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How is my examination or training fee spent by the Colleges?

Fees are also used to support the activities of the three colleges (RCP, RCPE and RCPSG) in educating doctors and improving standards in patient care in the UK and across the world. Each of these Colleges are charities, and also membership subscription organisations. It is important to note that none receive any direct funding from government, the commercial or pharmaceutical sector, or other external organisations. See the information from each of the colleges below for more.

Royal College of Physicians, London

Since its foundation in 1518 the RCP's focus has been to support doctors and ultimately improve patient care and reduce illness. We aim to drive improvement in the diagnosis of disease, the care of individual patients and the health of the whole population.

As a registered charity, our vision is for the best health and care for all. Income from all our activities focuses on educating physicians and supporting them to fulfil their potential, improving services and leading the prevention of ill health across communities, alongside influencing the way that health care is designed and delivered.

This translates into a wide range of support for our 40,000+ members and wider healthcare community. We run a broad programme of educational opportunities including leadership development programmes aimed at promoting greater diversity and those which are career specific. This is in addition to the medical streaming service RCP Player. For trainees specifically, our active Trainees' Committee provides a voice for junior doctors to shape our work programmes and our policy and campaigns approach. Other examples of support include our interview skills training course which hundreds of members have benefitted from to date and the MTI scheme which supports overseas doctors to work in the NHS.

We encourage trainees to thrive in their careers with leadership support such as the Chief Registrar programme and Emerging Women Leaders, and on the ground support from the RCP network of college tutors and associates. For aspiring doctors at the very start of their careers, we offer free medical student membership and heavily discounted membership for foundation doctors. Initiatives such as the Turner-Warwick lectures provide trainees the opportunity to showcase research at the national level, and our dedicated programme of trainee events includes the increasingly popular Call the Med Reg and Medicine careers showcase. Many of our awards and scholarships are focussed on trainee doctors, providing both research and development opportunities, promoting new personal skills and career advancement. We host two academic journals, Clinical Medicine and Future Healthcare Journal, in which publishing for members is free. Trainee members shape our conferences programme and new quality improvement website, Medical care – driving change.

Our ambition for the best possible health and care is worldwide. We have an active global membership programme which includes discounted membership and targeted education and events.

Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

We have a strong UK and international presence with Fellows and Members based in over 100 countries. Our Fellows and Members are the driving force of the College. As a membership organisation and a registered charity, all of our work is enriched by the voluntary leadership, contributions and expertise of our global community of healthcare professionals. Income received from subscriptions, examination fees, donations and events enables us to put in place the infrastructure to help promote and improve the quality of health and patient care worldwide.

We recognise the value and contribution of trainees and are here to support you at all stages of your career. The College offers free membership to medical students and colleagues within the first two years of training and to refugees who are currently living in the UK and who have trained as doctors or who began studying medicine in their home country. We also offer substantial discounts to those working less than full time (LTFT) and those who are on maternity leave, paternity leave or adoption leave.

The College offers a vast education programme of specialty and general medical education as well as regular medical and training updates. We offer international access to events and symposia – watch live or catch up on demand at a time to suit you through the Education Portal, which also offers online and blended learning modules. This includes access to free information hubs, such as our digital hub on drug-related harms.

We are committed to playing our part in international efforts to develop a coordinated strategy towards achieving equity of health status and healthcare provision globally. We facilitate partnerships to support training and education internationally and to enable delivery of high-quality, sustainable healthcare locally in countries including Malawi and Zambia. We maintain competitive rates for our international Fellows and Members and use a system of tiered reduced subscription rates based on the World Bank Development Indicators.

Our Trainees and Members' Committee is one of the UK's most active and influential trainee groups and it ensures that the views and experiences of trainees are represented both within the College and externally to policymakers. Together with our Associate Regional Adviser (ARA) network, this helps to bring physicianly communities together in all regions of the UK, developing a strong ecosystem of College support for our current and future Fellows and Members.

Our podcast website hosts a wide range of content including a regular series by our Trainees and Members' Committee which discusses a range of career and clinical topics, such as Less Than Full Time and Treatment escalation plans. These podcasts often feature topic experts – further cementing the College as a "one stop shop" for educational content and career advice. We also offer a fortnightly podcast from the Physicians' Gallery at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh which explores the history of medicine.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow was established in 1599 with the purpose of improving standards of medical and surgical care. It was then, and remains today, the only multi-disciplinary Royal College in the UK.

