Coronavirus (COVID-19) and RCR examinations

As the COVID-19 situation changes, we will keep this information under review and update as necessary. Please keep checking back.

22 January 2021

The RCR acknowledges that this is a particularly difficult time for trainees and would like to reassure you that we are committed to ensuring trainees can safely access FRCR examinations.

We have taken the decision to retain the online delivery model for the First FRCR and Final FRCR Part A examinations, and to introduce an online invigilation (proctoring) approach from spring 2021. Candidates will be able to sit these examinations in their own home or an alternative location that is practical for them. A live invigilator will support candidates remotely with identity checks before the examination, and ensure that the integrity of the examination is preserved. One huge benefit of the proctoring method is that candidates with COVID-19, or those self-isolating, can still take the examination from home.

The Final FRCR Part B examinations will remain in venues, with candidates being offered an automatic place in the next available examination if they are not able to attend. The RCR considers the technical requirements for the oral examinations are best delivered from venues to maintain uniformity of image quality and size.

Please visit the individual clinical radiology and clinical oncology examination webpages for further details.

To further support candidates we are revising our refunds policy for 2021. Wherever possible all candidates will be transferred to the next sitting of the examination rather than being given a partial refund. Candidates can contact the Examination Office at any time before an examination and defer for any COVID-related reason*. Candidates will be moved to the next sitting they are eligible for.

*including redeployment, study leave cancelled due to COVID, COVID-positive, self-isolating or venue closure. This does not include being unable to travel to the UK due to travel restrictions. Candidates book travel at their own risk.

Please contact if you have any further queries.

15 January 2021

In light of the ongoing situation, we are sorry to inform candidates that we have taken the decision to cancel the First and Final FRCR Part A examinations that were scheduled to be held in February and March. This affects the following examinations:

Please check the individual examination webpages for further information and new examination dates.

8 January 2021

In light of the current situation, we are sorry to inform candidates that after much deliberation we have taken the decision to cancel the Final FRCR Part B examination in Clinical Radiology scheduled to be held later this month. We expect to proceed with the next CR2B examination sitting in March, either as planned or in a further adapted format, and will automatically reserve a place for all candidates in that examination sitting over the next few days. Capacity is expected to increase to ensure further UK trainees can apply for the March sitting as planned. Candidates who prefer a full refund of their January sitting fees may also request it. 

2 October 2020

The Academy of Royal Medical Colleges have released a statement regarding the running of examinations and other educational events during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Academy, along with the Statutory Education Bodies and the General Medical Council, support both candidates and examiners travelling to – and partaking in – essential professional examinations while being cognisant of the necessary precautions.

4 September 2020

Candidates are currently being notified of their examination venue and login details for examination delivery software (for examinations that were previously delivered on paper) for the September and October examinations.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, new venues have been introduced to avoid mass gatherings. Candidates must adhere to the venue’s requirements and guidance while on the premises.

Candidates should consider wearing face coverings up to the point of entering, and upon leaving, the examination room. Wearing a face covering is also welcomed when seated while the examination is in progress, although this is a personal choice unless the venue has an overriding requirement – the venue’s position on this will be made clear upon arrival for the examination. The only examination where face coverings are not permitted is the Final FRCR Part B oral component, as coverings may impede communication with examiners.

Social distancing will be implemented for desk spacing at each venue in line with government guidance. Candidates must also adhere to social distancing outside examination venues and avoid socialising with others before or after the examination.

Any candidate feeling unwell or displaying symptoms should not attend the examination.

We have done our utmost to mitigate against exam cancellation. However, due to localised lockdowns and government guidance changing at short notice, it is still possible that an examination venue will not be able to open or that candidates cannot travel to their examination location. In the event of this, candidates will be refunded their entry fee and examined at the next available opportunity.

30 June 2020

Applications are open from the 1–24 July for all clinical radiology and clinical oncology examinations in September and October. Candidates should select their training region rather than a venue when applying.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, social distancing rules and cleaning guidelines will be applied by each venue on an individual basis in line with government guidance and candidates should adhere to these. Should any candidate feel unwell or display symptoms they should not attend the examination.

Changes to exam delivery have been put in place to mitigate against exam cancellation due to COVID-19. While the RCR has done its best to achieve this, it is still possible that an exam may need to be cancelled, or a region may not be able to run the exam, due to local constraints or updated government guidance.

