 12-27 October 2024 22 July 2024 29 July 2024
Kolkata, India 3-4 November 2024 30 July 2024 31 July 2024
Nepal 8-9 November 2024 1 August 2024 2 August 2024
Abu Dhabi, UAE 9-10 November 2024 7 August 2024 8 August 2024
Pakistan 16-17 November 2024 15 August 2024 16 August 2024
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 29-30 November 2024 28 August 2024 29 August 2024
Egypt 6-7 December 2024 4 September 2024 5 September 2024

Before you apply

  • Find out when the next MRCPCH Clinical is in your location - see upcoming exams above.
  • You can only apply during the application period.
  • You can save your application and go back later, but you must submit your application by the deadline. Any applications that are not submitted by the deadline will be deleted.
  • Once you submit your application, you will not be able to edit or delete it.
  • If you do not see the exam event you wish to apply for in your available bookings section, you might need to delete previous draft applications. You can do this by reviewing your recent bookings in the chart on the right hand side of the page. You might need to click the View All button to see all of those bookings. Any which are listed as draft, you can click on the view button and then delete it from the page that opens.
  • Places for MRCPCH Clinical are limited, and submitting your application does not guarantee a place. You may be given a place on any date within the exam period. UK candidates may be placed anywhere in the UK; this depends on the availability of host centres, previous posts and attendance at preparatory courses.
  • If you choose to withdraw your application after the application period, we cannot guarantee a refund of your exam fees.
  • If your application is successful and you are placed, we will send an automated request for you to provide your payment details. Should you be selected for placement you will have a limited amount of time to log back into the booking system and update your application with your payment information. Once submitted we will review and process your payment but only after the application period closes. If your application is unsuccessful, we will not request payment and we will inform you of your status as soon as we are able to.
  • Candidates who repeatedly withdraw from the exam may be deprioritised for the next diet's allocation in order to ensure that all spaces for the exam can be filled by candidates who intend to sit the exam.
  • RCPCH reserves the right to bar a candidate from sitting any exam where there exist reasons to doubt the candidate's fitness to hold MRCPCH. Such reasons include falsifying country of work/residence or previous qualifications or experience. We check this information and will take action against candidates where there is evidence of falsification.
  • If we are provided with any evidence that a candidate has falsified information on their exam application form those candidates will be investigated in full. Investigations may lead to a lifetime ban from sitting any further attempts at the MRCPCH Clinical exam. Further action could include candidate exam accounts being blocked on the RCPCH exam booking system and reporting the outcome to the medical regulator within the candidate’s country of registration.

Allocation of places - UK clinical centres

The MRCPCH is important to the career progression of doctors working in paediatrics in the UK, in particular those who are registered on the UK paediatric training programme. It is therefore important this is recognised in the criteria for allocating candidate places for MRCPCH Clinical in the UK.

Places are allocated using the following criteria, in this order:

  1. Applications from trainees who are on an outcome 3, 10.1 or 10.2 of their last ARCP due to delayed exam progression. Trainees who fit this category will have their names submitted to us via Heads of School.
  2. Applications from candidates working in the UK who are at a career critical stage. ie trainees within 6 months of stepping up to ST5 or non-trainees working in the UK and applying for ST4/ST5 training (when available) but who do not yet hold an offer of a post. Trainees who fit this category will have their names submitted via Heads of School to the Clinical Assessments team. Any non-trainees who fit this category will need to have their supervisor, service lead or clinical director email us on clinicalexams@rcpch.ac.uk to confirm. It is the responsibility of each candidate to ensure their Head of School, supervisor, lead or director knows their intentions and can therefore confirm to us for prioritisation.
  3. Applications from UK trainees who have completed all MRCPCH Theory Exams (FOP/TAS/AKP) and are not addressed in numbers 1 or 2 above.
  4. Applications from candidates working in the UK based on current stage of career/training with priority given to those nearing the end of their 7-year registration period (trainees and non-trainees).
  5. Applications from candidates living, but not working, in the UK with priority given to those nearing the end of their 7-year registration period.
  6. Applications from candidates working overseas in countries where the exam is not offered (with priority given to those nearing the end of their 7-year registration period)
  7. Applications from candidates working overseas in countries where the exam is offered (with priority given to those nearing the end of their 7-year registration period)

Candidates who are UK trainees or non-trainee doctors will be asked on the application form whether their application is career critical and asked to provide their current ST or career level. For our purposes, career critical means any trainee who has already progressed to ST4 without the exam. It also refers to any non-trainee with an offer of a post to begin within the next 6 months for which the MRCPCH is required. Please only indicate you are career critical if these criteria apply to you. We are working with the Heads of School to identify and confirm career critical applicants among trainees and non-trainees who are known to them.

