DCH Clinical examination - FAQs

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Frequently asked questions of the Diploma of Child Health (DCH) examination


Q: What are the entrance requirements?
Q: What is the minimum standard of English language proficiency needed to pass the exam?
Q: How much paediatric training should I have?
Q: I have passed my Foundation of Practice theory exam. How long do I have to pass the DCH Clinical?



Q: Where will I be placed?
Q: When will I get my placement letter?
Q: I want to withdraw from the examination, what do I do?
Q: Can I transfer my fee or postpone to the next examination?
Q: What should I do if I cannot make one of the advertised dates?
Q: What identification can I take to the examination?
Q: Do you recommend any courses?


Q: When will the results be sent out?
Q: I wish to appeal against my result. What is the appeals process?
Q: Is there an appeals fee?
Q: When will I know the outcome of my appeal?

DCH Diploma



Q: What are the entrance requirements?

A: Candidates must have successfully registered for an RCPCH online exam account in order to be able to apply for any examination.

Q: Is there a minimum standard of English language proficiency required to pass the exam and if so what is it?

A: It is expected that applicants would be required to hold the minimum standards of English Language as outlined by the General Medical Council to pass this exam. Please see the GMC website for further details.

Q: How much paediatric training should I have?

A: It is recommended that candidates should have 4-6 months experience in paediatrics, although this is not a pre-requisite in the UK. If a candidate will be taking the exam in Hong Kong, 6 months paediatrics is required.

  Q: I have passed my Foundation of Practice theory exam/DCH Clinical exam. How long do I have to pass the DCH Clinical exam/Foundation of Practice exam?

A: You have 7 years in which you must have passed the remaing / other part of the DCH. After your 7 years has expired you must retake/re-sit the part that you have already passed whether that be  Foundation of Practice theory or DCH Clinical


Q: What if I have changed my name?

A: Candidates who have changed their name by marriage, deed poll or citizenship of another country must submit original documentary proof if they wish to apply under their new name. This also applies to candidates whose degree certificate contains initials or abbreviations e.g. Dr Mohd Hassan or Dr M Mahmoud Hassan.

Q: How do I request a reasonable adjustment for my exam?

A: The additional requirements section on the online application form is only to be completed when candidates request adjustments to their examinations due to the following:

Medical Conditions

Any medical condition/s that may require disabled access facilities, extra time allowance, extra items/materials to be arranged/confirmed with the test centre prior to the exam date.

It will be helpful if candidates can provide information/evidence supporting whether the condition is short or long term in order that arrangements can be made for future exams with the RCPCH.

Some medical conditions may not necessarily require adjustments, e.g pregnancy. However, it is still important that we are made aware in case of an emergency.

Learning Difficulties          

The Examinations Team request that suitable evidence is provided in the form of a report from an approved assessor. This assessment needs to have been undertaken, and provided, in English and be obtained after the age of 16. The submitted document will ideally be the most recent assessment/report available. All relevant reports/other key additional evidence must be provided before we can grant adjustments for your examination.

You may have previously submitted supporting documents with regards to your reasonable adjustment request. However, we may ask, based on specific requests for adjustment, that a more current report is submitted in order that we can provide you with the most suitable adjustment.

Please ensure that your report/evidence:

  • includes recommendations for examination
  • includes issuer’s contact details
  • is the most current record/report available.

*IMPORTANT* If content does not specifically relate to exam adjustment requests please leave Additional Requirements section of the online application form empty  

We ask that you submit an assessment report/other relevant evidence by post to the following address:

Examinations Administrator
<Exam Name>
5-11 Theobalds Road

Scanned reports can also be emailed to examination.enquiries@rcpch.ac.uk. Please ensure to clearly identify the name and date of the examination within the email subject header before sending. 

Detailed requests for adjustment to examinations along with the relevant report/assessment evidence must be submitted to the Examinations Team no later than 7 weeks prior to the examination date applied for. Although all efforts will be made to accomodate requests supported by evidence late submission may reduce the likelihood of reasonable adjustment being granted for the exam.

Once your report is received the recommendations will be reviewed. Should it be possible to provide the requested adjustment/s arrangements will be made and the relevant exam centre will be informed.

