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

Candidate Code of Conduct

The Intercollegiate Candidate Code of Conduct defines the behaviours and standards that are expected of MRCS and MRCS (ENT) candidates. Candidates should note that by virtue of applying for an MRCS or MRCS (ENT) examination they are deemed to have understood and agreed to abide by the Candidate Code of Conduct.

Intercollegiate Candidate Code of Conduct


These regulations define candidate misconduct with examples, as well as how suspected misconduct will be investigated and the sanctions in place. Find out how to avoid it as well as what to do if you suspect misconduct.

Intercollegiate Suspected Candidate Misconduct Regulations

The policy below outlines the steps that may be taken if candidates display concerning or dangerous behaviour during an MRCS examination.

Intercollegiate policy for concerning or dangerous candidate behaviour

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

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 an 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 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

Rechecking MRCS Part A Answer Sheets

 Rechecking MRCS Part A answer sheets policy

This document outlines ICBSE's policy regarding the rechecking of candidates’ answer sheets following an MRCS Part A examination.

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.