COVID-19 and Assessments update

May exam cancellations due to COVID-19

As the number of COVID-19 cases grows daily we have made the difficult decision to cancel the scheduled PA National  Examinations, both written and OSCEs, which were due to take place in May in Liverpool. We know that at this current time the uncertainties about what will happen around exams are causing considerable anxiety. The welfare of aspiring physician associates is very important to us so we wanted to provide as much notice as possible of the decision.

These examinations were due to take place on the following dates:

  • Thursday 7 May 2020 (written)
  • Wednesday 20 May 2020
  • Thursday 21 May 2020
  • Friday 22 May 2020

We have also made the decision to extend the recertification period by two exam diets for those who were intending to sit the exam in May. As the NHS will be under considerable pressure candidates who were planning on recertifying in May will not be able to register for this examination and will instead have their recertification period extended. 

We are currently in discussions with stakeholders to agree a way forward for those candidates who would have sat the May exams, and hope to provide an update shortly.

The next scheduled round of National Examinations will be held in September.

How do I register for the national examinations?

All candidates must register online for the physician associate certification exam and the physician associate recertification exam. The registration link will open approximately two months prior to component 1 written exam.

Candidates that need to re-sit one component of the exam must complete the registration form and select the appropriate component.

Please note registration for an exam is not confirmed until the RCP assessment unit receives official notification from each university that a candidate has completed the mandatory requirements of the university’s programme and is therefore eligible to sit the national exam. Any candidate who is not eligible for the national examination will have their application withdrawn and any examination fees paid refunded. Payment links for each component will be sent out separately to candidates once the application period has closed. 

Please complete all sections of the registration form. An automated email receipt will not be sent, email confirmation will be sent separately within one business day of your application being submitted. 


The national examination fee is £550; PA national written examination fee is £175, PA national OSCE examination fee is  £375

The RCP assessment unit reserves the right to review the examination fees periodically.

Assessment Period 3

ExamApplication periodExam date periodResults released

PA written

PA recertification

Monday, 29 June 2020 Sunday, 12 July 2020 Thursday, 10 September 2020 Thursday, 29 October 2020
PA clinical Monday, 29 June 2020 Sunday, 12 July 2020

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Friday, 18 September 2020

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Friday, 25 September 2020

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Frequently Asked Questions