Usually admission documents for candidates requiring reasonable adjustments are sent later than the standard date, this is due to the fact that more time may be required to process in some cases.

Q: What are the DCH Clinical Fees for 2017?

A. For candidates who are applying to sit the Foundation of Practice and DCH Clinical at the same time, please submit two separate payments when applying through the online application system.

For 2017,

  • Foundation of Practice theory exam: £300 more
  • DCH Clinical exam: £490 more

 Q: How can I pay? Can I pay by credit or debit card?

A: You may pay by by credit card or debit card. 

We accept the following credit cards: Visa, MasterCard. We accept the following debit cards: Switch. Solo, Visa Electron.

If you have any queries regarding payment please contact the RCPCH Examinations Team.

Q: How do I apply?

A: First, create or sign in to your RCPCH online account

Once you are signed in, you can register for examinations - go to Account and to the Exams tab, and select your qualification goal (ie DCH). 

Once you are registered, you can apply online for the FOP during an examination application period (please note paper applications are not accepted) or you can apply online for the DCH Clinical


Q: Have you received my application? I am a UK candidate.

A: Once you have submitted your online application, you will receive an email confirmation. You can also log in to your RCPCH account to check the status of your submitted applications.

  Q: I need to inform you of a change of address; what do I do?

A: You can update your own details when signed in to your RCPCH online account.

Go to Account (in website header) and to Update My Details.

Or, you can send a letter or fax to the DCH Clinical Administrator - please include your full name, RCPCH registration number and new address. Please sign the letter or fax.


Royal College Paediatrics and Child Health
Examinations Team 
DCH Clinical
5-11 Theobalds Road

Fax number: +44 (0)20 7092 6193

Q: What is waitlisting and how does it affect my seven-year registration period?

A: Applications for the DCH Clinical examination will be accepted dependent upon the number of places available. Consequently, applicants completing online applications may be notified that they have been waitlisted if sufficient places are not available.

All candidates affected by these circumstances will have their seven-year DCH registration period extended by one examination sitting and be awarded priority status for the next exam.  Places are allocated to candidates based on date submitted.

Candidates who are not initially allocated a place will be placed on a waiting list for the exam they have applied for, in order of application status. If any placed candidates withdraw or more places are made available, candidates on the waiting list will be contacted and offered these places, in order, up to two weeks before the first day of the examination.

Q: If I am waitlisted what must I do? 

A: We should have notified you that you have been waitlisted.

Although this does not happen often, some DCH Clinical exam diets may require us to have a waitlist due to a shortage of places available.

Candidates who cannot be allocated an immediate placement will be emailed and asked whether they wish to stay on the waitlist in case any spaces become available. If candidates do not wish to do this they can opt to have priority status for the next DCH Clinical exam.

If you stay on the waitlist and we cannot offer you a place you will automatically be given priority status for the next exam if you are available to take it then. If we are able to offer you a place we will email you first before confirming this placement and taking payment. If you choose the priority option we will email you nearer to the exam application date, ask you to apply online, and your placement will be guaranteed.  


Q: Where will I be placed for my DCH Clinical?

A: Candidates cannot choose where they would like to sit the DCH Clinical exam, and the College cannot guarantee that candidates will be placed at a centre near their home or workplace. The Exams Team endeavour to take into consideration where candidates live, whenever and wherever possible.

Candidates must be aware that the DCH Clinical exams are held in venues across the United Kingdom therefore candidates can potentially be placed at a hospital/exam centre anywhere in the UK. If you have any special needs you must inform us when you submit your online application form. Please inform us of any particular requests of dates or reasonable adjustment etc. at the earliest opportunity.

  Q: When will I get my placement letter?

A: Candidates for the UK examination will be sent a placement letter, usually about 4 weeks before the examination.

All candidates will be sent a letter giving their placement, a timetable and map. This counts as an Admission Document and you must take the letter and ID with you to the examination.

Q: I want to withdraw from the examination, what do I do?

A: Withdrawals must be submitted in writing (email, fax, letter). Withdrawals after the closing date may be entitled to a refund depending upon the circumstances (e.g. medical, bereavement etc). Evidence must be supplied if requesting a refund (e.g. medical certificate). All refund requests remain at the discretion of the Examinations Team.

