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.

We now have a new online booking system, so do please read our instructions even if you have applied for this exam before.
Last modified
9 April 2020

COVID-19 update

We have taken the extremely difficult but necessary decision to postpone all scheduled MRCPCH clinical examinations in the UK and internationally from now until the end of August 2020.

We are pulling together some frequently asked questions (FAQs) which will be published on the Exam web pages very soon. This FAQ will be regularly reviewed and will be updated whenever necessary. 

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 be proposed by one sponsor (or proposer). The sponsor is expected to certify from personal knowledge and repute that the candidate has had a period of training in paediatrics which complies with the exam regulations and is considered ready to take the exam.

  • Ideally, your sponsor is your current educational supervisor or senior colleague with whom you have worked for at least a three month period.
  • Ideally, your sponosr is an RCPCH member or Fellow. We understand that this may not be possible for candidates outside the UK. In that case, it is appropriate to use a senior colleague who can testify that you have adequate experience and competence to achieve the standards required in MRCPCH Clinical.
  • Your sponsor will be notified if you receive a poor overall mark or receive an unprofessional conduct concern.
  • We expect MRCPCH Clinical exam candidate sponsors to refuse to sponsor candidates whose training or competence is considered unsuitable.

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

  • full name
  • RCPCH number (if known / available)
  • 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 five 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.

For clinical examination held overseas start and end times may vary slightly 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. Due to changes within the UK Banks Clearing System, bank drafts and cheques are scanned and processed electronically and the paper originals destroyed. This means that if there were a payment issue, we would not be able to return bank drafts and cheques, and funds would not be processed.

Exam 2020 exam fee
UK £773
Egypt £1,145
India £1,450
KSA £1,500
Malaysia £1,280
Myanmar £1,082
Nepal £1,082

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)

£1,500
Singapore (Conjoint MMED - MRCPCH Clinical fee) £1,450
Sudan £1,220
UAE £1,500
Hong Kong Contact HKCP for 2020 fee

Dates of exams and application periods

2020.1 diet

Country Exam date Application open date Application close date
Myanmar 22 and 23 January 2020 Closed Closed
India (Ahmedabad) 18 and 19 January 2020 Closed Closed
Oman 17 and 18 January 2020 Closed Closed
UK 15 - 23 February 2020 Closed Closed
Hong Kong Postponed* Closed Closed
Malaysia 29 February and 1 March 2020 Closed Closed
Egypt Postponed* Closed Closed
KSA (Jeddah) Postponed* Closed Closed
Sudan Postponed* Closed Closed
Nepal Postponed* Closed Closed

2020.2 diet

Country Exam date Application open date Application close date
UK Postponed* Closed Closed
UAE Postponed* Closed Closed
Singapore Postponed* Closed Closed
Malaysia Postponed* Closed Closed
KSA (Jeddah) Postponed* Closed Closed
Egypt Postponed* Closed Closed

2020.3 diet

Country Exam date Application open date Application close date
UK 26 October - 1 November 2020 20 July 2020 31 July 2020
India 19 and 20 September 2020 17 June 2020 18 June 2020
KSA (Jeddah) 21, 23, and 24 September 2020 24 June 2020 25 June 2020
Singapore 3 and 4 October 2020 29 June 2020 5 July 2020
Malaysia 10 and 11 October 2020 09 July 2020 10 July 2020
Hong Kong 20 and 21 October 2020 15 June 2020 10 July 2020
UAE 6 and 7 November 2020 23 July 2020 24 July 2020
Egypt 11 and 12 December 2020 08 Sep 2020 09 Sep 2020

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, which for UK exams is usually two to three weeks. Overseas application periods are normally no longer than two days. Application periods will open at 09:30 GMT (local time in the UK) on the first day and close at 16:30 GMT on the last day.
  • 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 this.
  • 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.

Applications are accepted based on the number of places available. Your application may be returned if places are not available. If this happens to you, your seven year MRCPCH registration period will be extended by one examination sitting.

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 (outcome 3 or 4 of the last Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP) which must be confirmed by the LETB/deanery) in order received
  2. applications from candidates working in the UK based on current stage of training (for example, ST3 prioritised over ST2)
  3. priority applications from candidates working in the UK in order received
  4. other applications from candidates working in the UK in order received
  5. priority applications from candidates working overseas in order received
  6. other applications from candidates working overseas in order received.

