The RCOG has been closely monitoring the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to continued global travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines, we will not be able to safely deliver our exams scheduled for 26 September using our traditional paper format. In reaction to the current global crisis we have moved quickly to bring forward the release of our new Exams IT System to transition to computer-based testing. We have partnered with Pearson VUE to use their global network of test centres. In order to facilitate the exam in Pearson VUE test centres we have had to reschedule the exam for 28 September 2020.
We have been working closely with our new partners to establish possible test centre locations based on the address information we have on record for candidates. To support this work, candidates were asked to update their address information on their RCOG accounts by 1 June 2020. Candidates are expected to sit the exam at a test centre located in their current country of residence. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, social distancing measures and government restrictions remain in place across individual countries. This means that full capacity for those candidates booked to sit the September exam at Pearson VUE centres is not possible. We have therefore had to make the very difficult decision to defer a number of candidates. To provide a fair, transparent and equitable process, the following approach has been taken:
- Candidates with an address that is recorded as being in a country where there is enough capacity in Pearson VUE test centres to host all candidates in that location: candidates will have the opportunity to select a placement at one of Pearson VUE’s test centres when the booking window opens on 17 August 2020
- Candidates with an address that is recorded as being in a country where there is no capacity at Pearson VUE test centres: we will defer these candidates’ places and guarantee them a place at the first possible opportunity in 2021, subject to the ongoing impact of COVID-19
- Candidates with an address that is recorded as being in a country where there is limited capacity at Pearson VUE test centres, but not enough for all candidates: we have adopted a system to randomly select candidates who will have the opportunity to select a place at one of the test centres when the booking window opens on 17 August. Candidates not selected through this randomised system will have their place deferred and we will guarantee them a place at the first possible opportunity in 2021, subject to the ongoing impact of COVID-19
We have contacted all candidates to advise them of their individual circumstances.
We appreciate this will be disappointing news for many, but this decision has been made to protect the health of our candidates, invigilators and staff, along with supporting the global containment and reduction in the spread of COVID-19. As a result of this necessary decision, candidates who have booked but have not been provided a place for September will be guaranteed a sitting at the first possible opportunity in 2021, subject to pandemic restrictions, and the 2020 fee will be retained rather than being charged the additional 2021 price. If a candidate chooses to request a refund and cancel their booking, their guarantee of 2021 place will not be possible.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter. We have answered the questions you may have in the FAQs below. If you have any further queries please contact email@example.com. Due to a high volume of queries at this time, and to ensure a timely response, we would strongly advise all candidates to check if one of the FAQs below is able to answer your question before sending in a query via email.
- Why can’t I sit my exam at the test centre I booked for the July exam?
With the ongoing global spread of COVID-19 it has become clear that we will not be able to safely deliver our exams using the traditional paper-based model. Global travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines mean paper-based testing in traditional examination rooms would not be feasible.
- I have been contacted to say that I will have the opportunity to book a place at one of Pearson VUE’s test centres on 17 August. Does this mean I am guaranteed a place to sit the exam on 28 September?
All current places will still be subject to the ongoing development of the global pandemic. Capacity at test centres may change in response to localised outbreaks of COVID-19.
- I have been contacted to say that I will have the opportunity to book a place on 17 August. However, my address information is outdated on my RCOG account. Can I sit the exam at a test centre in the country I now reside?
No, all candidates were asked to update their address information by no later than 1 June 2020 and are only expected to book a placement at one of Pearson VUE’s test centres in the country specified in their record on 1 June.
- I have been contacted to say that I will not have the opportunity to sit the exam in September because there is no/insufficient test capacity in my country of residence. However, my address information is outdated on my RCOG account. Can I still be given the opportunity to book a place to sit the exam at a test centre in the country I now reside?
All candidates were asked to update their address information by no later than 1 June 2020. Unfortunately, it is too late to consider additional places at any other test centres.
- I have been contacted to say that I will be given the chance to book the exam at one of Pearson VUE’s test centres. What is computer-based testing and how does it work?
Please refer to our Exams IT System page where you will find more information.
- I have been contacted to say that my placement has been deferred until 2021. Can I receive a refund?
We are offering all candidates who are unable to sit in September the opportunity of a guaranteed place to sit the exam in 2021 with no additional fee charged, subject to the ongoing impact of COVID-19. However, if candidates prefer they can withdraw from our offer of a guaranteed place in 2021 and request a full refund of their examination fee. Refunded candidates will no longer have a guaranteed place in 2021 and will have to pay any fee increases when rebooking, with places for new bookings limited to availability. To request a refund please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than 21 July 2020.
- What if I need to or have already requested reasonable adjustments to be put in place to sit the exam?
Any adjustments you have already had approved will not be affected by the transition to computer-based testing. The Pearson VUE test centres will have all required adjustments in place. We have extended requests for adjustments up until 21 July 2020. If you wish to request an adjustment to the examination setting please first read the Supporting Special Circumstances Policy and submit your request to ExamConfidentialEnquiries@rcog.org.uk.
- The exam date has changed and I am no longer able to attend. What should I do?
If you are unable to attend because the exam has moved to Monday 28 September 2020, please contact the examinations team to advise us. Please decide if you wish to be given a guaranteed place in 2021 or if you would like a refund, as per question 6 above.