Working together as one College, with care and compassion which reflects our charitable status, we ensure our 15,000+ members are able to deliver the best outcomes for their patients and inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals. Our College is an international community with Fellows and Members in the United Kingdom and across the globe and we ensure that our education and training advance professional development.

We use our income to invest in and deliver on priorities that allow us to continue to fulfil our charitable purpose, including:

  • Developing and delivering an educational and assessment programme that responds to and meets the needs of our members and their patients
  • Engaging with and connecting our members here in the UK and across the world
  • Amplifying the voices of our members to help inform public policy and ultimately, improve patient safety

Our College has a vibrant and dedicated Trainees Committee, operating on a UK-wide basis, that works to promote the interests and wellbeing of trainees.

We sponsor a number of trainee events in hospitals through our dedicated Membership Engagement team and our network of UK Regional Advisors, which provides invaluable support to our trainees locally.  We run assimilation programmes, in conjunction with NES (NHS Education for Scotland) for international medical graduates, who are new to working in the UK and the NHS. Our College also has one of the most generous scholarships and awards schemes in the UK.

As the only multidisciplinary medical Royal College in the UK, we are uniquely placed to amplify the voices of our members and help shape discussions around the future of health.

What is the level of English that is expected for PACES? Will I be communicating to patients in English?

All PACES exams are conducted in English, and we recommend your English language ability should be equivalent to IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Level 7.5 in each module.

If patients do not speak English, there will be a surrogate giving history on a patient's behalf, and all surrogates used will speak English.

I have been placed on a waiting list for the diet I applied for, what happens now?

If you have been placed on a waiting list by the three colleges, this waiting list is only applicable for the respective diet you have applied for and will not roll over into future diets. When the subsequent application window of PACES opens, this will mean your space on that current waiting list will now become null as we were unable to accommodate you a seat in the diet you applied for. A new waiting list will form per diet, and applications will only be considered for that specific diet aligned with the centres running during that particular time period.

You must submit a new application in order to be considered for the future diet, and any fees you paid for a previous diet will be refunded by your college of entry as a result of not gaining a space. Please get in touch with your college of entry if you are experiencing any error messages in applying for the new diet.

We can not transfer applications to future diets, nor can we transfer funds to future diets, as these must be refunded.

How many international PACES centres can I apply for during an application period?

You can apply to sit PACES in up to four different centres. This can be indicated on the online application form and you will be considered for a space in one of the centres. Whilst this offers an opportunity to apply to more centres, it does not increase your chances of getting a space in each centre. You must also be prepared to travel to any of your chosen centres.

When will I know the outcome of my application?

Candidates will be notified on the outcome of their application within 2 weeks from the application period closing date. MRCP(UK) Central Office aims to have a response to all candidates before the UK application period opens.

When should I expect to make a payment?

We will advise you when to complete payment of the examination fee. Instructions will be given within two weeks of the application period closing date. 

If you are paying by card will be able to use the 'pay now option' which will become active in your MyMRCP(UK) online account once your application is confirmed as successful.

I will not know the result of my current PACES attempt before I must apply for the next one. Can I still apply?

Yes. You may apply for a future diet of PACES in certain location (subject to normal eligibility requirements) if you have an outstanding result from a current attempt, or if you have not yet sat your current attempt. If you have applied and paid for a future exam and are successful in your current attempt, you will be automatically withdrawn and receive a 100% refund. If you are unsuccessful in your current exam but have paid for a future attempt, you will remain registered.

As only selected centres will be accepting provisional applications, we advise you to check the centre locations page for further information.

How are international PACES places allocated?

Some spaces in some centres are reserved for local trainees only.  We work with local organisers to identify those local trainees.  All remaining spaces will be allocated by the eligibility criteria. We will try to prioritise those who are near the end of their eligibility periods, however we cannot guarantee that every candidate will get a space on this basis.

Does the first come, first served rule still apply for international PACES centres?

