Assessment and examinations

The RCPCH provides a comprehensive assessment system for paediatric trainees, including the RCPCH ePortfolio, online tools, and RCPCHStart, the assessment for Level 3 trainees. We offer two types of examinations: the membership examination (MRCPCH) and the Diploma of Child Health (DCH). 


Our assessment system tests a trainee’s skills, knowledge and behaviours against those identified in the curriculum.

Undertaken in the right way, workplace based assessment provides opportunities for trainees to focus on their learning and to receive constructive feedback on their progress.


Download An informative guide to formative and summative assessment for paediatric trainees and trainers (PDF, 767 KB)

More about RCPCH assessments and tools

Examinations (MRCPCH and DCH)

Membership of the Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health (MRCPCH) is achieved by passing a series of examinations. MRCPCH examinations are usually taken during the period of basic specialist training, which normally lasts two to three years, and is the normal entry requirement for Core Specialist Training in paediatrics. The MRCPCH is:

  • an essential component of training for paediatricians in the UK
  • responsive to changes in UK training
  • mapped to the UK curriculum
  • approved by the General Medical Council (GMC) as meeting the required standards
  • informed by the latest research and evidence based.

The Diploma in Child Health (DCH) is designed to give recognition of competence in the care of children to General Practitioner vocational trainees, staff grades in paediatrics and trainees in specialties allied to paediatrics.

More about sitting RCPCH examinations


RCPCHStart (Specialty Trainee Assessment of Readiness for Tenure) assesses the abilities of Level 3 trainees (in the UK) in clinical decision making and helps address any gaps in training - in preparation for becoming a consultant paediatrician.

More about RCPCHStart


Examiners play a key role in the delivery of both the MRCPCH and DCH. We provide a comprehensive training programme

More about becoming an RCPCH examiner

Tax relief

Examination candidates and trainees in the UK may claim tax relief on their examination fees and training fees (including for RCPCHStart).  

More about tax relief

Verification of membership and examination qualifications

We offer verification of membership and examination qualifications at the College for the following purposes:

  • Employment
  • Academia
  • Awards
  • General Medical Council/ Irish Medical Council verification.

More about verification