MRCPsych Examinations - Changes to the Exam Format

  • April 06, 2023

Following an extensive review of its assessment strategy, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has announced changes to the delivery of the MRCPsych examinations.

MRCPsych Paper A and B will remain online for the foreseeable future, and the CASC exam will remain online for the May 2023 diet, moving back to an in-person exam from September 2023.

Online MRCPsych Written Papers

The written MRCPsych papers (Paper A and Paper B) will continue to be delivered through a test centre of your choosing (including international centres). This exciting development was of course accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling MRCPsych examinations to be delivered for both overseas doctors and UK trainees.

The structure of MRCPsych Papers A and B remains that candidates complete 150 questions. From these questions, roughly 100 are multiple choice with single answers and 50 are extended matching questions which ask a series of multiple choice questions about information in a single question stem. 

The online system is straightforward, requiring only a few checks and guidelines to follow to help you make the process a success. 

In-person CASC Exam

Subject to final GMC approval, from September 2023 the CASC exam will be delivered face-to-face in the UK, with international centres for face-to-face delivery set to be introduced in 2024. There will be no further online diets after May 2023.

Face-to-face delivery enables candidates to better demonstrate that they meet the key capabilities outlined in the 2022 curriculum.

After consultation with stakeholders, it was clear that the validity and reliability of the examination was of prime importance, and that face-to-face assessment is the optimal way to assess the clinical skills required for psychiatric practice.

The structure of the MRCPsych CASC exam remains unchanged - candidates complete two circuits, each of eight stations. An examiner will evaluate your performance and the invigilator would be on hand to make sure that everything runs to plan. 

The September 2023 exam will be held in Sheffield, with international centres to be confirmed for 2024 onwards. If you are an overseas candidate for whom this change will delay when you will sit CASC, email the Royal College who are able to extend validity periods according to individual circumstances.

Getting started

An online application form must be completed and takes around 15 minutes. For full guidance on the application, please visit the Royal College website here.

Join the IMG Psychiatrists Facebook group to become part of a community of like-minded MRCPsych aspirants and dedicated psychiatry recruiters.

In the group you will find tailored resources for Psychiatry IMGs including our MRCPsych Crash Course. 

This course offers weekly sessions covering the entire exam and its various domains, including marking and station requirements. This is accompanied by small group role play sessions to allow IMGs to practice stations across various scenarios with feedback on each station, delivered by an experienced NHS psychiatrist and specialist psychiatry recruiters. These sessions are completely free to all doctors.

You can access our CASC Study Course by joining the Facebook group here.

Connect with us 

Don’t hesitate to get in touch using the buttons above (and below) and chat with an IMG Consultant to discuss your options for NHS roles with CESR support and start your journey towards Specialist Registration with IMG Connect. 

For access to a community of like-minded psychiatry IMGs and dedicated psychiatry recruiters, join the IMG Psychiatrists Facebook group.   

To receive the latest news and updates on all things psychiatry, including the Royal College, GMC registration and the NHS, follow us on social media and join the conversation.  



Relevant Jobs

99,532 - 131,964

An NHS Trust in the Midlands is in search of a Consultant Psychiatrist in Eating Disorders. The role is open to overseas consultants with experience or interest in Eating Disorders alongside UK middle grade doctors with S12 who have experience or interest in Easting Disorders. 

This role will primarily focus on the severe pathway. The appointed candidate will offer direct clinical care and clinical leadership to a diverse team, comprising specialist nurses, therapists, psychologists, dietitians, therapists, social workers, and peer support workers. Additionally, there will be occasional cross-cover duties for the inpatient consultants stationed at a 15-bed inpatient unit.

What is the NHS Foundation Trust like?
The NHS Trust serves a population of approximately 850,000 across several towns, provides comprehensive Mental Health Services. Alongside Learning Disability services for a significant region of the West Midlands, it offers tertiary services in Forensic and Child Psychiatry. Furthermore, it extends its reach to Community Health Services within its region. As a teaching Trust, it has strong ties with a university medical school, offering placements for medical students and engaging professionals in teaching and training. The Trust provides higher education facilities for continuous professional development and collaborates closely with the Academic Department of Psychiatry for research opportunities. 

What is the department & team like?

The Eating Disorders Service is a specialist, tertiary service staffed by 4.2 WTE Consultant Psychiatrists, 2.4 WTE specialty doctors, 1.0 WTE ST 4-6, 1.0 WTE CT3, and 1.0 WTE F2 doctor. This multidisciplinary team manages a range of complex cases, including patients with a BMI below 15, those with complex medical or psychiatric comorbidities, pregnant patients, and diabetic patients. Treatments provided encompass individual therapy based on psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural, and systemic approaches. The service also offers specific pathways for patients transitioning from CAMHS, pregnant patients, and SEED patients, alongside a dedicated Clinic for Eating Disorders and Diabetes, with plans for an ARFID clinic.