Note: Applicants not currently operating within the UK training programme are not prioritised (point 4, above).

If you are at a career critical stage you are encouraged to submit your application early to improve your chances of placement.

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 application status. 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 are allocated using the following criteria, in this order - for candidates who currently work in:

  1. the host country and whose seven year registration period (7YRP) is nearing expiry
  2. countries where there is no established MRCPCH clinical exam host centre and whose 7YRP is nearing expiry
  3. the host country
  4. countries where there is no established MRCPCH Clinical host centre
  5. countries where there is an established MRCPCH Clinical host centre and whose 7YRP is nearing expiry
  6. 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.

Contact us on exams@rcpch.ac.uk or +44 20 7092 6000 (ask for Exams team).

Getting to the exam booking system

Our new online booking system went live in September 2019. We recommend you use a modern browser such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Safari - and not Internet Explorer.

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 three or 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 and Singapore

Candidates in the UK and most clinical exam centres in other countries (including Egypt, 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 and Singapore exams 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

Singapore - host contact information

  • Contact: Mr Tan Beng Kong Nicholas
  • Telephone: 0065 6601 1990
  • Email: gsmtbk@nus.edu.sg
  • Website: Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
  • Postal address: Mr Tan Beng Kong Nicholas, Division of Graduate Medical Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Blk MD3, Level 2, 16 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597

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.

What to do on the day

Make sure you are at the test centre by the registration time, which is on your admissions document. Candidates who arrive after their exam circuit has begun will not be permitted to sit the exam.

You will need to bring your final placement letter with you.

You must also bring one form of identification that includes a signature and recent photograph, such as:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • hospital ID card.

A travel card will not be accepted.

If you have recently changed name - for example, through marriage - you will need to provide official supporting evidence to both the Exams team and the test centre.

You will not be permitted to take anything onto the exam circuit. If you need anything else, you must include this request for reasonable adjustments in your online application.

Your personal belongings will be securely stored during the exam. Please collect these items after your exam(s) have finished. The College and the test centre take no legal responsibility for any loss or damage caused to personal belongings stored in the test centre.

Once you have registered you will be asked to fill in the relevant sections of your exam station mark sheets using pencil. Please write your name and write and highlight your candidate number on each mark sheet. You will find a route map within your mark sheet pack that will tell you your start station and the order of stations you will move through.

Talking with other candidates during the examination circuit is not permitted.

Once the Senior Examiner or Host Examiner has ushered you to your start station you will have approximately 4 minutes waiting time before the circuit begins.

Exam results

The results are published to your website account within six weeks of the exam date. For overseas centres, this process can take up to eight weeks. Log in to your account to view your results.

A results letter with detailed feedback will follow the week after the results are published online. 

More about exam results

Withdrawals, transfers, complaints and feedback

Requests for withdrawals

If you wish to withdraw after you apply, please send your request by email at exams@rcpch.ac.uk, post or fax.

  • If you withdraw after you submit an application but before the application period closes, you will not be charged.
  • If you withdraw after you have been placed and wish to request a refund you will need to include supporting evidence with your request. Requests must be received no later than 14 days after the exam date. Any refund that may be granted will depend on supporting evidence and is at the discretion of the Examinations Manager/Examinations Executive Committee.

Please refer to the exams regulations and rules for more details on refunds.

If you need to apply for a visa, please submit your application early in the application period and state this in your application. If you have difficulties obtaining a visa, you will not be automatically entitled to a refund.

Requests for transfers (UK centres only)

After you receive notification of your placement you may wish to make a request to transfer or change your exam date. If you do, please contact the Exams Team as soon as possible. If you are unable to transfer to a centre or date where there is an available space you will need to request a withdrawal - please see above.

If you do not inform us of any specific requirement you may have in your original application (e.g. a centre in the London area - not on a weekend) we may place you on a date or in a centre that might be difficult for you. If this happens, we may need to ask you to withdraw from the exam - see above.

Complaints and feedback

See our exams regulations and rules for information on how to make a complaint or provide feedback.

  • *. a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. k. Unfortunately, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we've had to cancel upcoming MRCPCH Clinical exams. We are putting together some frequently asked questions, which will be published on this website soon