18 June 2020

The delivery of all FRCR autumn examinations will be computer based; the software will vary dependent on the examination. For most examinations, candidates will sit at a computer and answer questions on software specific to that examination. The Final FRCR Part B oral examinations in both clinical radiology and clinical oncology will be also accessed remotely using appropriate software and a video conferencing platform to enable the requisite conversation with examiners. Candidates will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the software prior to the examinations.

To preserve their integrity, all examinations will still take place in an authorised location with invigilation and remote RCR support. Candidates will not be able to access the external venues previously used for examinations however, training programmes have agreed to deliver all RCR examinations and candidates will undertake these either within a hospital or at a venue nearby.

For most examinations, the content, number of questions and duration remain the same. The clinical component of the Clinical Oncology Final FRCR Part B examination will not run for the remainder of 2020 and further detail on changes to that assessment will be provided before the examination application window opens in July.

8 June 2020

We are pleased to announce the autumn schedules for clinical radiology and clinical oncology examinations, which include details of the exam dates, eligibility and relevant FAQs. For all other enquires please contact

4 May 2020

In the context of the continuing global response to COVID-19 and uncertainty surrounding a return to normal activities, the RCR is working hard to explore  all options for running examinations this autumn.

The arrangements for this are still ongoing and will be influenced by the following variables:

  • The availability of venues
  • Social distancing requirements at examinations
  • Restrictions on travel within the UK and India
  • Restrictions on international travel
  • The availability and safety of candidates, examiners and invigilators

We expect to have reduced capacity, and it is likely that some or all examinations will only be open to candidates already working in the country where the examination is held.

We hope to publish details of a new examination schedule from September to January later this month. This allows the RCR maximum time to plan using the latest COVID-19 advice and reduces the likelihood of significant further changes.  All examinations will remain subject to change dependent on the changing circumstances of COVID-19.

Entry requirements, such as minimum training times, are being relaxed in recognition of the disruption to training. See the webpages for individual clinical radiology examinations and clinical oncology examinations for more details.

Applications for September and October exams will open in July.

For UK trainees, please read our advice on how decisions on progress will be made in the absence of examination evidence.

16 March 2020

In light of the developing situation and current predictions of impact, we have taken the decision to cancel all RCR examinations in April, May and June. We are contacting all candidates who had already booked for April, May and June to give a full refund of the entry fee.

We will work with the national training organisations, heads of schools and training programme directors in the UK to develop approaches to minimise the disruption to trainees’ progression.

We hope that the exams scheduled from September onwards are able to go ahead as planned and we will be looking at the potential for additional exams and increased capacity.                

9 March 2020

Candidates may be aware that the recent outbreak, and subsequent spread, of Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacted the RCR’s February and March exams as international exam venues were unable to accommodate candidates in Hong Kong and Singapore. The RCR is taking the health of everyone involved in our exams seriously whilst being committed to maintaining our services and enabling exam access to as many candidates as possible, but exam cancellations and venue changes will affect the April, May and June RCR exams as detailed below:

  • The clinical radiology Final FRCR Part B joint examination in Singapore scheduled for May has been cancelled.
  • The clinical radiology First FRCR (Physics and Anatomy) and Final FRCR Part A examinations in June 2020 will not take place in Hong Kong or Singapore.
  • We hope to continue with all exams in the UK but this decision will be under constant review as circumstances change and it is possible that some or all will have to be cancelled, subject to further advice from Public Health England (PHE). Candidates should consider this before committing to travel costs and review their travel insurance. For exams that go ahead there will be restrictions on travelling candidates as below.

Candidates must not apply for or attend any RCR examination if they would be: arriving from; travelling through; or have visited in the 14 days before the exam a COVID-19 specified country or area from the PHE list of affected countries, category 1 and 2

There will be no exceptions. Candidates who apply for the June exams are asked to check the PHE list in the lead-up to travel. In the event of additional countries or areas being added, candidates residing in those locations will be withdrawn from the exam. In these circumstances, or in the event of cancelling exams, the RCR will refund 100% of the exam fee but will not be liable for travel and/or accommodation costs.

All candidates attending an RCR examination must declare on arrival at the examination venue that they have not travelled from/through the countries listed.  Candidates who have started from, or travelled through, a listed country/area will not be permitted to sit the exam.

We know that trainees will be concerned about the impact on their progression should examinations in the UK have to be cancelled. We will provide more details on the potential approaches to this, should it be necessary, following discussion with the relevant national training and standards bodies.

The situation is rapidly changing. We will keep this information under review and update as necessary. Please keep checking back.