Examination News and Dates

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

Autumn 2020                                   Spring 2021

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Examinations News

Stage A Chemical Pathology Examination

31 July 2020

The College regrets to inform candidates that the September sitting of the Chemical Pathology Stage A Examination has been postponed pending further guidance from the GMC.

Candidates have been notified personally of this development and will be updated once the route to progression through training in light of this decision has been confirmed.

Candidates will have their examination fee refunded and the College will aim to give at least twelve weeks' notice of any revised dates.

Temporary derogation of examination attempt numbers, Autumn 2020

30 July 2020

Part 1/Certificate/Diploma Examination Dates Autumn 2020

29 July 2020

As advised in our news post of 27 July, the move to online examinations has required some changes to the dates of the Part 1/Diploma/Certificate examinations in order to accommodate all candidates on the TestReach server. These will now take place on Tuesday 22, Wednesday 23, Thursday 24 and Wednesday 30 September as follows:

Tuesday 22 September: Clinical Biochemistry, Immunology, Infection/CICE, Medical Genetics and Medical Microbiology & Virology

Wednesday 23 September: Dermatopathology, Genetics, H&I, Molecular Pathology, Veterinary Pathology, Veterinary Clinical Pathology

Thursday 24 September: Haematology, Haematology Clinical Science, Oral Pathology, Reproductive Science

Wednesday 30 September: Histopathology

Autumn 2020 Arrangements

27 July 2020

The following documents contain information regarding the delivery methods for the Autumn examinations and some frequently asked questions to accompany the Spring 2020 deferral questions. Please read both new documents.

Autumn 2020 Examinations

10 July 2020

Applications for the Autumn 2020 examinations are now closed and candidates will have their entry to the session confirmed on 31 July 2020. We are in the process finalising the arrangements for delivery of the examinations - some Part 1 and Part 2 dates may be subject to change as a result of this - and are awaiting regulatory approval for the changes. This process has taken longer than anticipated but as soon as we have this we will be able to inform candidates of the method of delivery of their examination and we aim to have this information available ahead of confirming entries.

We understand that candidates are concerned about the approaching withdrawal deadline, and if we are unable to confirm the method of delivery before that date, we will look at extending the deadline further.

Clinical Biochemistry Part 2 Autumn 2020

19 June 2020

Please note that due to venue availability for Module 1, the dates for the Part 2 examination in Clinical Biochemistry have changed slightly. Module 1 will now be held on Wednesday 16 September, and Module 2 on Friday 18 September.

For Module 1, we are looking into using multiple centres across the country, with the aim of reducing travel for candidates as much as possible. Appropriate social distancing measures will also be in place. We hope to confirm centres in early July. We are still exploring the possibility of holding Module 2 remotely online, subject to regulatory approval, and as previously announced we hope to have more details on this by the end of June, and confirmed by the end of July. Thank you for your patience. 

Transfusion Science Part 1 postponement

19 June 2020

In response to trainee concerns about workload and disruptions to exam preparation, the Part 1 examination in Transfusion Science scheduled for Autumn 2020 will be postponed to Spring 2021. 

Histopathology Part 2 Autumn 2020

5 June 2020

Due to the high number of candidates, we will be running two sittings of this examination – 13&14 October, and 26&27 January. Candidates who wish to sit in January should apply as normal for the Autumn session. Once applications close, all candidates will be contacted for their date preference. Please do not email us your request until we have contacted you.

While we cannot guarantee you the date of your choice, we will try wherever possible to accommodate candidates' preferences, with priority given to those candidates entered for Spring 2020. Candidates who do not receive their preferred date and are unable to sit the exam on the date allocated will be entitled to withdraw with a refund. 

Please note, those candidates who sit in January will not be able to re-sit in the Spring exam session. 

CHCCT Examination Autumn 2020

21 May 2020

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the College regrets to inform candidates that the Certificate of Higher Cervical Cytology Training will not be offered in Autumn 2020 due to logistical issues with the practical delivery of the examination. This decision has been taken with the best interests of candidate health and welfare in mind. Candidates will be advised as soon as possible when this examination will be offered in 2021.

Part 2 Examinations Autumn 2020

14 May 2020

In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic and uncertainty surrounding international travel, the College strongly advises Part 2 candidates who are based overseas to give serious consideration to their exam application. The College is exploring options for offering some Part 2 examinations in a remote format but this is not possible for Haematology, Histopathology, and Clinical Biochemistry Module 1, and so overseas candidates would need to travel to the UK to sit these examinations. Candidates should consider carefully the risks of international travel at this time. For the latest news on travel into the UK, please see the UK Home Office website

Candidates who withdraw at any point due to Covid-19 travel restrictions will have their fee refunded. 

