Arrangements for UK PACES March-May 2021

COVID-19 Antigen testing – Further Update

We remind candidates and examiners that, to mitigate the risk of infection transmission, we wish them to undertake COVID antigen testing (Lateral Flow Test, LAMP or PCR) within 48 hours of attending one of our UK PACES venues in the upcoming diet commencing March 2021. Most UK healthcare staff will have access to, and already be undertaking, regular antigen testing by lateral flow tests (LFT) or LAMP. We recognise however that some candidates or examiners will not have access to antigen testing in their workplace.

If you are unable to obtain a test in the workplace please explore, at the earliest opportunity, whether you could be tested at a local authority venue. There are many such venues around the UK. If you have exhausted all options but still cannot access a test for COVID-19, please contact your College of entry without delay. Examiners should contact the College they are examining for. Doing this at the earliest opportunity is essential to allow a personalised risk assessment and /or alternative testing arrangements to be considered.

Candidates and examiners who have been advised not to perform Antigen testing because of a previous positive PCR within 90 days will be exempt from further antigen testing but please advise your College of entry or, for examiners, the College you are examining for.

It is our intention that no candidate or examiner will be excluded from the exam venue solely on the basis that they cannot access antigen testing through no fault of their own.

Arrangements for International PACES March-May 2021

The infection control measures in place internationally vary according to the country where PACES is to be held. At present, no centre running March-May 2021 requires candidates to undergo COVID-19 antigen testing. If this changes – candidates will be informed in good time by their international centre.

Vaccination Status

The screening questionnaire will also ask candidates and examiners if they have received vaccination against COVID-19. Please note that vaccination status will not affect entry to the examination.

Release of results

We remind candidates that there are inevitable delays getting marksheets back from examination venues and remote examiners and in transporting marksheets to our offices in London for scanning. We will strive to limit delays and provide results within a maximum of 6 weeks.

Live Twitter chats

Live Q&A sessions about the exams occur regularly on our Twitter account. The next one will be on Tues 20 April at 3pm. Follow us for updates at @MRCPUK.       


We are always keen on feedback. If you have specific queries relating to your exam day please contact the exams office at your College of entry.  

For other general queries or suggestions please email: