The ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK and resulting restrictions and infection control measures means that additional space and time are still required to run a socially distanced PACES examination. Therefore, by necessity we have to continue to prioritise PACES places for UK trainees according to their need for training/career progression. There will be four prioritisation categories (details below) for allocating trainees living and working in the UK to available PACES places based on their current need to progress to Higher Specialty Training.

Prioritisation categories for allocation of candidates to PACES places in UK centres in the 2021/1 diet:

Category 1:       

  • Trainees who are currently in ST3 without MRCP(UK)
  • Candidates whose PACES place was cancelled in 2020/3
  • Candidates who were unable to sit due to a COVID related issue (evidence may be required)
  • Candidates who qualified for the 2020/3 ballot but were not randomly selected
  • ACCS CT3 trainees

Category 2:

  • Trainees currently in IMY2*
  • Trainees currently in ACCS CT2*
  • Trainees who have left CMT since 2017*

* Within category 2 – any candidate who has passed the Part 2 written examination will be prioritised over those who have not yet passed.

Category 3:

  • Candidates in IMY1
  • ACCS CT1 trainees

Category 4:

  • All other eligible candidates

We recognise that many trainees will be concerned that they will not be allocated a place to sit PACES in the next diet. We would like to continue to reassure trainees that they will not be prevented from progressing through critical career points because they have been unable to obtain a PACES place. We are working extremely hard to ensure that there are sufficient places for all trainees across the next two diets. We would also like to remind trainees that the derogation agreed by the GMC to remove MRCP(UK) as a requirement for entry into Higher Specialty Training will remain in 2021. Given this derogation, and in order to maximise the take up of available spaces, Fast Track will not be offered in 2020/1.