Please note that the next overseas sitting of the Part 2 Histopathology examination will take place in Autumn 2021.

Candidate survey

1 May 2020

The College is conducting a survey of all existing examination candidates for the FRCPath, Certificate, Diploma and Stage A examinations and potential candidates for the BMS examinations and Autumn 2020 to gauge likely numbers for examinations for the remainder of 2020. Any candidates who applied for Spring 2020 or a Stage A exam, or are considering applying for Autumn 2020, Spring 2021 or the BMS examinations, are encouraged to complete the survey no later than Sunday 10 May.

Spring 2020 deferred examinations

1 May 2020

There will be no College examinations taking place before September 2020. Where feasible the Spring and Autumn sittings of examinations will be combined; in specialties where an examination is normally only run in the Spring session this will be accommodated in Autumn 2020. At Part 2 in the larger specialties there may be a further Autumn date in January 2021 to accommodate as many candidates as possible. The January examination would be an extension of the Autumn sitting and not an additional session in its own right.

The College will aim to give candidates at least 12 weeks’ notice of examination dates – some of these are already available on our website but may be subject to change. In smaller specialties this level of notice may not be possible for logistical reasons but will take place within the advised examination period.

Autumn 2020 examinations

1 May 2020

In the event of restrictions being in place to prevent transmission of Covid-19, there will be some changes in the way that examinations are delivered in Autumn 2020 – these may include online written examinations and viva/oral examinations using video conferencing but these changes are subject to regulatory approval. Once it is clearer what restrictions are likely to be in place in September/October, candidates will be notified of any changes to delivery of their examination.

Arrangements for the examination, once confirmed, will be made available on the College website.

Applications for the Autumn 2020 examination session will open on 15 May and close Friday 3 July. Please note that if you registered for the Spring 2020 examinations and have not withdrawn, you do not need to reapply for Autumn. If you registered for Spring 2020 and do not wish to sit this Autumn, please email us to withdraw. Thank you. 

Stage A BMS Reporting Examination

9 April 2020

The College regrets to inform potential candidates that the June sitting of the BMS Stage A Reporting Examination has been postponed until further notice in light of the current Covid-19 outbreak. The College will aim to give candidates 12 weeks’ notice of a rescheduled date.

This decision has been taken after discussion at all levels within the College and has been taken with the best interests of the candidates, examiners and centre organisers in mind.

The College is working closely with the IBMS to ensure that candidates can continue to work through their diploma.

Further information regarding rescheduled dates for examinations and applications will be available in due course.

Stage A Histopathology Examination

9 April 2020

The College regrets to inform candidates that the June sitting of the Histopathology Stage A Examination has been postponed pending further guidance in light of the current Covid-19 outbreak.

Candidates have been notified personally of this development and will be updated once the route to progression through training in light of this decision has been confirmed.

Candidates will have their examination fee refunded and the College will aim to give at least twelve weeks' notice of any revised dates.

Update for all Spring 2020 examination candidates

13 March 2020

The College regrets to inform candidates that the Spring 2020 FRCPath, Certificate and Diploma examinations and the first sittings of the Histopathology and Chemical Pathology Stage A examinations have been postponed until further notice in light of the current Covid-19 outbreak.

This decision has been taken after discussion at all levels within the College and has been taken with the best interests of the candidates, examiners and centre organisers in mind.

Candidates have been notified personally of this development.

In light of this decision, The College will be developing more guidance to help Heads of Schools and trainees when carrying out ARCPs in the spring, and working with external stakeholders to support them in developing similar guidance for other candidates, such as clinical scientists, as required.

Further information regarding rescheduled dates for examinations will be available in due course. We will be monitoring the situation carefully over the coming weeks and appreciate your patience as we work to confirm the details going forward. If you wish to withdraw from the examination and receive a refund of your exam fee, rather than have your exam entry deferred, please email exams@rcpath.org. You will still be entitled to a refund if you choose to withdraw later once the new exam dates are confirmed.

The President, Professor Jo Martin, has made a statement regarding the Spring session.

 

 

Changes to the exam application process

4 November 2019

The College has made improvements to its online examination application process, which means there are some slight changes to the way exam applicants will apply for future examinations.

