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COVID-19: Impact on RCPI examinations

We are closely monitoring the global situation with regards to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Last updated 1 April 2020

We hold our membership and licentiate examinations in Ireland, Oman, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Australia. Our priority is to ensure the safety of our examiners, trainees, exam candidates, staff, patients and invigilators.

We will continue to communicate with candidates by email and we will update this web page as soon as new information is confirmed.

Key points:

  • Our conferring ceremony on 9 April 2020 has been cancelled
  • Written and clinical examinations due to take place in April, May and June 2020 are not going ahead and will be rescheduled to late summer/early autumn 2020
  • We are currently reviewing the dates for all our 2020 examinations and will publish updates at the end of April 2020.
  • All other updates from RCPI regarding COVID-19 can be found here www.rcpi.ie/covid19

FAQs about exams

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No.  Due to Covid-19, the College has taken the decision that written and clinical examinations due to be offered in April through to June of this year are to be rescheduled and our offerings will likely recommence from late this summer / early autumn.

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We are currently reviewing the full examinations calendar.  We aim to have further information on rescheduled examinations and all other examination offerings that were scheduled from July to December of this year available on our website at the very end of April 2020.

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We are currently reviewing the full examinations calendar. We aim to have further information on all examination offerings that were scheduled from July to December of this year available on our website at the very end of April 2020.  That will include booking opening dates. 

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Yes please send us an email requesting a transfer to a new centre: examinations@rcpi.ie

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Priority will be given to those who were impacted by the examinations being rescheduled to later but we hope to accommodate all candidates in our new Calendar due to be published at the end of April 2020.  If we can’t get you on to the next offering, we will endeavour to get you on to the very next examination diet after that.

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If your examination was postponed, we will accommodate you on the next available date.

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We are currently reviewing the full examinations calendar. We aim to have further information on rescheduled examinations and all other examination offerings that were scheduled from July to December of this year available on our website at the very end of April 2020.

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Yes, you should. We are endeavouring to run all examinations in 2020.  In the interests of public health we have rescheduled the upcoming examinations.   We are currently reviewing the full calendar.  We aim to have further information on rescheduled examinations and all other examination offerings that were scheduled from July to December of this year available on our website at the very end of April 2020.

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If you are a candidate eligible to apply for HST in Ireland, the postponement of these examinations will not impact on your progression to interview or to receive a potential offer for this programme.  You can still apply for HST even if you haven't completed all Parts of the Membership examination by November 2020. We are working to ensure that all candidates have the opportunity to complete all components of the MRCPI examination before July 2021.  It is still a requirement however to have MRCPI when you start HST.

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Yes, given the current challenges and uncertainty with COVID 19, we will permit a refund in this circumstance. Please email examinations@rcpi.ie

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In light of the current fast-changing situation globally regarding COVID 19, unfortunately RCPI cannot be responsible for any expenses (such as travel, accommodation etc) incurred by a candidate in the event of a cancellation or rescheduling of an examination.

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Our written examinations are delivered using computer-based testing (CBT). Each examination is delivered fully for all candidates in one of two ways.  Either by the traditional method of candidates meeting in one place in a computer test centre or by another way called Remote Invigilation.

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You sit the very same examination (structure, format and length) online, but in a secure place of your choosing. Instead of travelling to an exam centre and sitting the computer-based exam with other candidates, you do the very same test as originally planned, but at your own computer – at home or at work.

Candidates are supervised remotely by invigilators throughout the exam.

What you need is as follows:

  • A room – a quiet place where you can take your exam without interruption from people.
  • A PC or laptop computer with a reliable internet connection, webcam and microphone. Must have permissions to install software

For more information visit https://www.testreach.com/exam-candidate-testreach.html

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Yes. You will get good technical support before and during your examination with our partner, Testreach.  If the College are delivering your examination this way, you will be contacted well in advance and given instructions, guidance and a test on your computer, so all will be set up well in advance.  More information can be found here: https://www.testreach.com/exam-candidate-testreach.html

Impact on MRCPI Conferrings

Our conferring ceremony on 9 April 2020 has been cancelled, however you can be conferred in absentia at no extra cost. All candidates who were booked to attend MRCPI conferrings on 9 April will be contacted by Theresa Murphy in our Exams Department.

Being conferred in absentia makes you a full Member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and has no impact on your Membership status.

The next MRCPI conferring is scheduled for 23 July 2020. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and Government restrictions on large gatherings, we are unable to confirm at present if this ceremony will take place. We would encourage you to choose to be conferred at the April 2020 ceremony in absentia.

We will organise a welcome event for our new Members who are conferred in absentia in April 2020 at a later date, to give them an opportunity to celebrate this important milestone and meet the President in the College's historic home on Kildare Street.

FAQs about conferrings

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You should not wait for another MRCPI conferring ceremony. We advise you to be conferred in absentia in April 2020. To select the in absentia option, go here: https://www.rcpi.ie/examinations/conferring-ceremonies/

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Doctors who are conferred in absentia will be given a confirmation (holding) letter to say they have been conferred.  The College will provide the Medical Council with a list of these names. Once the COVID-19 crisis has passed, we will post your MRCPI diploma to you, at an address nominated by you, and you can provide to the Medical Council.

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Doctors who are conferred in absentia will be given a confirmation (holding) letter to say they have been conferred. Once the COVID-19 crisis has passed, we will post your MRCPI diploma to you, at an address nominated by you. 

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Yes. All doctors who are conferred in absentia, and who are in possession of the confirmation (holding) letter, will be full members of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, and have all the rights associated with membership.

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The confirmation (holding) letter will be sent to all candidates on 9 April 2020, directly to your email.

Where to find COVID-19 information for Ireland

For updates on the situation in Ireland, we recommend checking the following websites

Contact us

The best way to reach us during the COVID-19 pandemic is by email, as staff are working from home.

If you need to speak to someone dial +353 1 8639700 and press 1 for Exams. Phone lines are manned 09:00 - 17:00 GMT, Monday to Friday.