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
26 January 2023

Announcements

We would like to inform all candidates for the MRCPCH Clinical exam in the UK that from the February 2023 exam will include patients in the 4 short clinical stations. The development station will remain scenario based. The Face-to-Face Guidance webpage is in the process of 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.

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 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.

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.

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 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.

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
  • 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. 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.

2023 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 2023 exam fee
UK £833
Egypt £1230
India £1555
KSA £1605
Malaysia £1365
Myanmar £1155
Nepal £1155

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

£1605
Pakistan £1365
Singapore (Conjoint MMED - MRCPCH Clinical fee) £1555
Sudan £1300
UAE £1605
Hong Kong Contact HKCP for 2023 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.

2023 exams

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. The Face-to-Face Guidance webpage is in the process of being updated.

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; 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.

2023-1

Country Exam date Application open date Application close date Format
Jeddah 20-21 January 2023 25 Oct 2022 26 Oct 2022 F2F - With Patients
India (Hyderabad & Bengaluru) 21-26 January 2023 18 Oct 2022 19 Oct 2022 F2F - With Patients
UK 11-26 February 2023 14 Nov 2022 21 Nov 2022

F2F - With Patients

Hong Kong 21-22 February 2023 15 Nov 2022 5 Dec 2022 F2F - With Patients
Malaysia 25-27 February 2023 23 Nov 2022 24 Nov 2022 F2F - With Patients
Oman 3-4 March 2023 1 Dec 2022 2 Dec 2022 F2F - With Patients
Egypt 3-4 March 2023 29 Nov 2022 30 Nov 2022 F2F - With Patients
Jeddah 17-18 March 2023 15 Dec 2022 16 Dec 2022 F2F - With Patients

 

2023-2

Country Exam date Application open date Application close date Format
Pakistan TBD TBD TBD F2F - With Patients
KSA 12-13 May 2023 9 Feb 2023 10 Feb 2023 F2F - With Patients
UAE 20-21 May 2023 15 Feb 2023 16 Feb 2023 F2F - With Patients
Singapore 27-28 May 2023 22 Feb 2023 23 Feb 2023 F2F - With Patients
Malaysia 20-21 May 2023 21 Feb 2023 22 Feb 2023 F2F - With Patients
UK

10-25 June 2023

27 March 2023

3 April 2023

F2F - With Patients

2023-3

Country Exam date Application open date Application close date Format
Egypt 8-9 September 2023 7 Jun 2023 8 Jun 2023 F2F - With Patients
KSA 22-23 September 2023 20 Jun 2023 21 Jun 2023 F2F - With Patients
India TBD TBD TBD F2F - With Patients
Nepal TBD TBD TBD F2F - With Patients
Hong Kong TBD TBD TBD F2F - With Patients
Singapore TBD TBD TBD F2F - With Patients

Malaysia

7-8 October 2023 TBD TBD F2F - With Patients
UK 14-29 October 2023 TBD TBD F2F - With Patients
UAE TBD TBD TBD F2F - With Patients
KSA 24-25 November 2023 22 Aug 2023 23 Aug 2023 F2F - With Patients
Egypt 1-2 December 2023 30 Aug 2023 31 Aug 2023 F2F - With Patients

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.
  • 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 ST4 or non-trainees working in the UK and applying for ST4 training 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 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).
  4. Applications from candidates living, but not working, in the UK with priority given to those nearing the end of their 7-year registration period.
  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 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), or who is expected to step up to ST4 in the next six months. It also refers to any non-trainee with an offer of an ST4 post to begin within the next 6 months which is dependent upon completion of the MRCPCH or a non-trainee who intends to apply for an ST4 post within 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 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 stepping up or applying for an ST4 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, if a candidate has failed the exam in one diet, they will not be eligible to apply for the exam in the next diet. For example, if a candidate fails an MCPCH Clinical exam sat in the 2023-1 diet in Malaysia, they would not be eligible to sit in 2023-2 diet in Malaysia but could reapply to sit in 2023-3 diet in Malaysia.
  • 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 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.