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Exam regulations: DRCOG & MRCOG

The information here covers all the key rules and regulations for both our Diploma and Membership examinations. All candidates should familiarise themselves with these instructions and guidelines to ensure they have the best chance of success.

Advice on training programmes can be obtained by candidates from the consultants with whom they are working, from the Deanery College Adviser in their region, College Tutors, the Careers Adviser at the College or from the Representative Committees overseas. Contact details may be obtained from the Exam Department examsadmin@rcog.org.uk


DRCOG Regulations

The College awards a Diploma to registered medical practitioners who demonstrate the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes and who satisfy its examiners. The Diploma is intended to recognise a general practitioner’s interest in obstetrics and gynaecology and is not a specialist qualification.

The College’s regulations for the Diploma exam (DRCOG):

Exam applications

  • Candidates for the Diploma exam must be entered as having full, limited or provisional registration in the Register of Medical Practitioners maintained by the General Medical Council or by the Medical Council of Ireland.
  • Please visit the exam calendar and venue pages for information about when you can apply.
  • Candidates must disclose their General Medical Council or Medical Council of Ireland registration number when making an application.
  • Candidates must confirm that they are not currently suspended or removed from medical practice by any authorising body or involved in disciplinary proceedings related to medical practice in any country.
  • The entry fee is payable in pound sterling (£GBP) at the time of application.
  • Candidates who withdraw their applications for a particular Diploma exam after the closing date or who fail to appear shall forfeit their exam fee. For details please check our .
  • By applying to sit the DRCOG exam the candidate agrees to all the terms of the Diploma exam regulations and to the transfer of all copyright subsisting in exam material produced by the candidate to the College.
  • Council may refuse to allow a candidate to attempt the Diploma exam or become a Diplomate of the College. Under such circumstances the candidate will be advised of the appeals procedure.

Taking the Exam

To support your exam preparation, we recommend that you familiarise yourself with the
Exam format. Here you’ll find an overview of the RCOG exam structure, time allowance and pass mark.

  • No candidate may attempt the Diploma exam more than 5 times.
  • Candidates must provide evidence of identification, which includes name and photograph, for inspection before starting the exam. Candidates failing to provide satisfactory evidence will not be allowed to attend the exam. For reasons of medical security, all candidates for exams must ensure that they can be easily identified in accordance with their photographic identification.
  • Once you have successfully completed your exam, the details of your award from the College, including date, are regarded as ‘public’ information. This means that the basic information may be released to bona fide third-party enquirers (for example, other educational bodies or prospective employers). No information is supplied via the telephone.

MRCOG regulations – Parts 1-3

Medical practitioners who intend to train for the MRCOG exam are encouraged to inform the College in writing as soon as possible. This will help both the trainee and the College.

All trainees are encouraged to join the Trainees’ Register.

Success in the Membership exam and subsequent admission to Membership does not imply the attainment of specialist or consultant status. A further period of supervised training is required for this purpose.

The College’s regulations for the Membership exams (MRCOG Parts 1-3):

Regulations for Membership

Candidates for MRCOG are required:

  • To comply with the Regulations relating to medical registration.
  • To undertake the periods of training set out in the Regulations.
  • To pass the Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 exams.
  • To fulfil the requirements of the Regulations in relation to declaration of conduct, admission by the President in Council and payment of the prescribed fees.

Candidates must confirm that they are not currently suspended or removed from medical practice by any authorising body or involved in disciplinary proceedings related to medical practice in any country.

Candidates infringing the regulations will be deemed unsuitable for Membership of the College.

Council may refuse to allow a candidate to attempt either part of the MRCOG exam or to become a Member of the College. Under such circumstances the candidate will be advised of the appeals procedure.

Exam applications

Applying for the Part 1 exam is a two-stage process, eligibility and booking. You must first have your eligibility application processed and approved, before you can book your exam place online.

For full details about applying for eligibility, see How to book the Part 1 MRCOG exam.

Resit candidates are already eligible and can proceed directly to booking.

Applying for the Part 2 exam requires that candidates book a place online, within the published booking window.

Applying for the Part 2 exam requires that candidates book a place online, within the published booking window.

