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
24 September 2021

COVID Announcements

Overseas Candidate Update

The Exams team has issued a new update for overseas candidates about the partial resumption of the MRCPCH Clinical Exam.  Please read the update.

Remote delivery - MRCPCH Clinical Exam

Due to the impact that COVID-19 has had on our ability to safely hold clinical exams, and particularly in mind of potential risks to the children, young people and families who take part, we are making some changes to the MRCPCH Clinical exam to ensure the safety of all involved. As of November 2020, all UK MRCPCH Clinical exams are expected to be run remotely throughout 2021 as we continue to respond to the Covid pandemic.

Exam circuit and stations

To accommodate online delivery, we are making necessary adaptations to the circuit and stations. Further details are available on the MRCPCH Covid Adapted Clinical Exam Information webpage.  The main changes are:

  • There will be no face-to-face MRCPCH UK Clinical exams held in any physical setting.
  • There will be no children and young people involved in the delivery of the exam circuit.
  • The content and number of History, Communications and Video stations to remain the same.
  • There are modifications to the Development and Clinical stations.

Candidate guidance

We understand that this is a lot of information to process, and you may feel anxious or concerned about how everything will work. We have published a new web page about this adapted MRCPCH Clinical exam, with FAQs and detailed guidance documents, to support you with exam preparation. You can also access a recording of the candidate webinar about this adapted exam. 

We know how important it is for you to have the appropriate information and tools to properly prepare yourself for this exam. We also understand that the information we have provided might give rise to a number of questions or concerns.  If you cannot find the answers to your questions on the new web page, please get in touch with us at exams@rcpch.ac.uk

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.

Your sponsor

All MRCPCH Clinical candidates must provide details on their application form about their sponsor . The sponsor is expected is someone who, from personal knowledge and repute can agree the candidate is ready to take the exam. 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)

Your sponsor might be notified if you receive a poor overall mark or an unprofessional conduct concern

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 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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

Fees

For all countries except Hong Kong, you will need to pay online by credit card or debit card. We can no longer accept bank drafts or cheques. 

Exam 2021 exam fee
UK £780
Egypt £1145
India N/A
KSA £1500
Malaysia £1280
Myanmar N/A
Nepal N/A

Oman (You'll be required to pay an additional fee (68 OMR) to the local OMSB (Oman Medical Specialty Board) exam administrator. This can be paid on the exam day by cash or credit/debit card. For more information, contact localexams@omsb.org)

N/A
Singapore (Conjoint MMED - MRCPCH Clinical fee) £1450
Sudan £1220
UAE £1500
Hong Kong Contact HKCP for 2021

 

Exam 2022 exam fee
UK £795
Egypt £1170
India £1480
KSA £1530
Malaysia £1300
Myanmar £1100
Nepal £1100

Oman (You'll be required to pay an additional fee (68 OMR) to the local OMSB (Oman Medical Specialty Board) exam administrator. This can be paid on the exam day by cash or credit/debit card. For more information, contact localexams@omsb.org)

£1530
Singapore (Conjoint MMED - MRCPCH Clinical fee) £1480
Sudan £1240
UAE £1530
Hong Kong Contact HKCP for 2022 fees

Dates of exams and application periods

All application windows open at 9:30am and close at 4:30pm GMT (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.  Please note that we have not yet determined what format the UK exams in 2022.2 and 2022.3 will take (online or face to face).

2021.3 diet 

Country Exam date Application open date Application close date
Jeddah 25-27 August 2021 N/A N/A
Egypt 10 - 11 September 2021 N/A N/A
Online Deferred 27-30 September 2021 N/A N/A
Singapore 9-10 October 2021* 2 August 2021 8 August 2021
UK Online 22 October - 8 November 2021 21 July 2021 5 August 2021
Hong Kong 25-28 October 2021* 6 Sept 2021 7 Sept 2021
Malaysia 27-29 November 2021* 14 Sept 2021 15 Sept 2021
UAE 26-27 November 2021** 16 Sept 2021 17 Sept 2021
Sudan 3-4 December 2021* 30 Sept 2021 01 Oct 2021
Jeddah 8-10 December 2021** 5 Oct 2021 6 Oct 2021
Egypt 10-11 December 2021** 27 Oct 2021 28 Oct 2021

*Please note these exams will be held face-to-face (no patients) and that host country restrictions due to Covid currently prevent anyone from outside the country travelling there to sit the exam.

**Please note that these exams will be held face-to-face (no patients).  All 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.  We will do our best to allocate seats within the constraints these restrictions impose.

2022.1 Diet

Country Exam date Application open date Application close date
UK Online 11-28 February 2022 26 Nov 2021 6 Dec 2021
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

2022.2 Diet

Country Exam date Application open date Application close date
UK 10 -  27 June 2022 8 Apr 2022 19 Apr 2022
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

2022.3 Diet

Country Exam date Application open date Application close date
UK 14 - 31 October 2022 5 Aug 2022 16 Aug 2022
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

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.
  • 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 the Exams Team 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.
  • 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.

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 candidates working in the UK that are at a career critical stage, ie outcome 3 or 4 of the last Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP), which must be confirmed by the LETB/deanery (see below for further information) as well as any exceptional circumstance candidates (see below)
  2. Applications from candidates working in the UK based on current stage of training (for example, ST3 prioritised over ST2)
  3. Applications from candidates working in the UK who are not UK trainees
  4. Applications from candidates living, but not working, in the UK 
  5. 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)
  6. 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 will be asked on the application form whether their application is career critical and asked to provide their current ST level.  For our purposes, career critical means anyone who has already progressed to ST4 (without the exam), or who is expected to step up to ST4 in the next six months.  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 trainees.

There may also be exceptional circumstances such as pending parental leave or planned medical leave where a trainee is more than six calendar months from stepping up, but where a later examination date is not possible. Other circumstances might include candidates with confirmed offers of training posts dependent upon completing the MRCPCH or applications into specialist training which require MRCPCH prior to application. These circumstances will need to be discussed on a case to case basis with the Exams team. If you are unsure if you are career critical or have exceptional circumstances, please contact the Exams team as soon as you submit your application so that we can understand your situation prior to making allocations.  The exams team can be contacted at exams@rcpch.ac.uk.  Please ensure you email us each time you apply for an exam.  We do not keep documentation of these requests across diets for data security and privacy reasons.

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

Please note:

  • 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.
  • You must include testimonials for proposers who do not hold the relevant qualifications with your application for the clinical exam. Please see information about additional requirements below.

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 Exams 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 Exams Team 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 exams@rcpch.ac.uk or +44 20 7092 6000 (ask for Exams 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.
  • 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. 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.

 

For what to do on the day of the exam, results, withdrawals, transfers, complaints and feedback please visit our new webpage.