RCPCHStart (Specialty Trainee Assessment of Readiness for Tenure) is primarily an assessment of Clinical Decision Making and of Level 3 competencies not assessed elsewhere. 



The next RCPCHStart assessment will be held at the RCGP in Euston, London, on 26-27 October 2017. There will also be a one day RCPCHStart assessment held at the Clinical Assessment Centre at West Bromich Albion outside Birmingham, on Monday 13 November 2017.

The dates for 2018 are 11-12 April and 29-30 October.

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Application information

The application period for the October and November 2017 RCPCHStart Assessment has now closed.

The next application period for the April 2018 assessment opens on 1 December 2017, closing on 31 January 2018.

We aim to place General trainees over both sessions in October and November 2017, and Community Child Health and Neonatal trainees in November.

All other Paediatric subspecialties will be placed in the October 2017 session. 

You must complete online applications for the assessment. Please note that priority is given to Run Through applicants, particularly those already in ST8 posts. We also reserve the right to limit the amount of subspecialties represented at any given assessment.

We will prioritise applications with CCT dates closest to the assessment - please inform us at time of application if the CCT date given in the application is likely to change. It is advisable to apply for the assessment in a timely manner, as we may need to prioritise applications by date received after our initial placement by CCT.

An expectation to complete your CCT early is insufficient evidence of a change, and we will require confirmation from your Educational Supervisor before we accept an earlier date.
  • You can sign in, go to Account at the top of the site, and to START
  • RCPCHSTART Online Application Guidance Oct and Nov 2017  (PDF, 8 pages, 554KB) - for guidance on completion of the online form
  • RCPCHSTART Trainee Guidance Oct and Nov 2017 (PDF, 2 pages, 429KB) - for guidance on the application, assessment and feedback release
  • If you think you might gain your CCT early, or you have any other information that you think would be useful for us to know, please let the RCPCHStart Team know when you apply for the assessment.


  • RCPCHStart costs £250 on application for run-through trainees, and £850 for non run-through trainees.
  • Our withdrawal and refund policy requires that the necessary supporting documentation is supplied with the written notification of withdrawal. The full fee paid minus an administration charge of £40 will be refunded by means of the way it was paid. (Refunds are discretionary.) We will not be able to process any refunds received more than one month after the assessment date.


  • All trainees who have entered Level 3 training on or after 1 August 2011 are required to undertake the RCPCHStart Assessment before applying for their CCT. If you entered Level 3 training earlier but were on maternity leave / OOPE / OOPR / career break and only started work in your ST6 post on or after 1 August 2011, you also need to undertake the RCPCHStart Assessment. Any SpR 3-5 transferring to the run-through curriculum is strongly recommended to take RCPCHStart, although it is not mandatory, as it is an important part of preparation in becoming a consultant.
  • All trainees wishing to CCT in a sub-specialty must have a RCPCHStart assessment in that sub-specialty. We advise that you apply once you have been accepted for a GRID or Community Child Health post, and are working in that post. You should be confident that you are ready to be assessed in your sub-specialty before applying.

RCPCHStart and educational supervision

  • Please be aware that feedback should be discussed with your educational supervisor within four weeks of the feedback being released to formulate a plan to address any areas identified for development. Your supervisor should use the RCPCHStart Targeted Feedback October 2016 (PDF, 347KB, 5 pages) to help them do this. Trainees should also read this document.
  • Scores and feedback are not reviewed as they are part of a formative assessment. You need to discuss your feedback with your educational supervisor who will be able to help you interpret the suggestions in the feedback into a development plan.

If your supervisor has any reflections on this they can contact us by email at start@rcpch.ac.uk 

RCPCHStart and ARCP (Annual Review of Competence Progression) 

  • Scores and feedback are not reviewed as they are part of a formative assessment. You need to discuss your feedback with your educational supervisor who will be able to help you interpret the suggestions in the feedback into a development plaRCPCHStart Board Statement (September 2013) (PDF, 110KB, 2 pages) - please read for information about RCPCHStart and ARCP.
  • Note that any requests to take RCPCHStart again must be discussed by the RCPCHStart Executive on a case-by-case basis.

Guidance and further resources


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

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