The exam scamBMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4808 (Published 28 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4808
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MRCP(UK) would like to respond to the article by Mr Daniel Sokol recently published in the BMJ (BMJ 2014:349:g4808) regarding the appeal process for Medical Royal College and Faculty examinations. Although not explicitly stated, the historical reference to the Royal College of Physicians in the article could lead readers to believe that the candidate described had taken an MRCP(UK) examination.
This is not the case.
MRCP(UK), which delivers examinations around the world on behalf of the three UK Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, does not charge any candidate any fee whatsoever in the event of an appeal.
Over 25,000 attempts are made at the Part 1, Part 2, PACES and Specialty Certificate Examinations each year and the current overall appeal rate across these examinations is 0.4%. We believe that this reflects the fact that our examinations are conducted fairly, that we have developed robust and transparent guidelines and procedures for investigating and assessing appeals, and that we apply these fairly and consistently. Our appeals regulations are available on the MRCP(UK) website (http://www.mrcpuk.org/sites/default/files/documents/Appeals-Regulations.pdf) and explain the process in detail.
Furthermore, to minimise any concerns about appeals having an adverse effect on any candidate, the MRCP(UK) appeals process, which is mostly carried out using documents, is entirely anonymised. Candidates are only referred to by their examination code numbers and all relevant documents are redacted so that the names of candidates are removed. In the event that an appeals hearing is convened, the candidate is informed of its composition well in advance, and the panel will always contain a lay representative.
We trust that this information will remove any unnecessary concern or uncertainty in the minds of current or future MRCP(UK) candidates that Mr Sokol’s article may have caused.
Competing interests: No competing interests