There are three parts to the MRCP(UK) examination - Part 1, Part 2 (written), and Part 2 (clinical examination) - commonly referred to as 'Part 1', 'Part 2' (or 'Part 2 Written') and 'PACES'.

There are different requirements for when these parts must be gained for you to be eligible within the HST recruitment process.

For information on the MRCP(UK) examination and its constituent parts, please visit the MRCP(UK) website.


Part 1

You must have sat and passed Part 1 by the time of application (the deadline for application submission can be found on the timeline page).

Any applications received without Part 1 (or suitable alternative) will be rejected as ineligible.


Part 2 Written and PACES

You must have sat and passed the remaining two parts of the examination by the 'published deadline'; in round 1 this is 3 August 2022 . In round 2 this date is 31 December 2022 .

If you are missing Part 2 and/or PACES at the time of application, you must be able to demonstrate that you can sit  and pass the missing exam(s) before the published deadline.

It is possible to progress through the remainder of the recruitment round subject to completing the examination. In the event you fail to gain the missing part(s), any offer will be withdrawn and will not be held for you should you choose to make an appeal.


PACES examination dates

When applying for PACES you are able to indicate on your application form if you have a preferred timeframe for your examination date and, if so, what are your reasons for the request. This can include citing that you are applying to higher specialty training. Where possible the PACES team will try and allocate requests for this reason, although it cannot be guaranteed. Reasons you may want to request a specific date include:

  • Avoiding a clash with an interview date - if your preferred specialty's interview date is known when you apply to PACES, you should state this on the form so they can avoid scheduling this date.
  • Requesting an early date - in the second assessment period for round 1 and third for round 2, an early date will enable you, and the offering region, to confirm whether you can take up a post.

Providing information

When you apply, you need only give details about which parts of the examination you have passed at that point. There is no need to provide an update or documentation about subsequently completed examinations unless you are successful in gaining a gaining a post. At this stage you can inform your new region that you have passed the examination so they know you will be able to take up the post.

Your employing organisation will request to see proof of having completed the MRCP(UK) as part of pre-employment checks.

While all specialties will accept the MRCP(UK) as a suitable postgraduate examination for HST entry, several will also accept applications from trainees who have undertaken alternative training pathways; and will thus accept alternative UK postgraduate examinations.

The specialties participating in the PSRO-coordinated process which accept alternative training pathways: allergy, audiovestibular medicine, clinical genetics, clinical neurophysiology, dermatology, haematology, immunology, medical ophthalmology, rehabilitation medicine and sport & exercise medicine. Alternative examinations to the MRCP(UK) will only be accepted in tandem with the required experience and acquisition of competences for that training pathway; for example, you cannot undertake training in IMT and use the paediatric college examination for entry.

The only postgraduate examination accepted by the other participating specialties is MRCP(UK).

For information on what alternative examinations your specialty accepts, please visit that specialty's page.

There are alternatives to the MRCP(UK) for trainees from a physician pathway covered on the person specification. This page details these alternatives and some points to note for trainees applying from this route.

Points to note

  • Unlike the MRCP(UK), these must be gained by the time of application to be eligible.
  • Applicants will be required to supply evidence at time of application; each section will detail how this is done.
  • The alternatives only qualify for the MRCP(UK) criterion and applicants will need to submit the relevant alternative certificate to demonstrate that their internal medicine capability meets the requirements. 
  • The rules only apply to alternatives to the MRCP(UK) and there are no arrangements in place for trainees from other pathways (e.g. paediatrics or general practice) who have alternatives to the UK examinations.

Eligibility for the specialist register in GIM

If the GMC have assessed your previous experience and confirmed that you are eligible for the specialist register in general internal medicine, you can apply without the MRCP(UK). Usually this will be proven via the GMC medical register, where your specialist registration will be listed.

If you are not on the specialist register but are able to get confirmation from the GMC that your training qualifies you for the specialist register, this can also be accepted. 

Your internal medicine training can be from anywhere in the world, as long as the UK GMC has assessed it and can confirm your eligibility.

Providing evidence

You will need to demonstrate on the application form via the specific MRCP(UK) section, that you have attained this level of training. You will also need to upload evidence to your application form; this could be via a screenshot of the GMC specialist register or a scan of the letter from the GMC. 


Irish Basic Specialty Training in medicine

Trainees who have fully completed the Irish Basic Specialty Training (BST) programme in general internal medicine, including the MRCPI examination, are eligible to apply. It is not necessary to be an Irish national to qualify, as long as you have completed the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland accredited programme.

You cannot apply on the basis of the MRCPI alone, it will only be accepted as part of the BST programme. 

Providing evidence

You will need to demonstrate on the application form via the specific MRCP(UK) section, that you have attained this level of training. You will need to attach evidence with your application form that you completed this programme, along with your MRCPI diploma; this will usually be via the certificate awarded by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.


Hong Kong & Singapore

The MHKCP (Hong Kong) and MMed Singapore qualifications both contain the full MRCP(UK) diploma, and hence both will continue to be accepted as 'alternative' to MRCP(UK); as has been the case in previous years.