There may also be other exceptional circumstances, such as pending parental leave or planned medical leave where a candidate is more than 6 calendar months from moving to an ST5 post. These circumstances will need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Anyone who feels they are career critical or have exceptional circumstances should contact the Clinical Assessments team on clinicalexams@rcpch.ac.uk as soon as they submit an application so that we can properly understand their situation prior to making allocations. Please ensure you email us each time you apply for an exam to update us on your situation.

If you are not initially allocated a place, you will be placed on a waitlist for the exam you have applied for, in order of the criteria above. If any placed candidates withdraw or more places are made available, candidates on the waitlist will be contacted and offered these places, in order, up to two weeks before the exam.

Allocation of places - overseas clinical centres

Places for the MRCPCH Clinical exams held overseas are allocated using the following criteria, in this order:

  1. Applications from candidates working in the host country and are within the final 2 years of their 7 year registration period
  2. Applications from candidates working in countries where there is no established MRCPCH clinical exam and are within the final 2 years of their 7 year registration period
  3. Applications from candidates working in the host country
  4. Applications from candidates working in countries where there is no established MRCPCH Clinical host centre
  5. Applications from candidates working in countries where there is an established MRCPCH Clinical host centre and are within the final 2 years of their 7 year registration period
  6. Applications from candidates working in countries where there is an established MRCPCH Clinical host centre.

Please note:

  • For all centres, there is a deferment mark is a mark of 52 or below. If you score 52 or below, from 2023 onwards, this will result in an automatic deferment for the next diet. This will mean that candidates receiving a deferment score must not apply for the next diet of exams. For example, if you were to receive a deferment score of 52 or below for an MRCPCH Clinical exam sat in 2023-1 diet then you would not be eligible to sit in 2023-2 diet and could reapply to sit in 2023-3 diet.
  • For candidates applying to sit the exam in Malaysia, applicants who have not failed the exam in the previous diet will be prioritised over candidates who have failed the exam in the last diet. For example, if a candidate fails an MRCPCH Clinical exam in the 2024-2 diet in Malaysia, they are eligible to sit the exam in the 2024-3 diet, however candidates who did not sit the exam in 2024-2 would be prioritised ahead of them.
  • For candidates applying to any centres located in Malaysia: Candidates who are based in Malaysia will be prioritised over candidates who are based outside of Malaysia. This criteria is in place to address the areas where demand is highest for MRCPCH Clinical places. The above listed criteria (1-6) continues to be used to determine placement but it is unlikely that candidates from outside of Malaysia applying to the centre in Malaysia will be prioritised for places as the numbers of applications we receive for the region is typically significantly in excess of available spaces.
  • For candidates applying to any centres located in the Middle East: Candidates who are based in countries within the Middle East will be prioritised over candidates who are based outside of the Middle East. This criteria is in place to address the areas where demand is highest for MRCPCH Clinical places. The above listed criteria (1-6) continues to be used to determine placement but it is unlikely that candidates from outside the Middle East applying to centres in the Middle East will be prioritised for places as the numbers of applications we receive for the region is typically significantly in excess of available spaces.
  • For candidates applying to any centres located in India: Candidates who are based in India will be prioritised over candidates who are based outside of India. This criteria is in place to address the areas where demand is highest for MRCPCH Clinical places. The above listed criteria (1-6) continues to be used to determine placement but it is unlikely that candidates from outside of India applying to the centre in India will be prioritised for places as the numbers of applications we receive for the region is typically significantly in excess of available spaces.
  • For candidates applying to any centres located in Pakistan: Candidates who are based in Pakistan will be prioritised over candidates who are based outside of Pakistan. This criteria is in place to address the areas where demand is highest for MRCPCH Clinical places. The above listed criteria (1-6) continues to be used to determine placement but it is unlikely that candidates from outside of Pakistan applying to the centre in Pakistan will be prioritised for places as the numbers of applications we receive for the region is typically significantly in excess of available spaces.
  • Priority is given to candidates whose main employment is in the host country. If your main role is in one country but you are a national of another, or if you occasionally locum or have a short-term position in another country, please only list your main role and country on your application form and RCPCH account.
  • Although you may be on the waiting list this does not guarantee that you will be allocated a place for a particular examination sitting.
  • If your application is placed on the waiting list, it will remain on this until two weeks before the exam, unless you inform the College in writing that you want to withdraw. If you are on the waiting list, you may not apply to other exam centres.

Reasonable adjustments

If you require support for your exam, you will need to include details in your online application. If you request any support, we'll contact you during or shortly after the application period to discuss this.

