Examinations news and dates

Any changes to the timing, content or structure of an exam will appear on this page. Examination dates, where known, can be found in the relevant dates page for each session.

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Changes to the Part 1 centre in India

From Autumn 2017, the Part 1 examination will be offered in Delhi.

Changes to the timing of the Certificate of Higher Cervical Cytology Training

From 2018, this examination will be offered once a year in the Autumn session. 

Changes to the Part 2 Examination in Medical Microbiology

From Autumn 2017 onwards, the format of the FRCPath Part 2 Medical Microbiology examination will change. The changes, which have been approved by the General Medical Council, are designed to make the exam more accurately reflect the role of the consultant microbiologist in modern NHS practice; to be in line with new, revised curricula in Medical Microbiology specialty training; and to strengthen the reliability of the examination.

The new-format examination will last two days and be structured as follows:

Structured essay paper and Short-Answer Questions (SAQs): 2 ½ hours

1 essay (from a choice of 2) followed by 10 SAQs.

SAQs to be based on clinical and laboratory scenarios and to include:

  • Data interpretation
  • Report validation
  • Laboratory management, including quality assurance, laboratory error/incidents, lab safety
  • Clinical investigation and management
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Anti-microbial stewardship

Critical Appraisal Paper and SAQs: 2 ½ hours

1 journal article to critically appraise (from a choice of 2) followed by 10 SAQs (as described above).

Practical Scenarios: 3 ½ hours

  • A series of images, data and other laboratory-based material will be presented with clinical scenarios for which candidates provide interpretation and construct management plans.
  • Clinical scenarios and laboratory material evolve with additional information during the exam to simulate day-to-day clinical practice

Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE): 3 hours

At least 15 stations.

The Spring 2017 Part 2 Medical Microbiology examination will follow the current format.

 

Timing of the Molecular Pathology Examinations

The Part 1 examination in Molecular Pathology will be offered in Spring 2017. From 2018, this examination will be available in the Autumn session only.

A Part 2 examination in Molecular Pathology will be available annually from Autumn 2017. Further information will be available on the specialty page in due course.

Changes to the Genetics Examinations

From 2017 there will be changes to the timing and format of the examinations as follows:

Spring 2017: Part 1 written examination in Clinical Cytogenetics, Molecular Genetics and Genetics. This will be the last opportunity to sit the Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics examinations.
Part 2 Oral examinations in Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics.

Autumn 2017:    Part 1 practical examination in Clinical Cytogenetics, Molecular Genetics and Genetics. This will be the last opportunity to sit the practical examination at Part 1. The Part 1 written examination in Genetics will also be available and henceforth in the Autumn examination session.

From 2018, candidates who have been successful in the Part 1 Practical examination will continue to proceed to the Part 2 Oral examination. Candidates who are successful in the written examination but not the practical examination will proceed to a new format Part 2 Oral and Practical examination in combined Genetics regardless of the written paper taken. The Part 1 written examination will be available in the Autumn session only and the Part 2 practical and oral in the Spring session only. The Part 1 examination will be offered in the combined Genetics only. The standard of the practical in Part 2 will be comparable to the practical in Part 1. 

The Part 2 oral examination in Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics will be available until Spring 2020.

The Part 2 examination will be modularised so candidates will have the option to sit their practical and oral components in separate sittings and in an order which best fits their training. Candidates will no longer need to have passed their Part 2 written option before proceeding to the Oral/Practical and Oral examination but must have their project proposal approved prior to the closing deadline for the examination session in which they wish to sit.

The specialty page and Regulations and Guidelines for Genetics will be updated to reflect these changes soon.

 

Reproductive Science (formerly Clinical Embryology)

From 2017 there will be changes to the timing and format of the examinations as follows:

Spring 2017:      Part 2 Oral Examination

Autumn 2017:    Part 1 written examination

                           Part 2 Practical and Oral Examination (new format examination)

                           Part 2 Oral Examination (old format examination)

Please note there will be no Part 1 examination for Reproductive Science taking place in Spring 2017. The written examination taking place in the Autumn session will follow the same format as in previous years; the Part 1 Practical examination has now been discontinued.

Candidates who have previously taken and passed the Part 1 Practical examination will be eligible to proceed to the Part 2 Oral examination until Autumn 2020. This will be offered in both sessions.

Candidates who have passed the Part 1 Written examination but not the Part 1 Practical examination will proceed to the new format Part 2 Oral and Practical Examination, details of which are available on the specialty page for Reproductive Science.

Candidates will no longer need to have passed their Part 2 written option before proceeding to the Oral/Practical and Oral examination however they must have submitted and had approved a proposal prior to sitting the appropriate Part 2 examination.

Changes to the Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Examinations

From 2017 there will be changes to the timing and format of the examinations as follows:

 

Spring 2017: Part 1 written examination in its current format

Autumn 2017:    Part 1 practical examination for candidates successful in the Part 1 written examination

                          New format Part 1 written examination (for further information please see the specialty page)

                          Part 2 Oral Examination

 From 2018, candidates who have been successful in the Part 1 Practical examination will continue to proceed to the Part 2 Oral examination. Candidates who are successful in either the new format written examination or the old format written examination but not the practical examination will proceed to a new format Part 2 Oral and Practical examination.

 Candidates will no longer need to have passed their Part 2 written option before proceeding to the Oral/Practical and Oral examination but are strongly advised to have submitted a project proposal prior to sitting the appropriate Part 2 examination.

The specialty page and Regulations and Guidelines for H&I will be updated to reflect these changes soon.

Forthcoming changes to RCPath Examinations

The following changes to RCPath examinations will occur in 2017: 

•    Year 1 Objective Structured Practical Examinations (OSPEs) will be re-named Stage A Examinations. 

•    The specialty of Clinical Embryology will be re-named Reproductive Science. 

•    There will be changes to the format of the following examinations in 2017: Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics; Reproductive Science; and Part 2 Medical Microbiology in Autumn 2017 (the Spring 2017 examination will follow its current format). Details of these changes will be published here shortly. 

  • A Part 1 examination in Transfusion Science will be available on an annual basis with effect from Spring 2017

Timing changes to the Part 1 examinations:

The Reproductive Science Part 1 examination will be available in the Autumn sitting only with effect from 2017.

Confirmation of routes to FRCPath Part 2 examination in Molecular Pathology 

We have produced guidance on routes to the FRCPath Part 2 examination in Molecular Pathology. Full details can be found on the Molecular Pathology specialty information page

 

Certificate in Higher Cervical Cytology Training

The second paper for this examination will consist of 4 x 30 minute stations, which will be written exercises. The questions may also include cytological and histological slides for review and may be set in the context of an MDT meeting. The questions will include an understanding of the management of a cervical cytology laboratory participating in the National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP), changes and developments within the NHSCSP, and interpretation of statistical data regarding individual and laboratory performance.

Histopathology Part 2 Examination

We are offering the Part 2 Histopathology examination in Irbid, Jordan if there are sufficient numbers. Candidates interested in sitting the examination in this centre are advised to contact the Examinations Department on exams@rcpath.org when applying.

Egypt and Sudan 

We are pleased to announce that we now offer all FRCPath Part 1 written examinations in Cairo, Egypt and Khartoum, Sudan.