Facilities include both an outpatient service and a 15-bed regional inpatient unit, all housed in a self-contained unit on a general hospital site. Annually, the service is expected to handle a caseload of approximately 230 patients, with around 360 new referrals. The team works closely with the Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Teams, the Crisis and Home Treatment Team, and the Gastroenterology Departments at the NHS Trust. This comprehensive service, supported by significant investment through the Community Mental Health Transformation Plan, aims to deliver high-quality, specialized care to patients with eating disorders across the town they service.

Career Development & Opportunities Available

The NHS Trust offers extensive career development opportunities, including CESR support for international doctors seeking specialist registration and access to specialty training. The Trust encourages the development of sub-specialties in areas like eating disorders and psychodynamic therapy.

The Trust is committed to service improvement and innovation through its transformation plan, which includes significant investment in services such as the new Community Eating Disorders Service. This dedication to growth and quality improvement creates an exciting environment for professionals aiming to contribute to meaningful changes in healthcare delivery.

Life like in the area

The town is an urban area with nearby rural settings, offering a diverse living environment for doctors. The city provides a mix of cultural activities, historic sites like a Cathedral, and scenic spots in the countryside. The area boasts a range of quality schools and universities. Excellent transportation links connect the city to major cities like Birmingham and London, with easy access to airports such as Birmingham Airport. The area offers a variety of housing options, from modern city apartments to charming rural homes, catering to different lifestyle preferences.


EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Eating Disorders Psychiatry (Desirable)
  • Board Certified Specialist in Adult Psychiatry 

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • Specialist / Consultant experience in General Adult Psychiatry
  • Experience of working in Eating Disorders Psychiatry (Desirable)
  • MRCPsych (Desirable)

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Eating Disorders Psychiatry (Desirable)
  • S12 (Desirable)
£83945 - £95275
An excellent opportunity has arisen for a Specialist Grade in General Adult Psychiatry to join a trust on the south coast of England. This is a high-performing and supportive department for overseas doctors new to NHS jobs or UK-based doctors looking to advance their careers in the UK. CESR support is available.

MRCPsych - preferred 
S12 - preferred 
12 years post graduate experience with 6 years in psychiatry

What is the NHS Trust like?
The NHS Trust provides a range of high-quality specialist mental health, learning disability, and neurodiversity services, in the South West region. The Trust is passionate about promoting good mental health and wellbeing, striving to use the expertise and resources within the organization, and through partnerships, to deliver safe, high-quality services focused on people\'s recovery.

With an annual income exceeding £206 million, the Trust employs around 3,600 staff. Each year, it receives approximately 74,000 referrals and supports around 26,000 people every month. This passion and commitment shape the Trust\'s vision, mission, and strategy. The staff are pivotal in all activities, and the Trust is committed to fully involving them in the development of the organization and its services.

General Adult Psychiatry Department & Team

The Community Mental Health Services provide secondary care interventions for individuals referred by Mental Health Assessment workers and other teams, such as acute and inpatient services. The community teams manage caseloads that include individuals with a wide range of mental health difficulties and complexities, from those requiring intensive long-term care to those receiving short-term psycho-social interventions. The team collaborates constructively with various agencies within Torbay to ensure a coordinated approach to managing risk issues.

The team comprises a full-time Clinical Team Leader, Mental Health Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, and Support Time and Recovery Workers. All three Community Mental Health Teams share an Accommodation Officer, a Personality Disorder Lead, and a Carers Support Team. The team employs a strong multidisciplinary approach, working cohesively to provide an effective and safe recovery-focused service to those referred. 

Life in South West

The South West of England offers both rural and urban settings, providing diverse living options. The region features stunning landscapes, including the Jurassic Coast, Dartmoor, and Exmoor, perfect for hiking and outdoor activities. There are high-quality schools and renowned universities, such as the University of Exeter and University of Bristol. Excellent transportation links include major motorways, rail services to London and other cities, and airports in Bristol and Exeter. Housing options range from urban apartments and suburban homes to countryside cottages, catering to a variety of lifestyles and preferences.

Am I eligible for this role?

MRCPsych - preferred
S12 - preferred 
12 years post graduate experience with 6 years in psychiatry - necesary 
51,000 - 83,000

This international psychiatry sponsorship scheme offers opportunity for experienced psychiatrists qualified abroad, who have already achieved higher postgraduate qualifications in psychiatry to be employed in a unique NHS job, and advance their career while employed within the NHS. Subject to GMC criteria this NHS Trust will sponsor eligible candidates for GMC registration and successful candidate will be employed on a health and care visa.

The programme is an innovative and structured sponsored scheme that supports suitably qualified international medical graduates (who do not have GMC registration) to be sponsored by the NHS Trust for GMC registration with a license to practice, and then be supported to advance their existing clinical and professional skills and receive valuable clinical experience with excellent supervised support.

