Exam Applications and structures

Exam structure

The FFPMRCA is divided into two sections taken on two separate days with an interval between the two:

  • Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) paper 
  • Structured Oral Examination (SOE)


Candidates must apply for each section separately.  The Examinations Calendar allows candidates who are successful at the MCQ to apply for the SOE at the same sitting (autumn or spring).

Candidates must pass the MCQ paper before they can apply to sit the SOE.  A pass in the MCQ paper will be valid for three years, after which time if the whole examination has not been passed, the MCQ must be re-taken.  Candidates will be allowed six attempts at each section subject and will be required to provide evidence of additional educational training for the sixth attempt at each section.  More information can be found in Regulation 3.8 of the Exam Regulations.

Applying for FFPMRCA Examinations 

The online application process will be open for each exam from 0900 on the exam opening date to 1700 on the exam closing date.  Applications are not accepted outside the application window.  To apply for the exam please click here.

Closing dates for applications are listed in the FFPMRCA Examinations Calendar

Application fees for each exam are as follows: 

  • FFPMRCA MCQ: £610 (2023-24 fee)
  • FFPMRCA SOE: £855 (2023-24 fee)

Please be aware that your eligibility is based on information that you must provide to the College in advance of an application and so, if we have not received copies of certain documents you will be unable to complete an online application. The documents that should be submitted in advance are outlined in the exam regulations.

If you have any other query, then please don’t hesitate to contact the Online Services Exams Team at onlineservicesexams@rcoa.ac.uk

The College cannot be held responsible for late/non receipt of applications caused by delays/problems in the postal system. Applicants will receive an e-mail to notify them when their application has been booked on to the exam. Further admission documents will follow by post. The address on your application form will be used for all correspondence relating to the current exam.

NOTE: When applying for the SOE examination

Sections 5.1.3 and 6.1.3 of the Regulations require a trainee applicant to have completed their Higher as well as 6 months of their Advanced assessments (not applicable to MCQ applicants). This is only expected of those on the 2010 Curriculum who were required to complete Higher before Advanced. For applicants who preceded this arrangement, the Higher assessments are not required for entry. Candidates whose RAPM does not attend at the same hospital may get their RAPM to confirm approval of their application form by email to facultyexams@rcoa.ac.uk application forms should be annotated in the RAPM signature box as "email confirmation". The College will match the email confirmation with the application form.


  • PLEASE NOTE: All FPM membership applications submitted with the intent of being approved for eligibility to sit the FFPMRCA MCQ exam must be submitted 6 weeks before the application closing deadline.
  • Fellowship Doctors: You must be in a UK post for a minimum of six months before applying for the MCQ and be in post whilst applying.  You must have support of your RAPM and be an FPM Affiliate.  All applications will be reviewed by the FPM Training and Assessment Committee so please ensure your application is submitted 6 weeks before the deadline for applications.
  • MTI Doctors: You must be in post for a minimum of six months prior to the date of the exam and have a satisfactory NHS appraisal.



A candidate withdrawing an application for admission to an examination before the closing date for applications may receive back the full amount of the fee paid, providing the application window for the exam remains is still open. If the application window has closed then a refund can be requested up to 7 days before the date of the exam; however, the refund will be subject to a deduction for admin expense. Withdrawal requests must be received in writing.

A candidate who withdraws in any other circumstances including non-issue of entry visas (with the exception of those described in Section 8) or who fail to appear for an examination will not normally be entitled to any refund of fee.

Candidates who are forced to withdraw from an examination after the closing date due to a situation beyond their control, such as illness, bereavement or other personal factors, may be entitled to a refund less an admin charge. Fees cannot be deferred from one exam to another and candidates must prove their eligibility for each exam sitting they apply for.

Examination Guidance Interviews

The rules regarding Examinations Guidance are at Section 10 of the FFPMRCA Examination and Appeals Regulations. An Information for candidates document is available below (see related downloads). Candidates are advised to read this document before applying for and attending guidance interviews. 

Examination centres

All FPM examinations are usually held online or at The Royal College of Anaesthetists, 35 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4SG.

Examination structures and marking systems

The FFPMRCA examination structures and marking systems are available in Appendices 1 and 2 of the examinations regulations.

Further information on examinations can be found on the Royal College of Anaesthetists Examinations pages.

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