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MRCOG Part 3 format

The MRCOG Part 3 is a clinical assessment of knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies. Passing the MRCOG Part 3 exam leads to the award of the membership of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG), and remains the essential waypoint for UK trainees to pass from core training to higher training (ST6 and ST7).

Format of the assessment

The MRCOG Part 3 Clinical Assessment consists of 14 tasks in a circuit, each task based on one of the 14 modules detailed in the syllabus.

Each of the MRCOG Part 3 modules is assessed in the context of five domains:

  • Patient safety
  • Communication with patients and their relatives
  • Communication with colleagues
  • Information gathering
  • Applied clinical knowledge

Each of the 14 tasks will assess between three and four of the domains to reflect everyday clinical practice where, for example, communicating with patients is inextricably linked with applied clinical knowledge, or communicating with colleagues also involves aspects of patient safety.

Each task is 12 minutes in length, which includes two minutes of initial reading time.


A trained Clinical Examiner will be feature on all 14 tasks.

A trained Lay Examiner will feature on four of the 14 tasks, assessing the domains of communication, patient safety and information gathering from the perspective of the patient.

Types of task

There are two types of task in the MRCOG Part 3:

  • Simulated patient/colleague tasks involve the candidate interacting with an actor who has been trained and fully briefed in the role she/he is to play. The actor will know all the relevant details pertaining to the case and will have some scripted questions to prompt if needed.
  • Structured discussion tasks involve the candidate interacting directly with a clinical examiner. The examiner will have detailed instructions about the task and a list of questions that they can use to prompt the candidate or to move the task on to ensure that he candidate does not run out of time. The examiner may give the candidate further information as the scenario evolves and then ask further questions.

To allow for more depth in the assessment of applied clinical knowledge, a circuit may contain ‘linked tasks’, where the second task is connected to the first. Candidates will be expected to build on the knowledge acquired in the first task. There may also be tasks where candidates are required to undertake a writing task.

Contact us

For more information, or if you have any questions, please email the RCOG Exams department at  or call +44 20 7772 6210.

Elsewhere on the site

Specialty training in O&G

Overview of the specialty training programme in obstetrics and gynaecology, including how the MRCOG exams fit in


The full specialty training programme in O&G – core modules, ultrasound, ATSMs, subspecialty and academic