Depending on your experience, interest and commitment, you will agree a personalised plan to support you to meet your training and development needs. This may be through supporting you to gain further qualifications like MRCPsych, entering UK higher training programme or pursuing CESR (Portfolio Pathway) route to gain specialist registration etc
You will be working at Specialty Doctor level and there are various opportunities across the Trust in specialties such as General Adult, Child & Adolescent (CAMHS), Learning Disabilities, and Older Adult Psychiatry. You will have the opportunity to work in either inpatient or community psychiatry clinics, and rotations can be arranged in various locations across the NHS Trust.

This programme is focused on doctors who do not have current registration with the GMC of the UK; however, it is not meant for doctors who have tried but have been unsuccessful in passing PLAB examination.

Person Specification



  • hold a primary medical qualification (PMQ) recognised by the UK General Medical Council (GMC).
  • acknowledge that, if I am successful in my application to join the EPUT Advanced Fellowship in Psychiatry scheme, you will need to seek verification of this primary medical qualification by the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) before the Trust can sponsor your registration to join the GMC medical register.
  • following undergraduate training, you completed an acceptable programme of practical training/internship (or equivalent) in Medicine of no less than 12 months.
  • you will have achieved a minimum overall score of 7.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic test, and at least 7.0 in each category OR have achieved a B in every category of the medical version of the Occupational English Test (OET).
  • have obtained a postgraduate qualification (PGQ) in psychiatry
  • Pass in papers A and / or B of MRCPsych examination



  • Hold significant post-graduate experience in psychiatry, this will have been through specialist psychiatry training, and working at a speciality doctor or consultant level. 
51,000  - 131,964

An outstanding NHS Trust are seeking experienced Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists to join the an NHS Trust that has been rated \"Outstanding\" overall by the CQC. This is a perfect time to join as the CAMHS is an award winning service. You will be working side by side with a team of driven and hardworking doctors. This is a great opportunity for overseas Psychiatrists who want to establish themselves in the NHS, and grow their consultant or specialist grade career.

The post is suitable for candidates holding specialisation in the EEA, or for experienced IMGs looking to complete CESR.


The NHS Foundation Trust provide health and social care for over 400,000 people with mental ill health, physical ill health and learning disabilities across four cities. They employ over 3,500 staff who deliver these services within the community as well inpatient settings. They also deliver a range of nationally commissioned specialist services including Tier 4 services for children and young people, perinatal services and medium and low secure learning disabilities services.

They have operated as an NHS Foundation Trust since our authorisation in August 2007, which gave them opportunities to further build upon and improve the services for their community. Benefits include a stronger involvement with local communities through their members and Council of Governors and the ability to borrow finance to support their capital investment programme. Over the years the quality of the mental health services and the achievements of the staff have been recognised nationally including the “Mental Health Trust of The Year Award” for 2020 at the Health Service Journal Awards.

In a recent NHS Staff Survey the trust achieved the best score for safety culture amongst mental health and learning disabilities trusts throughout the country. The staff have also said that they would recommend the trust as a place to work and as a place for their friends and family to receive care. They are driven by our values. If you believe in Respect, Kindness and a Positive outlook then you\'ll be right at home.


The Trusts Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is an award winning service and has received specific CQC recognition as being outstanding in 3 categories (Caring, responsive and well-led) they credit this to the outstanding people we have delivering care to our service users. It is a busy team covering 2 sites, and the team works on an outpatient model. The caseload for this post is estimated to be 120. The CAMHS department is part of the East and North Strategic Business Unit in the NHS Foundation Trust. CAMHS is divided into 5 service divisions. 

The CAMHS Community Eating Disorders Service is a newly expanded, multi-disciplinary team which provides specialist CAMHS input to children and young people with eating disorders. It provides home-based treatment, out-patient treatment and gate-keeps referrals to in-patient services. The team has a very positive reputation and the ED practitioners have won numerous Trust wide and national awards. The team has been successful in attracting Government funding to allow service expansion.

The post holder is Providing consultation, advice and appropriate support to professionals in the wider network of the young person and/or family. The post holder is expected to contribute to the supervision of the trainees and the specialty doctor allocated to the service. The post holder is expected to provide opportunities for case based discussion and teaching to the MDT.


Whether you want to live in London and commute, live in the country or small towns, working in this trust has something to offer. The Trust covers a mixed rural and urban area, including large and smaller towns. The area has excellent connections to London and the rest of the country. A large number of psychiatrists working in the trust choose to commute from London, some locations can be reached from London in 17 – 30 minutes depending on the locality. By car from several parts of North London the commute is under 30 mins.

