Equality and diversity

The surgical royal colleges recognise that discrimination and victimisation is unacceptable. It is in the interests of their members, trainees, candidates, assessors and examiners to ensure that - where it falls within their sphere of influence - no interested party receives less favourable facilities or treatment (either directly or indirectly) in recruitment, employment, assessment or examination on grounds of age, disability, gender/gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy/maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation (the protected characteristics as outlined in the equalities legislation in the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland).

The Equality and diversity policy provides the framework to which all intercollegiate committees and examinations adhere with regards to equality and diversity, and provides guidance on the activities undertaken to ensure full compliance.

Equality and diversity policy

Tax relief for MRCS examination fees

Trainee surgeons who take the MRCS exam will now be able to claim tax relief on it.

Trainees who pay for the exam themselves and are employed on a training contract as either core or specialty trainees can claim their tax relief. They will need to complete a form (P87) or do so through their self-assessment tax return if they are already in self-assessment or the expenses they've paid amount to more than £2,500. More information on how to claim can be found on the Gov.uk website

In order to allow HMRC to handle any claims as efficiently as possible, HMRC have requested that trainees are informed that they should include with their claim a receipt or other proof of payment for the MRCS exam fees. Claims made without this may be delayed as HMRC may have to contact the trainee to request this evidence.

How to claim tax relief

There are three different ways of claiming tax relief on your MRCS fees.

If you complete a self-assessment tax return, you can claim tax relief from your MRCS fees on the employment page of the return.
If you do not file a tax return, you can claim tax relief using form P87: Tax relief for expenses of employment, available to download from the HMRC website.

You can complete the template letter.

You can claim a tax refund/relief for the current tax year or any of the previous 4 tax years. A trainee can therefore go back 4 tax years to reclaim the tax deductibility from the MRCS exam fees paid.

See the HMRC website for further details, including allowable expenses, eligibility and claiming back tax for past years.

Please note that the tax relief is only currently applicable for MRCS fees.

Annual reports

The ICBSE annual report provides a definitive source of information about the Membership Examination of the Surgical Royal Colleges of Great Britain (MRCS) and the Diploma in Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery (DO-HNS) for all interested stakeholders including candidates, trainers, assigned educational supervisors and the public.

Within the reports, interested parties can find statistical information on the MRCS and DO-HNS, along with the main ICBSE activity for the year in question.