The Faculty of Physician Associates and COVID-19 preparations

As a leading health organisation aimed at improving patient care and preventing disease in the UK and globally, the Royal College of Physicians takes seriously its responsibility to protect the public from contracting COVID-19 and to prevent the further spread of the virus. 

As a membership body working within the RCP, the FPA supports the plans the RCP are putting in place to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

What the RCP are doing

The RCP are monitoring the national and global situation daily and have put policies in place for a variety of outcomes. Emergency preparedness at UK government and NHS England level is being shared with RCP president Professor Andrew Goddard and chief officers, so that they are in the best position to advise physicians and physician associates as the situation changes.

To ensure members have as much information as possible, the RCP recently held a widely appreciated expert update on COVID-19, still available to view, which looked at the origin and biology of the virus; recognition, diagnosis and management of cases and UK preparedness and guidance. 

At present there is no cancellation of any UK-based events or activities in keeping with government advice, but if the situation changes and the RCP decide to cancel or postpone events and activities, the following policies will apply.

Events

In the event of the cancellation of an RCP or FPA event due to COVID-19 there will be an offer of a full refund of the delegate fee paid. This will also apply if the delegate is unable to attend due to travel restrictions from their government, NHS Trust or employers. Supporting documents may be requested. As with our standard refund policy, the RCP and FPA will not refund any expenses incurred such as travel or accommodation.

If the RCP or FPA event can be rearranged or postponed we will offer the option of transferring the full registration and fee to the new date. Should the new date be unsuitable then the delegate will receive a full refund of the delegate fee paid. Where we are no longer able to host an event, we will be looking into livestreaming options as an alternative to physical attendance.

If any RCP or FPA event is cancelled or postponed, delegates will be contacted directly by the organiser. Any questions regarding specific events should be forwarded to [email protected]

Exams

For the most up-to-date information regarding Physician Associate National Certification and Recertification examinations in the UK please visit the exam page on COVID-19. There are currently no plans to cancel scheduled FPA assessments. The RCP Assessment Unit will contact candidates directly with any changes to individual examination arrangements. If you have any queries or concerns about upcoming assessments please contact the RCP Assessment Unit at [email protected].

RCP and FPA business as usual

We have put other policies in place so that we can run much of our usual business over the next few months until and unless we are unable to do so.  We will update this page as new information becomes available.

Latest NHS and government advice

For the latest information, please refer to:

GOV.UK/coronavirus

https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/

https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://www.gov.scot/publications/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-update/

Guidance for healthcare professionals is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/wuhan-novel-coronavirus

For information on the public information campaign visit nhs.uk/coronavirus

Further updates

Any significant announcements on event cancellation or changes to business as usual will be posted on this page – please check the website for updates.