Examination policies

Examination regulations

Candidates are required to read the FRCR regulations or the DDMFR regulations prior to submitting an application.

Information for candidates requiring an adjustment (such as additional time)

Candidates requiring special arrangements to be put in place at their examination to compensate for disability should refer to the adjustments procedure.  Requests should be made in writing and submitted with the examination application form – supporting medical evidence is required for some requests.

Information for candidates withdrawing from an examination

For all FRCR exams happening in 2022

The RCR accepts that occasionally candidates will not be able to attempt an examination for reasons beyond their control. Candidates affected by adverse circumstances may request a refund either before the examination or up to 15 working days afterwards. Further information can be found in the refund policy.  

For all FRCR exams happening from January 2023

The RCR’s exam hub enables candidates to book their exams up to one year in advance and to manage those bookings online. This includes the ability to cancel or reschedule an exam up until the published booking closing date. Changes after the booking closing date must be made by contacting the Exams Team. Find more about the exam refund and reschedule policy

Information for unsuccessful candidates

As is standard practice in professional examinations, pass marks are set and adhered to.  The passing standard attached to each module/examination has been identified by RCR examiners as the minimum competence level required for success.  As with all assessments there are candidates who fall both above, and below, this level.

Candidates who have been unsuccessful can appeal against their fail result.  This allows candidates to challenge their fail result on the grounds that it is incorrect for some reason other than the marks being at fault.  Appeals are only deemed valid on procedural grounds; the appeals procedure provides more information on acceptable grounds for appeal. 

Number of permitted attempts at FRCR examinations

The GMC has set expectations for the number of attempts candidates are permitted at all Royal College examinations.  From Spring 2015, no candidate will automatically be permitted more than six attempts at any examination or examination module.  In order to attempt an examination for a seventh, or further, time candidates will have to demonstrate additional educational experience.  Further background information is available on the GMC’s website.

Candidates who will have exhausted their permitted six attempts following the Autumn 2014 examination will not be permitted to enter the examination in Spring 2015.  Under the new regulations, following six unsuccessful attempts candidates are required to take a one year break prior to the seventh attempt, within which time the candidate’s educational needs should be addressed.

These changes apply to all candidates and no special consideration can be applied due to an individual’s personal circumstances.

FAQs on the limited attempts policy are available.

Information of tax relief on FRCR examinations

UK trainees who take FRCR examinations may be able to claim tax relief on their examination fees via post or online. 

Candidate misconduct

It is a matter of fundamental importance that the RCR maintains the integrity of its examinations. By virtue of entering an examination, a candidate is deemed to have understood and agreed to abide by and respect all examination regulations and policies, including the Misconduct Policy. This new document outlines the standards of conduct expected from examination candidates, as well as the penalties for misconduct and procedures in cases of alleged misconduct.

Publication of examination results

In response to requests from trainees and in line with data protection principles, individual candidate names will be removed from results lists published online from Spring 2015. The College will publish the candidate number of successful candidates. UK training programme directors and regional advisors will receive an email stating which of their trainees have been successful. 

Emergency situations

An examination could be cancelled by the RCR due to force majeure, including any of the following:

  • Adverse weather and other natural disaster (including fire, flood, earthquake, storm, or hurricane);
  • Governmental act, war, explosion or accident, civil commotion, armed hostilities, act of terrorism, revolution;
  • Blockade, embargo, lock-out or other industrial dispute;
  • Breakdown of systems or network access;
  • Act or intervention of any competent judicial or regulatory authority;
  • Any other event (including without limitation any act or omission of any third party) beyond our reasonable control that could be reasonably planned or avoided.