MRCGP examinations


MRCGP Exam overview

MRCGP is an integrated assessment system, success in which confirms that a doctor has satisfactorily completed specialty training for general practice, and is competent to enter independent practice in the United Kingdom without further supervision. Satisfactory completion of the MRCGP is a pre-requisite for the issue of a certificate of completion of training (CCT) and full Membership of the RCGP.

MRCGP comprises three separate components: an Applied Knowledge Test (AKT), a Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) and Workplace Based Assessment (WPBA), each of which tests different competences using validated assessment methods and which together cover the spectrum of knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes defined by the GP Specialty Training curriculum.

MRCGP complies with General Medical Council (GMC) standards on validity, reliability, feasibility, cost effectiveness, opportunities for feedback and impact on learning. It also follows best practice in assessment, quality assurance and standard setting.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the General Medical Council have set expectations about the currency of national professional examinations and the number of attempts permissible. This guidance can be found here.

Important updates

August 2016 - Exceptional fifth attempts at the MRCGP Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA)

A new policy has been developed which will allow examination candidates to make exceptional fifth attempts at the AKT and CSA on the basis of additional educational attainment.

August 2016 - Revisions to the MRCGP Exam Regulations and regulations for the conduct of office reviews, complaints and appeals

August 2016 - Information on enhanced CSA feedback

Previous updates

Resources for Educational Supervisors and Training Programme Directors
The RCGP appreciates the pivotal role ESs and TPDs play in candidate preparation for the CSA and has developed joint guidance with COGPED on CSA preparation to support the training community.

Applied Knowledge Test (AKT)

The Applied Knowledge Test is a summative assessment of the knowledge base that underpins independent general practice in the United Kingdom within the context of the National Health Service. Trainees who pass this assessment will have demonstrated their competence in applying knowledge at a level which is sufficiently high for independent practice.

Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA)

The CSA is a summative assessment of a doctor's ability to integrate and apply clinical, professional, communication and practical skills appropriate for general practice. Simulating a typical NHS surgery clinic the CSA assesses a range of scenarios from general practice relevant to most parts of the curriculum which can also target particular aspects of clinical care and expertise.

Workplace Based Assessment (WPBA)

WPBA evaluates the trainee's progress in areas of professional practice best tested in the workplace and:

  • provides an opportunity for gathering evidence and reflecting on performance
  • evaluates aspects of professional behaviour that are difficult to assess in traditional examinations
  • provides constructive feedback on areas of strength and developmental needs, identifying trainees who may be in difficulty
  • drives learning in important areas of competence
  • determines fitness to progress to the next stage of training
  • WPBA assessments take place throughout GP Specialty Training.

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