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MRCP(UK) PACES examining

The PACES exam (Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills) is the practical component to the MRCP(UK) Examination. It assesses essential skills such as identifying physical skills, communication skills and patient welfare in a clinical setting.

Become a PACES examiner

In order to maintain the high standards of the exam, we are looking for experienced physicians to get involved with examining and supporting PACES. Becoming an examiner can add an extra perspective to your career: examining is an excellent source of CPD points, and is recognised by most NHS trusts as a supporting professional activity for consultant staff, which will add to your revalidation portfolio.

I passionately believe that better teaching leads to better patient care.

Dr Graeme Dewhurst, clinical examiner, Royal College of Physicians of London

​By becoming a PACES examiner you will be supporting the RCP in its work in maintaining high standards of medical practice and the continual improvement of patient care. Fellows also value the opportunity to share the company and knowledge of other examiners, and find the work rewarding.

You can read comments from current PACES examiners on their testimonial pages:

  • Dr Graeme Dewhurst – consultant physician with responsibility for the elderly and stroke, St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester
  • Dr Peter Newman – consultant neurologist, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough
  • Dr Indranil Chakravorty – consultant in acute and respiratory medicine, St George's Hospital Medical School
  • Dr Fiona Clarke – consultant rheumatologist, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, and tutor on the Masters in Clinical Education course, Newcastle University.

It's a refreshing break from clinical work.

Dr Peter Newman, consultant neurologist and PACES examiner

Eligibility

To be eligible for PACES examining in the UK, you must:

  • (UK only) hold MRCP(UK)
  • be a member or fellow of one of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK who is also resident in the UK, and have held your Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) for 2 years prior to applying and be in a substantive consultant post. Physicians who are resident outside the UK and who wish to examine in the UK must hold fellowship of one of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK.
  • have had ongoing involvement in clinical medicine in an inpatient or outpatient setting within the past 2 years
  • have routine clinical responsibility for the assessment, investigation and management of a broad range of clinical conditions assessed in PACES
  • provide clinical supervision to core medical trainees (or equivalent) in the care of patients with a range of conditions assessed in PACES
  • have undergone equality and diversity training in the past 3 years
  • be on the medical register (or international equivalent) and hold a licence to practise
  • (UK only) participate in revalidation, including annual appraisal in your current post, and adherence to CPD requirements.

I’ve rediscovered the value of the MRCP(UK).

Dr Indranil Chakravorty, consultant in acute and respiratory medicine and PACES examiner

Examiner commitment

Those who meet the criteria to become an examiner will be required to successfully complete PACES examiner training and commit to examine at least six cycles (30 candidates) per annum (averaged over 2 years), ie a minimum of 2/3 days of examining per year.

Once appointed, examiners must abide by the PACES examiner code of conduct and maintain adherence to the eligibility criteria. You will be asked to confirm this on an annual basis via the MRCP(UK) clinician census. Examiners must also be familiar with the 'Responsibilities and duties of examiners' document, which can be accessed at the bottom of this page.

If you are unable to take part in the required number of cycles over 2 years, you will be asked to refresh your examiner training.

Five years on, I still find the work rewarding.

Dr Fiona Clarke, consultant rheumatologist and PACES examiner

How to apply

If you are interested in applying to become a PACES Examiner, please email examinerservices@rcplondon.ac.uk for further information on the application process and for future application period dates.