RCPCHStart structure and specimen questions

This assessment is new in content and format. We have a circuit with stations testing different skills.

Skills tested

  • Can you hand over to a colleague?
  • Can you take a ward round? 
  • Can you safely prescribe? 
  • Can you make decisions in a clinical situation where the diagnosis is not clear? 
  • Can you lead the team on the ward? 
  • Do you understand safeguarding children and the ethics that underpins our practice? 
  • Can you read a paper and take away the clinically important messages? 

Circuit layout

circuit diagram.jpg

Download RCPCHStart circuit photo


  • 12 assessors per circuit
  • 12 trainees per circuit
  • 12 objective assessments per candidate
  • the sequence in which a trainee takes the stations in the circuit will vary
  • the stations are eight minutes long
  • there are four minute breaks between each station
  • the entire circuit taking 188 minutes.

Example scenarios

Feedback sheet

At the end of each station the assessor will make an overall judgement of the trainee's performance:

  • significant concerns
  • development needed to achieve competence
  • meets competence  
  • above competence.

RCPCHStart Assessment feedback sheet (PDF, 136KB, 1 page)

Remember, we are not assessing to find outstanding trainees. We are looking for those trainees who meet the standard required; trainees who can perform at the level of a newly-appointed consultant.


For further information on how the scenarios are benchmarked please see:

RCPCHStart Benchmarking Standards (PDF, 275KB, 3 pages)

Contact information

Please contact start@rcpch.ac.uk if you have any further queries.