Exam Cancellations

Unfortunately, we have had recent late cancellations at some of our centres. We have asked the three College examination teams to ascertain whether they can secure additional candidate places this year. In addition, we are beginning to recruit centres to run in early 2021 and we will make every effort to maximise candidate places.

Release of results

On the Twitter Q&A this week, the delay in releasing exam results was a hot topic. We consider results processing essential work and MRCP(UK) staff are therefore processing results in the office every day. The government restrictions mean that we are working within various limitations, including the number of staff available, and have experienced ongoing delays with couriers transporting mark-sheets to and from PACES centres, remote examiners and MRCP(UK) central office.  Furthermore, the temporary but fundamental changes we have made to the PACES exam to ensure they can go ahead safely mean that results must be analysed in greater detail and across a broader candidate cohort than usual before they are released. We sincerely apologise for this delay and appreciate your patience, we are doing everything in our power to release these results as soon as possible and we anticipate that results will be released for some of our earlier running centres at some point during the week commencing Mon 23 November 2020.  We will keep candidates updated via this weekly newsletter and the MRCP(UK) website.

Prioritisation Criteria

We are working closely with JRCPTB and trainee representatives to consider how we will prioritise applications for exams in the UK in 2021. We can confirm that the 2021/1 diet in the UK will only be open to candidates living and working in the UK. Full detail of how candidates will be prioritised will be published in the next few weeks.

International PACES

We are pleased to report that the successful delivery of the first ever full PACES examination took place in Pakistan last weekend. We would like to extend our thanks and congratulations to our partners at the PAK Emirates Hospital in Rawalpindi. Further PACES examinations are due to run in Singapore next week followed by our centres in Ajman in the United Arab Emirates and Malta.

Our recent survey of international PACES centres has suggested an increase in those who feel they will be able to run PACES examinations again in Spring 2021.

Application dates and provisional applications

The application date for PACES UK will open on Wednesday 25 November 2020 and close on Wednesday 2 December 2020. Please note that this is for a shorter period of 1 week on this occasion. Candidates are understandably anxious about when the examinations will take place. Please be assured that we will, as per normal procedure, notify candidates 6 weeks in advance of their exam date.

Concerns have been raised about financial outlay associated with provisional applications whilst awaiting exam results. We encourage candidates to provisionally apply whilst they await their exam results. Payment will not be required immediately on application and we anticipate that all candidates will receive their examination marks before they are required to pay.

Higher specialty training applications

Another topic raised on the Twitter Q&A was that candidates applying for HST posts may be disadvantaged if they apply without possessing MRCP(UK). Failure to possess MRCP(UK) will not be a barrier to progressing to ST3 posts in 2021. MRCP(UK) status will not be part of the self-scoring application process for Higher Specialty Training in 2021.

Live MRCP Twitter chats

The next PACES Twitter Q&A session is on Tues 24 November 2020 at 3pm GMT. We have included items which have previously come up into our FAQs, so please check the website first.


We welcome feedback. If you have specific queries relating to your exam day please contact the exams office at your College of entry, details below.


For other general queries or suggestions please email:  Policy.Officer@mrcpuk.org