Question and scenario writing for examinations and assessments

Questions and scenarios for MRCPCH examinations and assessments are created through regional Question Setting Group (QSG) meetings and the MRCPCH Examination and Assessment Boards. Find out more and how to get involved.

Questions for MRCPCH theory exams

New questions for the theory exams (Foundation of Practice, Theory & Science and Applied Knowledge in Paediatrics) are written at local Question Setting Group (QSG) meetings, which are held at least once a year per region.

If you are an member with MRCPCH, you are welcome to attend a QSG in your region. You will need to first complete our online tutorial.

A Senior Theory Examiner or Principle Area Theory lead (PAT) facilitates the meeting and guides question writers as they work in small groups to produce new questions for one of more of the MRCPCH theory banks. The PAT reviews all questions before submitting them to the College for review’. 

We reimburse all reasonable travel expenses, but cannot cover accommodation costs.

If you would like to attend, please contact Eva at

Meeting dates of QSGs

Region Date Principle examiner Email
South England 1 May Dr Antoinette McAulay
North East
3 May Dr Carrie Mackenzie
North West
9 May Dr Rabin Mohanty
(CANCELLED) Dr Brian Kelly
North West
5 July Dr Nasim Mahmood
London 21 September Dr Richard Nicholl
27 September Dr Medhat Ezzat
East Midlands 28 September Dr Pradip Thakker
Wales 5 October Dr Gillian Body
West Midlands 31 October Dr Chizomam Agwu

About MRCPCH Theory questions

  • FOP - The questions comprise primarily conditions that are likely to be seen in the first six to 12 months of hospital, community or primary care practice. This exam focuses on the areas of child health that are relevant to all those who will be working with children in their medical careers, not just those entering mainstream hospital-based paediatrics. FOP also forms the theory component of the Diploma in Child Health (DCH) examination.
  • TAS - The emphasis is to test the basic scientific, physiological and pharmacological principles upon which clinical practice is based.
  • AKP (parts 1 and 2) - This tests judgment and experience. Each paper contains case history, data interpretation and photographic questions.

About the theory exam syllabus

MRCPCH Clinical - communication scenarios

The Communication Group writes these scenarios. They are roleplayer-based assessments aimed at testing the communication skills of candidates in a wide range of areas such as communication with a colleague, dealing with professional errors and giving information to teenagers.

If you wish to write any new questions please download the template from the bottom of this page and send to Anchelle at

MRCPCH Clinical - video scenarios

The Video Group films, writes and edits questions  for this station. It is intended to assess candidates' skills in dealing with acute cases that cannot be brought into the exam - for examples, babies that are fitting and acute conditions such as ITP.

Video questions can be written at the Examination and Assessment Boards and Principal Regional Examiner (PRE) meetings provided a member of the Video Group is in attendance. Video production and filming is tightly controlled for security.

If you wish to film for the College please contact Anchelle at to be advised of current policy.


RCPCHStart (Specialty Trainee Assessment of Readiness for Tenure) is primarily an assessment of Clinical Decision Making and of Level 3 competencies not assessed elsewhere. It takes the form of an OSCE involving 12 stations and up to 36 trainees per round and aims to assess certain competencies such as communication, management of complexity and decision making.

Stations are centred around either a general or sub-specialty scenario, and involves the trainee reading the scenario prior to entering the station and discussing it with the assessor. There may also be elements of role playing within the station.

Scenarios are normally generated and reviewed at the RCPCH Examination Boards by a group of clinicians made up of members of the core RCPCHStart panel and CSAC members.

About becoming an RCPCHStart assessor