  • By applying to sit the Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3 MRCOG exam, the candidate agrees to all the terms of the Membership exam regulations and to the transfer of all copyright subsisting in exam material produced by the candidate to the College.
  • All candidates will be issued with a six-digit personal College number. This number must be quoted in all correspondence.
  • Late entries are not accepted. No amendments may be made after the closing date for receipt of applications. Any requests for special arrangements during the examination must be submitted before the closing date for applications.
  • By applying to sit the Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3 MRCOG exam, the candidate agrees to all the terms of the Membership exam regulations and to the transfer of all copyright subsisting in exam material produced by the candidate to the College.
  • All candidates will be issued with a six-digit personal College number. This number must be quoted in all correspondence.
  • Late entries are not accepted. No amendments may be made after the closing date for receipt of applications. Any requests for special arrangements during the examination must be submitted before the closing date for applications.

Taking the Exam

  • Late attendance at any stage of an exam may result in failure of the entire exam.
  • Candidates must bring evidence of identification, which includes their name and photograph, to all sections of the Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 Membership exams for scrutiny by the invigilators and examiners. Candidates who fail to produce satisfactory identification at the beginning of any section of the exam will normally be refused entry to that exam. For reasons of medical security, all candidates for exams must ensure that they can be easily identified in accordance with their photographic identification. In addition, for ease of identification, candidates must ensure that their clothing is not worn in such a way that it obscures the face.
  • Question papers, answer sheets and exam materials remain the property of the College at all times.
  • Council may refuse to allow a candidate to attempt either part of the MRCOG exam or to become a Member of the College. Under such circumstances the candidate will be advised of the appeals procedure.
  • Once you have successfully completed your exam, the details of your award from the College, including date, are regarded as ‘public’ information. For candidates in the UK specialty training programme, results will be made available to LETBs/deaneries as well as the GMC. They may also be released to bona fide third-party enquirers (for example, other educational bodies or prospective employers). No information is supplied via the telephone.
  • Any issue regarding a candidate’s probity will be passed on to the relevant Postgraduate Deanery, where applicable.

How many times can you attempt each exam?

  • Candidates will be permitted no more than 6 attempts at each of the Part 1 MRCOG and Part 2 MRCOG exams, regardless of the date of their first attempt.

  • Candidates (UK-based and non-UK-based) will be permitted no more than 4 attempts at the Part 3 MRCOG exam. If they do not pass within four attempts, they will be required to retake Part 2 MRCOG.

  • Candidates wishing to attempt either the Part 1 MRCOG or the Part 2 MRCOG following 6 previous fails must have supporting documentation from their Head of School (or equivalent) outlining the exceptional reasons for permitting a further attempt at the exam.
  • For candidates not wishing to enter onto the UK Specialist Register there is no attempt limit

  • For candidates not wishing to enter onto the UK Specialist Register, after 4 attempts at the Part 3 MRCOG they will be required to retake Part 2 MRCOG. After passing this retaken exam, candidates will be able to reattempt Part 3.

How long can I wait to take the next Part of my MRCOG?

  • Candidates who have passed the Part 1 MRCOG after March 2013 need to attempt the Part 2 MRCOG within 7 years of their exam date.
    The 7-year period is pro rata. This means that the 7-year period is proportionally extended, up to a maximum of 10 years, for trainees in less than full-time training or who take a break from training.
    Where trainees have passed the Part 1 MRCOG while out of programme, the pass will be considered current as long as the trainee re-enters the programme within 7 years of passing the exam.
  • Candidates who passed the Part 1 MRCOG in or before March 2013 need to attempt the Part 2 MRCOG within 10 years of their exam.
  • Candidates who have passed the Part 2 MRCOG need to attempt the Part 3 MRCOG within 7 years (pro rata) of their exam date.
  • There is no restriction on the length of time between attempts of the Part 2 or Part 3 MRCOG.
  • The Part 1 MRCOG may be attempted before entry to UK specialty training.
  • For candidates not wishing to enter onto the UK Specialist Register, the Part 2 MRCOG must be attempted within 10 years of the exam date of their completed Part 1 MRCOG.
  • For candidates not wishing to enter onto the UK Specialist Register, the Part 3 MRCOG must be attempted within 7 years (pro rata) of the exam date of their completed Part 2 MRCOG.
  • For candidates not wishing to enter onto the UK Specialist Register, there is no restriction on the length of time between attempts of the Part 2 or Part 3 MRCOG.