From the end of November, when applications open for the Spring 2020 examinations, there will be a change in the process for submitting sponsor forms to sit any College examination. Sponsor forms must now be uploaded as part of the online application process, rather than emailed separately to the Examinations Department. The sponsor form will be made available on the applications page, where it can be downloaded and signed before starting the application process. The completed form must then be uploaded as part of the application. All candidates for FRCPath, Certificate, Diploma, Stage A and BMS examinations must upload a completed sponsor form in order to submit the application.

Exam applicants will also now be able to pause their application partway through, using a new Save and Continue function, enabling them to fit applying into a busy working week. Applications can be resumed throughout the duration of the relevant application period. Please note: any applications that are incomplete when the application period closes will not be saved or accepted.

We are excited about the changes to our application form and hope the new streamlined process makes it easier for exam candidates to apply to their chosen examinations.

Applications for the Spring 2020 examinations will open in the last week of November and close on Wednesday 8 January 2020. Potential candidates are strongly encouraged to make their application as early on in the application window as possible, to ensure they have sufficient time to have their sponsor form signed before the closing deadline. Candidates are reminded that, as per the Examinations Regulations and Guidelines, late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. 

Candidate conduct

16 September 2019

While the vast majority of candidates behave with complete integrity, following some recent incidents candidates are reminded that when they apply to sit one of the College's examinations they agree to abide by the Examinations Regulations and Guidelines.

These Regulations and Guidelines include a candidate misconduct policy. Candidate misconduct can take many forms, including memorising questions from an examination and reproducing them elsewhere (regardless of whether this is done for profit).

The College owns the copyright for its examination questions. Unauthorised reproduction of examination questions will be treated as breach of copyright and candidate misconduct.

Penalties for proven candidate misconduct can include declaring the result of an exam void, barring a candidate from applying for College examinations for a specified period, and reporting details of the misconduct to the General Medical Council, Health and Care Professional Council or equivalent regulatory body. Where the College's intellectual property has been infringed, the College also reserves the right to initiate civil proceedings, criminal prosecution or both.

Current and potential examination candidates are strongly encouraged to familiarise themselves with the College's Examination Regulations and Guidelines, which can he found here.

Changes to the Part 2 examination in Immunology

9 May 2019

The FRCPath Part 2 Immunology examination comprises three parts: a practical examination, an oral examination, and a written project.

The General Medical Council has approved the following changes for candidates in a UK medical training programme:

Trainees with a CCT date on or before 30 April 2020

The examination format is unchanged. Trainees must pass the FRCPath Part 2 Immunology examination including the written option as part of the FRCPath Part 2 exam in order to be eligible for a CCT in Immunology.

Trainees with a CCT date on or after 1 May 2020

Trainees must pass the FRCPath Part 2 examination but this does not need to include the written option. Trainees will, however, need to demonstrate that they have completed all relevant Work Place Based Assessments (which will be checked at ARCP) in order to be eligible for a CCT in Immunology.

Arrangements for Clinical Scientists sitting this examination are unchanged.

Changes to the Part 1 examination in Clinical Biochemistry

23 October 2017

From Autumn 2018, the Royal College of Pathologists will introduce a new format for the FRCPath Part 1 Clinical Biochemistry examination. The new examination will comprise a single paper of 125 multiple choice questions (MCQs) in single best answer format. 

Changes to the Part 1 examination in Veterinary Clinical Pathology

1 September 2017

From Spring 2019, there will be a change in the format of the Part 1 examination in Veterinary Clinical Pathology. The examination will comprise of two three hour papers each consisting of 20 structured short answer questions: sample questions and some further guidance can be found in the documents below.

Timing of the Certificate of Higher Cervical Cytology Training

10 March 2017

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

Timing of the Molecular Pathology Examinations

15 December 2016

The Part 1 examination in Molecular Pathology will be offered in the Autumn session only from 2018.

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

15 December 2016

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 Part 2 Oral/Practical or Oral examination but must have their project proposal approved prior to the closing deadline for the examination session in which they wish to sit.

Reproductive Science (formerly Clinical Embryology)

30 November 2016

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 Part 2 Oral/Practical or Oral examination but must have their project proposal approved prior to the closing deadline for the examination session in which they wish to sit.

Changes to the Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Examinations

30 November 2016

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 Part 2 Oral/Practical or Oral examination, however from Spring 2020 they must have their project proposal approved prior to the closing deadline for the examination session in which they wish to sit.

Confirmation of routes to FRCPath Part 2 examination in Molecular Pathology

3 March 2016

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