No.  Candidates can apply at any time during an application period and be considered for a space (subject to normal eligibility requirements).  There is no advantage to applying early in an application period.

I am having problems completing my Form of Faith

It is advisable to print a copy of the form, complete it, scan and email it through to the relevant Form of Faith inbox.

I am trying to apply for PACES online but I can't due to a technical issue, what should I do?

Please fully complete a paper application form and send a scanned copy to your chosen college of entry, stating that you have experienced some technical issues.  Your College of entry may email you to ask some specific questions about the issue you experienced, with a view to trying to resolve any recurring technical problems.

How do I withdraw from an examination?

Candidates must submit the Withdrawal Request form below (or a letter or email will be accepted) to their administrative office as soon as possible, providing their name, RCP code number and date of birth.

Candidates who withdraw before the advertised closing date will be given a 90% refund of the exam fee, with 10% of the fee deducted as an administration charge.

Candidates who withdraw after the closing date will only be entitled to a 90% refund in exceptional circumstances providing documentary evidence can be supplied to support their request; any outstanding fees must be resolved in order to sit future MRCP(UK) examinations.

For further information please refer to section 3.10 of the MRCP(UK) Regulations/section 2.17 of the SCE Regulations for full details on our withdrawal process.

What if there are dates that I can't attend within the PACES assessment period?

Requests for specific dates can only be guaranteed when made on medical or compassionate grounds, supported by comprehensive documentary evidence . Candidates enter the PACES examination on the understanding that they could be allocated to any date within the main assessment period. Candidates who enter the examination in the knowledge that they may have work or personal commitments during the assessment period do so at their own risk.
Please note that any candidates who are booking clinical courses in preparation for the PACES Examination are strongly advised not to seek to book a course that falls within the main assessment period for the PACES Examination.

How can I get further feedback from my examination?

To request scanned copies of your marksheets please email the relevant college through which you sat your examination.

I would like to take PACES in a particular international centre, but I do not know whether I am eligible. What should I do?

Eligibility for all international centres is explained in the PACES exam centres section.


What happens if my stage 2 eligibility period finishes in the middle of a PACES main assessment period?

MRCP(UK) has removed the previous regulation requiring candidates to pass the MRCP(UK) Part 2 Written and PACES examinations within 7 years of passing Part 1. This has now been superseded by the new limited attempts policy. Candidates will have a maximum of six attempts at any part of the MRCP(UK) examination and will not be able to continue if they reach this level without passing. Candidates who achieved a pass in Part 1 longer than 7 years ago can now continue to apply for Part 2 Written or PACES, provided they have had fewer than six attempts.

Where can I find out about courses for the PACES Examination?

MRCP(UK) Central Office does not endorse courses for the PACES exam. There are however many organisations that organise courses, details of which can be found via the internet.

Is there a dress code for the PACES examination?

Dress and appearance are an important aspect of professionalism. You should dress in a smart and conservative manner. Your fingernails should be short and clean. You are usually required to wear a short-sleeved shirt or blouse, with no neck-tie, false nails, wrist-watch or wrist jewellery (a plain wedding ring may be acceptable) at examination centres in the UK. Candidates attending centres in the UK must come prepared to meet these criteria - failure to comply will mean that you cannot sit the exam, and in these circumstances you will not be eligible for a refund. Centres outside the UK have not imposed dress requirements at the present time, but where such policies are introduced, candidates will be expected to comply with them.

Can I choose my examination centre and date?

Candidates are currently unable to choose a PACES centre to sit their exam; they will be allocated an exam date and centre at random following acceptance of their application. MRCP(UK) Central Office will continue to develop the online application system with the aim of introducing a self-allocation system in the near future. Please check the PACES news section of the website regularly for updates.

Why did I not get a place in an international centre? Will I receive priority treatment in the future?

We are aware that demand for PACES places is growing year on year and we are continually working to grow capacity internationally.

It is not possible to guarantee a place to sit the exam due to the differences in arrangements across local organisers. Candidates whose application has been rejected should be aware priority treatment or special consideration will not be given to any subsequent applications made. Candidates are not permitted to transfer applications or fees between diets. Candidates must submit a new application form and the correct fee for every diet to which they apply.