We may be able to arrange:

  • additional time to complete the exam
  • option to sit the exam at a centre of your choice, a centre recommended by the Clinical Assessments team or a centre that suits your accessibility needs.
  • other more complex arrangements. Please note: complex arrangements require time. If required you must contact the Clinical Assessments team on clinicalexams@rcpch.ac.uk as early as possible and ideally before you apply for your exam.

Find the policy and form in our exam regulations and rules.

If this is your first attempt at the clinical exam you will need to complete a separate Request for reasonable adjustment section, with the required evidence such as a medical certificate or a report from an educational psychologist or consultant. This must be received by us at least seven weeks before the exam. Subsequent attempts will require you to complete the form but not re-supply your documentation.

Contact us on clinicalexams@rcpch.ac.uk or +44 20 7092 6000 (ask for Clinical Assessments team).

Getting to the exam booking system

We recommend you use a modern browser such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Safari - and not Internet Explorer for the Online Booking System

To access:

  • Log in to your RCPCH account.
  • Go to Account (a link in the header).
  • From your dashboard, go to the Exams block, and click on Register or book exams.
  • The first time you access the new booking system, you'll see a launch screen. Click continue.

Once you get to the booking system, you'll see a dashboard with:

  • Exam progress - This shows for either or both MRCPCH and DCH route which exams you need to take and which you have passed. (When you first log in, this may not be up to date - if that happens, log out and log back in again, and it should update.)
  • Available bookings - This shows exams you are eligible to apply for and that are currently taking bookings. If your seven year exam registration period has expired, you will be directed to re-sit your Applied Knowledge in Paediatrics (AKP) theory exam. Please note: If you do not see the exam event you wish to apply for in your available bookings section, you might need to delete previous draft applications. You can do this by reviewing your recent bookings in the chart on the right hand side of the page. You might need to click the View All button to see all of those bookings. Any which are listed as draft, you can click on the view button and then delete it from the page that opens.
  • My recent bookings - This shows your saved applications.

Applying for an exam

  • In the exams booking system, find the exam you wish to apply for in your list of available bookings, select View.
  • Then, select Apply.
  • So we can place you on the exam, you'll need to complete:
    • Country of residence
    • Current hospital / workplace
    • Start date of current employment and end date (if known)
    • Past hospital / workplace (please list your previous employment if you have been in your current post for less than 18 months)
    • Future hospital / workplace (if you have any confirmed future posts)
    • Details of any exam preparation courses you have or are planning to attend
    • Details of a sponsor who can confirm your readiness to sit the MRCPCH Clinical exam
    • Details of any reasonable adjustments required.
  • When complete, select Submit. (If you have not completed all fields, you'll see a notice at the top of the screen.)

After you submit your application, you'll be sent a confirmation email. Your booking system dashboard will show that your application is waiting for placement. You don't need to make a payment at this stage.

Paying for an exam

If you are allocated a place on the exam, you'll be sent another email to log in and make your payment by credit or debit card. Payment by bank transfer or bank draft is not accepted. This will take up to four weeks after the application period.

  • When you get the email, log in and go to the exams booking system.
  • Go to My bookings to find your application, and select View.
  • Select Card payment and then Continue to payment, and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you are allocated a place on the exam, you'll be sent another email to log in to and make your payment. Please allow three to four weeks for this second email.

For candidates applying to centres in Hong Kong

Candidates in the UK and most clinical exam centres in other countries (including Egypt, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and UAE) can only apply through our online system. We do not accept paper, email or faxed applications for these countries - even if you have previously applied for a clinical exam in this way.

Candidates applying to the Hong Kong exam must complete a paper application form and submit it directly to the host centre (details below). You can download the form at the bottom of this page. Please do not send paper applications to the RCPCH.

Hong Kong - host contact information

What happens after you submit your application

If your application is successful

We will get in touch to request your payment and place you on the exam. You will see your exam date and location in your exam dashboard. You will be emailed a final placement letter with details, including a schedule and map, sent either by us or for some overseas centres by the exam host, usually three to four weeks before the exam. Please do not arrange travel, accommodation or exam preparation course before you receive this email. Keep this letter, as you will need to bring it with you on the exam day.

If you are on the waiting list

Your application will not be accepted or rejected, and no payment will be taken. If a place becomes available due to cancellation, we will contact you. This may be at very short notice, for example, one or two weeks before the exam. If you are given a place, you will be sent a final placement letter, and your payment will be taken.

If no place becomes available, your application will be rejected and deleted from your online account. You will need to wait until the next application period to apply for an exam.

If your application is rejected

Your application will be rejected, and deleted from your online account. You will need to wait until the next application period to apply for an exam.

On exam day and after

For what to do on the day of the exam, results, withdrawals, transfers, complaints and feedback, see MRCPCH Clinical exam - On exam day and after.