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An insight into… MRCPCH

An insight into… MRCPCH

Sep 14, 2021.

If you’re a doctor looking to pursue Paediatrics as your career, then to progress onto ST3+ level, you’ll need to obtain the Royal College Qualification MRCPCH. Take a look at our latest blog for everything you need to know about the MRCPCH, the qualifications’ syllabus, how much it costs, exam formats and more.

What is the MRCPCH exam?

The MRCPCH exam is designed to test a doctor’s knowledge on Paediatrics. It’s mapped against the UK curriculum, informed by the latest research, evidence and most importantly, responsive to changes in the UK to support Paediatricians provide the highest-quality patient-centred care.

What does MRCPCH comprise of?

  • Foundation of Practice (FOP) theory exam
  • Theory and Science (TAS) – theory exam
  • Applied Knowledge in Practice (AKP)  theory exam
  • MRCPCH clinical exam

Foundation of Practice (FOP)

The Foundation of Practice (FOP) assesses a doctor’s knowledge, understanding and clinical decision making abilities.

  • The duration is 2-hours and 30-minutes
  • The questions typically comprise of 79-single-best-answer questions and 6-extended-matching-item-questions

Theory and Science (TAS)

The TAS tests basic scientific, physiological and pharmacological principles of clinical practice and evidenced-based-practice.

  • The duration is 2-hours 30-minutes
  • You can sit the FOP and TAS on the same day
  • The questions are typically a combination of 70-single-best-answer questions and 10-extended-matching-item-questions

You can sit the FOP and TAS on the same day and book at the same time.

Applied Knowledge in Practice (AKP)

AKP will test your knowledge, understand and clinical decision making abilities.

  • It comprises of two-exams
  • Each exam is of 2-hours 30-minutes
  • You can sit the exams on the same day
  • Each question carries its own weighting and you will see how much each question is worth in the test

What will I be tested on?

Each and every test will be against the Royal College’s syllabus which will test your knowledge on the following:

  • adolescent health medicine,
  • behavioural medicine/psychiatry,
  • cardiology,
  • dermatology,
  • emergency medicine,
  • endocrinology and growth,
  • ethics and law,
  • gastroenterology and hepatology,
  • genetics and dysmorphia,
  • haematology and oncology,
  • infection, immunology and allergy,
  • metabolism and metabolic medicine,
  • musculoskeletal,
  • neonatology,
  • nephro-urology,
  • neurodevelopment and neurodisability,
  • neurology,
  • nutrition,
  • ophthalmology,
  • palliative care and pain medicine,
  • patient safety and clinical governance,
  • pharmacology,
  • respitatory medicine with ENT,
  • safeguarding
  • and last but not least, science of practice.

The final piece of the MRCPCH puzzle is to sit the Clinical examination!

To sit the clinical examination, you’ll need to:

  • Complete a period of training that’s lasted 2.5 years from your primary medical qualification
  • Have spent no less than 12-months in posts involving the care of emergency paediatric patients
  • Have spent six months of your first year after graduation as a house paediatrician; if not, an additional six months in a post involving the care of emergency paediatric patients

You can sit the clinical exam the UK, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Singapore, Sudan and UAE.

What’s the purpose of the MRCPCH Clinical?

MRCPCH Clinical is designed to assess whether your clinical skills have reached that of a newly appointed ST4.

You’ll be expected to demonstrate your profiency in:

  • Communication
  • History taking and management planning
  • Establishing rapport with both parents and children
  • Physical examination
  • Child development
  • Clinical judgment
  • Organisation of thoughts and actions
  • Recognition of acute illness
  • Knowledge of paediatrics and child health
  • Professional behaviour
  • Ethical practice

What’s the format of the MRCPCH Clinical?

The assessment is structured via ten stations to test your clinical, development, history taking and communication skills.

Station 1: Clinical examination (9-minutes)

Station 2: Clinical examination  (9-minutes)

Station 3: Clinical examination (9-minutes)

Station 4: Clinical examination (9-minutes)

Station 5: Development x2 (22-minutes)

Station 6: History taking x2 (22-minutes)

Station 7: Communication A (9-minutes)

Station 8: Communication B (9-minutes)

Station 9: Video A (9-minutes)

Station 10: Video B (9-minutes)

For access to further information, please click here to view the guide.

How much does the MRCPCH cost?

Exam fees range from £773 (UK) to £1500 (UAE), depending on what country you opt to sit the exam in. Take a look on the MRCPUK website for up to date details on costs for UK examination centres and international examination centres, and for details of which centres run for which examinations.

How do I apply?

For more information on how to apply (either in the UK or an overseas centre), how places are allocated and what to expect after your application submission, please visit the RCPCH (Royal College of Paediatricsw and Child Health) website where you will also find information on any adaptations to exams following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The MRCPCH qualification is a fantastic way to evidence your specialist knowledge, skills and experience but it’s also a very tough examination… Make sure you give yourself enough time to prepare, speak to colleagues who have sat the exam and most importantly, stay calm.

Good luck!