The intercollegiate Diploma in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (DO-HNS) tests the knowledge, clinical and communication skills and professional attributes expected of a doctor intending to join an otolaryngology department in a trainee position.

The DO-HNS regulations below apply to all candidates. It is essential that you read and understand them before sitting the examination.

These regulations are under continual review; we recommend that you keep in regular contact with your college to ensure you have the most up-to-date information. Any changes to the regulations will also be announced on this website.


The DO-HNS examination regulations govern the content and conduct of the examination leading to the award of the Diploma in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. The regulations provide information relating to eligibility, application, content and format of the exam.

DO-HNS regulations

MRCS ENT regulations

With effect from August 2011, trainees who have achieved a pass in Part A of the Intercollegiate MRCS examination and a pass in Part 2 of the Intercollegiate DO-HNS examination have been eligible to apply for MRCS (ENT) membership of one of the Royal Surgical Colleges.

The MRCS (ENT) examination regulations govern the content and conduct of the MRCS (ENT) exam and provide information on eligibility, application, content and format.

MRCS ENT regulations 

Appeals and complaints

These regulations apply to all candidates and will be used to investigate all examination appeals.

Candidate appeals regulations

Complaints procedure 


These regulations define candidate misconduct with examples. Find out how to avoid it as well as what to do if you suspect misconduct.

Suspected Candidate Misconduct for MRCS and DOHNS

Following the online/remote delivery of an examination, Colleges may need to contact candidates to investigate anomalous behaviour that has been identified in post-examination reviews of remote-proctoring videos. The document below explains this process.

Investigation of anomalous behaviour in online exams

The policy below outlines the steps that may be taken if candidates display concerning or dangerous behaviour during a DO-HNS examination.

Intercollegiate policy for concerning or dangerous candidate behaviour 

Additional attempts

All medical royal colleges and faculties are required by the General Medical Council (GMC) to introduce a limit on the number of attempts at their examinations. However, candidates who have had the maximum number of attempts at MRCS and DO-HNS can apply for a maximum of one additional attempt if they have carried out verified additional educational experience and their educational supervisor feels they are now likely to achieve a pass. The documents below provide guidance on the eligibility and application process for an additional attempt.

 Additional attempts policy - an introduction

 Additional attempts FAQ

 Additional attempt application form

Mitigating circumstances

This policy provides guidance for candidates and Colleges to address instances when candidates may experience an event that may cause them to perform at a less than optimal level in a fair and equitable manner.

Mitigating Circumstances Policy

Access and adjustments

This policy outlines the processes to follow in applying for a reasonable adjustment for all parts of the DO-HNS examination and the basis for which reasonable adjustments can be granted.

Access arrangements and reasonable adjustments policy for candidates with a disability or specific learning difficulty

Refugee concessions

This document outlines the fee concessions available to refugee doctors.

Refugee concessions policy