Question and scenario writing

Questions and scenarios for the MRCPCH examinations are created on a regional level through Question Setting Group (QSG) meetings. Find out more and how to get involved.

On this page:

On other pages:

QSG meetings 2018

A PAT (Principal Area Theory Lead) organises a question writing meeting at least once a year in their region. Members are invited by region or deanery/LETB and by grade.

The facilitator will start the all-day meeting with a presentation on the day's format.

The Senior Examiners (question lead) and the theory examinations they cover are:

  • Dr Jean Glass - Foundation of Practice and Theory & Science 
  • Dr Joanna Walker- Foundation of Practice and Theory & Science
  • Dr Robert Primhak - Applied Knowledge in Practice

With support from the Senior Examiners (question lead) and working in groups, attendees:

  • write questions for one of the theory examinations
  • review questions that need more work.

QSG meetings 2018 (PDF, 94.6 KB) - these dates are subject to change

We will reimburse all reasonable expenses.

If you are interested in attending or hosting a QSG meeting please contact Eva on

CPD guidelines

Changes affecting exams and question writing processes (PDF, 71 KB, 2 pages)

About CPD scheme

E-learning on effective question writing

This aims to help question setters write good and effective questions for the MRCPCH theory examinations.

This has replaced our paper version of the ‘How to write questions' booklet, and should be used as a guide and reference when questions are being written or reviewed. More detail on our PAT page, or contact Sheran at

Access the e-learning

Theory examination syllabus

This syllabus for learners and teachers aims to clarify the core knowledge requirements for paediatricians attempting the theory examinations. Plese read along with the existing Curriculum for paediatric training in general paediatrics.

Theory examination syllabus (PDF, 6.18 KB, 46 pages)

Question writing for FOP, TAS and AKP

The questions in the Foundation of Practice (FOP) examination are those conditions that are likely to be seen in 6 to 12 months of hospital, community or primary care practice. FOP also forms the theory component of the Diploma in Child Health (DCH) examination.

The emphasis of the Theory and Science (TAS) examination is to test the basic scientific, physiological and pharmacological principles upon which clinical practice is based.

Questions in the Applied Knowledge in Practice (AKP) part 1 and 2 are to test judgment and experience. Each paper contains case history, data interpretation and photographic questions.

Communication and video scenarios

Communication scenarios simulate (via role-play) encounters that candidates will face in real life paediatric practice at Specialty Trainee 4 (ST4) level.

Video scenarios assess the diagnosis and treatment skills of acute cases that cannot be brought in to test on the day of examination.


For more information on how to write, submit or attend a question writing group, visit the PAT section or contact Eva on

For more about communication and video scenarios, contact Anchelle on