Difficulties in obtaining a Visa do not currently qualify for an automatic refund. If you need to apply for a Visa please apply for the exam at the beginning of the application period and state clearly that you need a letter for your Visa application.

Q: Can I transfer my fee or postpone to the next examination?

A: No. Candidates need to withdraw from the exam and request a refund if they have supporting evidence with regards to the reason for withdrawal.

 Q: What should I do if I cannot make one of the advertised dates?

A: If you have any special needs you must inform us before we place people for the exam, we are not responsible for placing you somewhere you cannot go or a date you cannot make if you have not informed us.

In this case you will probably be asked to withdraw from the examination if you cannot make it. It is not usually possible to transfer candidates from one date, or venue, to another. 

It is also important that you look at the website regularly to see notices of any changes to the dates.

Q: What identification can I take to the examination?

A: Passport, hospital ID card or Driving Licence if it has a photo. Other forms of documentation may be acceptable provided it contains a signature and photo, (but not travel cards).

Q: Do you recommend any courses/resources?

A: Recognised preparatory material for the DCH theory paper (shared paper with MRCPCH Foundation of Practice theory exam) is the MRCPCH Mastercourse

DCH Clinical candidates may benefit from attending an RCPCH run course for preparation for the DCH Clinical

There is also a text book available Clinical Cases in Paediatrics. DCH Clinical Examination


Q: When will the results be sent out?

A: Results are sent out up to 5 weeks after the examination. Please do not contact us during this time as we receive a great number of calls and this will delay us sending out results.

You can also check your examination results through your online account

Please note we cannot give out results by phone. 

Q: I wish to appeal against my result. What is the process for appeals against the declared result?

A: If you wish to appeal against your result you must do it within 4 weeks of the exam result being sent out. If you miss this deadline then you will need to wait until after the next exam session (there are currently 2 exam diets per year). The board meeting to discuss appeals takes place 5-6 weeks after the results are issued.

Candidates who wish to appeal must submit a formal letter of appeal. The Appeals Panel will then consider this alongside the data and mark sheets outlining your performance in each station. Candidates should be aware that the Panel review all stations of the exam, not just the one(s) appealed against. Consequently, an appeal may result in a candidate's total overall mark being increased or reduced.

More about examination policies and regulations

Q: Is there an appeals fee?

A: Yes, candidates who wish to appeal must submit a fee of £210.00 with their appeal letter. If your appeal is successful, this fee will be reimbursed.

If your appeal is unsuccessful, the fee is not reimbursed. The Appeals Panel reserve the right however to reimburse the fee in exceptional circumstances.

Q: When will I know the outcome of my appeal?

A: Candidates will normally be informed of the outcome of their appeal two weeks following the Appeals Panel Review Meeting. This may take longer where additional investigation is required. An explanation of the final decision will be sent in writing. 

DCH diploma

q QQQQQ: What is a DCH Diploma? 
A: After having successfully completed the DCH Clinical Exam you will be issued with a Diploma certificate. This is to certify you are a holder of the Diploma in Child Health (RCPCH).

Q: How much is the DCH Diploma certificate fee? 

A: From 2016 onwards the DCH Diploma certificate Fee has been absorbed into the DCH Clinical examination fee. Successful candidates are no longer required to send separate payments for the issuing of certificates.

Q: When do I receive my DCH Diploma certificate? 

A: Successful candidates will recieve their diploma certificates approximately 5-6 weeks after the DCH Clinical results letters have been sent.

Q: I need a replacement Diploma. What do I do? 

A: If you sat the DCH Clinical Exam post 1 January 2000 with the RCPCH you will need to write to the Exams Team with full details on when you passed the exam, your RCPCH number and full contact details.  The replacement certificate fee is £25.

Q: I passed the DCH Clinical before 1 January 2000 and I need a replacement certificate. What do I do?

A:  The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) ran the DCH Clinical exam pre-1 January 2000.  We can provide a replacement certificate after confirming you have passed the exam with the RCP.  Please give full name, date of birth, date of completing the examination and any other details in order to verify with the RCP that you are able to get a replacement.