The trust is a situated in beautiful county with picturesque, rural villages and a number of lovely, vibrant towns and garden cities. Ranked in 2016, by uSwitch Better Family Life Index, as the best place to raise a family, The region scored highly on top exam results, good pay prospects, high employment rates, fast broadband and better weather than other towns in the Index! It is also well known for its excellent schools, stunning countryside and fantastic local facilities which provide plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy yourself away from work.

There are three major roads going North-South (the M1, the A1 and the A10). In addition the M25 passes through. Train services are also excellent with the journey time to London from some towns is less than 20 - 30 minutes. Education is of a high standard. Currently more than 160,000 children are educated in the county’s network of 566 schools made up of 17 nursery schools, 426 primary schools, 9 middle schools, 78 secondary schools, 27 Special Schools and 8 Education Support Centres. Exam results and SATs continue to be above the national average and the ration of pupils to teachers is among the best in the shire counties. There is also a wide range of public/private schools to choose from.


The combination of clinical practice and first-class academic connections means that medical professionals have a wide range of opportunities to develop their careers and achieve their aspirations. You will have access to leadership, teaching, educational and research opportunities for Continued Professional Develop (CPD).

If you are a new consultant you will receive mentoring and support from medical leads as well as access to a large peer group of enthusiastic and high-caliber Consultants.

In addition to the generous pension and annual leave that comes with NHS employment, the trust offers additional benefits to our staff including a salary sacrifice scheme enabling staff to drive a brand new car or purchase a new bike as well as an HMRC scheme enabling savings on registered childcare costs.


EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Board Certified Specialist in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • MRCPsych
  • Experience of working in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Within 6 - 12 months of completing CCT
52,530 - 82,240

An outstanding opportunity for a psychiatrist to join Forensic Psychiatry Department as Specialty Doctor that has received outstanding ratings from the CQC on three occasions. You will offer psychiatric input and conduct assessments, both psychiatric and physical, for patients on two wards. One ward is a self-contained low secure rehabilitation unit situated away from the main hospital premises, while the other is a medium secure rehabilitation ward. This role offers exposure to a broad spectrum of clinical presentations, including personality, affective, anxiety, psychotic, neurodevelopmental, and substance-related disorders. Moreover, it provides a platform for developing knowledge and understanding of forensic mental health sections. This position also offers CESR support for those seeking progression within the UK NHS Jobs system.

This is a great opportunity for overseas Specialty Doctors who want to establish themselves in the NHS, and grow their career. The post is suitable for candidates holding specialisation in the EEA, or for experienced IMGs looking to complete CESR.

What is the NHS Trust like?

The Mental Health NHS Trust is a leading provider of mental health service serving a population of 1.2 million. With five main inpatient sites and 25 community locations, they offer comprehensive support for both mental and physical health needs, catering to young people and adults alike. From managing phobias and anxiety to addressing conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, their services are diverse and inclusive. They integrate community health services with mental health care, enabling simultaneous treatment of conditions such as diabetes and mental health issues, promoting holistic patient care.

Forensic Psychiatry Team & Department

The Forensic Service enjoys a stellar reputation, earning an \'Outstanding\' rating from the Care Quality Commission. The Forensic Service delivers care in low and medium secure environments, featuring specialized facilities such as the National Stalking Clinic and the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (FTAC). These services focus on evaluating and managing risks for prominent individuals. 

The inpatient service consists of one acute assessment and treatment medium secure male 4 4 ward, four treatment and intervention medium secure male wards, one female medium secure ward, one medium secure and one low secure male learning disability ward, one low secure male FICU ward and 4 low secure male wards. There are currently 25 Consultant Forensic Psychiatrists in post, working with 5 senior psychiatric trainees who rotate with posts at other forensic psychiatric services in the region. There are 5 junior psychiatric trainees, coming from the UCH training schemes. The service currently employs 10 specialty doctors, working in the prisons and in the rehabilitation parts of the service.

Life in the area

The area offers a blend of urban and suburban living, providing both rural escapes and city conveniences. Residents can explore scenic parks or enjoy activities at different parks. The area boasts a range of quality schools and easy access to universities like Middlesex University. Transport links are excellent, with frequent trains to central London and nearby cities, as well as efficient connections to major airports. Housing options vary from historic cottages to modern apartments, catering to diverse preferences and lifestyles.

Career Development and Opportunities Available

With an extremely active education/teaching programme supported by the consultant team, there is opportunity to work towards and complete CESR, RCPsych exams, get involved in active research and many aspects of CPD. 

Participation in research and educational activities will be encouraged.

EEA Candidates:

  • Experience of working in Forensic Psychiatry (Desirable)

Non-EEA Candidates:

  • MRCPsych
  • Experience of working in Forensic Psychiatry (Desirable)

UK based applicants

  • Experience of working in Forensic Psychiatry (Desirable)

Search Vacancies

Ask a question

Check your salary

error: Content is protected !!