The intercollegiate Membership examination of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (MRCS) tests the knowledge, experience and clinical competence expected of trainees at the end of their core surgical training.

The MRCS 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 be announced on this website.


The MRCS regulations govern the content and conduct of the examination leading to the award of the Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons. The regulations provide information relating to eligibility, application, content and format of the exam.

  MRCS regulations

Appeals and complaints

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

 Candidate appeal regulations

 Complaints procedure 


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

 Suspected malpractice regulations 

Additional attempts policy

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

Access and adjustments

This policy outlines the processes to follow in applying for a reasonable adjustment for all parts of the MRCS 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

 Refugee concessions policy

This document outlines the fee concessions available to refugee doctors. 

Archived regulations

The MRCS examination format has evolved since the formation of the intercollegiate examinations in 2004. Previous regulations and syllabi (which may still have a bearing on candidate eligibility) are available for reference in our Archive section.