Specialty Certificate Examinations in Acute Internal Medicine

The Federation of Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom, in association with the Specialist Societies, has developed a programme to deliver Specialty Certificate Examinations (SCEs) within the training structure. 


The Purpose of the SCE is to:


  • ensure that certified specialists have sufficient knowledge of their specialty to practice safely and competently as consultants
  • complement workplace-based assessments
  • provide a rigorous national assessment to establish public confidence
  • offer a challenge similar to sub-specialty certification examination in North America
  • identify those practising trainees who have acquired the necessary professional knowledge and problem-solving skills to enable them to practise independently as specialists
  • evaluate the professional competence of medical graduates during specialist training in areas such as clinical science, epidemiology and statistics


Trainees must successfully complete the Specialty Certificate Examination to obtain a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in Acute Internal Medicine (AIM). The exam meets the requirement for a knowledge-based assessment of the curriculum submitted to the General Medical Council (GMC) by the Specialist Advisory Committees (SACs).

The SCEs play an essential role in the overall educational experience and continuing professional development of trainees in the UK. 


They provide a professional standard against which physicians working outside the UK can measure their level of attainment. They are designed to assess a trainee’s knowledge and understanding of the clinical sciences relevant to AIM medical practice and of common or important disorders to a level appropriate for a newly appointed consultant.



There are no restrictions on taking the SCEs, however UK trainees would usually take it during their penultimate year of higher specialist training and overseas candidates are advised to take the SCE at a similar or later point in their training/career.


Further Information

Up to date information on the SCE can be found on the MRCP website here. An example paper can be found by clicking here.


Page Last Updated 13th July 2021