MRCGP exam overview


Access to FourteenFish is currently limited to trainees who receive the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) on or before 30 September 2020. 

This is to ensure that the new system is able to deal with those soon to complete training. After the July assessment, there will be clarification on the timing of future access.

Additional exam attempts during July and August 2020

The RCGP and the Committee of General Practice Education Directors (COGPED) acknowledge that, because of COVID-19, candidates may have had their training disrupted and may not have had the usual support from their supervisors or deanery for the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) exam preparation.

In recognition of this, all candidates applying to sit either the clinical and consulting skills component of the MRCGP, the Recorded Consultation Assessment (RCA) and/or the written Applied Knowledge Test (AKT), before the end of August 2020, will be given one additional exam attempt at either or both components taken.

This will include candidates who have been permitted an exceptional fifth attempt for either exam. For candidates taking tests outside of the special window, between July and the end of August 2020, no additional attempt will be granted.

Candidates are advised to have a fully informed exam preparation discussion with their supervisor/deanery before booking their exam dates.

COVID-19: important announcement on completion of GP training for ST3s

The College, along with the major health, education and regulatory bodies involved in GP training and assessment across the UK have made a joint statement on new arrangements for ST3s to complete their training this summer - including the new ‘recorded assessment’ of clinical skills. Read the joint letter on new arrangements for ST3s, 6 May 2020 (86 KB PDF).

There is obviously now a lot of work to do and we will be giving trainees regular updates as the new arrangements are developed.

Updates for GP trainees during COVID-19

We've been updating trainees about exams and assessments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read our updates for trainees.

Clinical Skills Assessment

We have been following advice from the Chief Medical Officer and government. We were committed to running the Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) examination for as long as we could, while it was safe and responsible to do so, to help as many trainees as possible to complete their training.

The situation changed dramatically, however. The government advised against any non-essential travel, and trainees and examiners are finding it harder to leave their practices, while those with underlying health conditions have been advised to exercise caution and may decide to self-isolate. 

Recorded Consultation Assessment

The RCA was offered in place of the CSA to cover the period of disruption during the COVID-19 lockdown (19 May 2020).

Find answers to frequently asked questions on the RCA and download the candidate handbook and exam policies. 

Applied Knowledge Test 

New exam dates

Find the latest information on new exam dates for the AKT.

We are unable to accept or reschedule any more bookings.

Find answers to frequently asked questions on the AKT (124 KB PDF), updated 1 June 2020.  

Workplace Based Assessment and Annual Review of Competence Progression guidance

The RCGP and the COGPED have developed guidance to outline requirements to allow successful completion of a GP Training Programme in the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 crisis.

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.

Latest updates

Previous updates

March 2019 - Targeted GP Training

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:

  • looks at the trainee's performance in their day to day practice to provide evidence for learning and reflection based on real experiences
  • supports and drives learning in important areas of competence with an underlying theme of patient safety
  • provides constructive feedback on areas of strength and developmental needs, identifying trainees who may be in difficulty and need more help
  • evaluates aspects of professional behaviour that are difficult to assess in the Applied Knowledge Test and Clinical Skills Assessment
  • determines fitness to progress towards completion of training.

Evidence of WPBA, as approved by the GMC, includes:

  • completion of specific assessments and reports
  • documentation of naturally occurring evidence
  • certain mandatory requirements such as Child Safeguarding and Basic Life Support.

Find more information on the requirements in the WPBA section on this website.

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