Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

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Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Paediatrics logo.jpg
Established 1928
President Professor Neena Modi
Location 5-11 Theobald's Road
, United Kingdom
Members 16,000 (2015)
Website Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, often referred to as the RCPCH, is the professional body for paediatricians (doctors specialising in child health) in the United Kingdom. It is responsible for the postgraduate training of paediatricians and conducts the Membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH) exams. It also awards the Diploma in Child Health (DCH), which is taken by many doctors who plan a career in general practice. Members of the college use the postnominal initials 'MRCPCH' while Fellows use 'FRCPCH'.


The United Kingdom's first national group of paediatricians was established in 1928 as the British Paediatric Association or BPA. Its first president was George Frederic Still. The BPA's initial aims were the advancement of the study of paediatrics and the promotion of friendship amongst paediatricians. Most paediatricians also belonged to the Royal College of Physicians and took the examination MRCP(Paeds). The BPA was granted was granted royal college status in August 1996. The MRCP(Paeds) exam was replaced by the MRCPCH in 1999.

The College's official journal, the Archives of Disease in Childhood, was founded in 1926.

The RCPCH's first home was in Hallam Street, London. On 21 March 2008 the College moved to new premises at 5-11 Theobalds Road, London, where it is still based.

Aims of the College[edit]

The RCPCH's stated aim is to 'transform child health through knowledge, innovation and expertise'.[1] In practice it has a number of roles:

  • Postgraduate training for paediatricians: the RCPCH defines the paediatric curriculum, advises Local Education and Training Boards and records and monitors trainees' progress from entry to specialist training to achieving the certificate of completion of training (CCT).
  • Running examinations: both the MRCPCH, considered an essential qualification for British paediatricians, and the DCH, a qualification in child health for non-paediatricians.
  • Provides courses and e-learning resources.
  • Campaigns to improve child health nationally and globally.
  • Organises research conferences, notably the RCPCH Annual Conference.
  • Publishes the Archives of Disease in Childhood, a peer-reviewed journal of paediatrics.
  • Develops clinical guidelines and standards.

The college works closely with other bodies, including the Department of Health (United Kingdom), the Local Education and Training Boards, the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board, the General Medical Council, the National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), children's charities and the other medical royal colleges.


Full membership of the College requires successful completion of the MRCPCH examinations and payment of the membership fee. There are over 16,000 members, most based in the UK but with an increasing number overseas. The membership includes practicing hospital, community and academic paediatricians and retired doctors.

Paediatric junior doctors who are studying for their MRCPCH exams can become junior members. Medical students, foundation (newly qualified) doctors and non-doctors with an interest in child health may apply for affiliate membership. Doctors working in child health anywhere in the world can become associate members without taking the MRCPCH examination.

Senior doctors who have completed paediatric training can apply for fellowship of the RCPCH, after which they can use the letters FRCPCH.

Coat of arms[edit]

The coat of arms of the college commemorate June Lloyd, first female President of the British Paediatric Association and Thomas Phaire, whose Boke of Chyldren from 1545 was the first book on paediatrics in English. The crest is a baby, taken from the arms of the Foundling Hospital in Coram's Fields.

List of Presidents of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health[edit]

The President is the elected head of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

British Paediatric Association
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • Sir Roy Meadow (1991-1997); first president of the RCPCH
  • David Baum (1997-1999)
  • Sir David Hall (2000-2003)
  • Professor Sir Alan Craft (2003-2006)
  • Patricia Hamilton (2006-2009; first female president of the RCPCH)
  • Terence Stephenson (2009-2012)
  • Hilary Cass (2012-2015)
  • Professor Neena Modi (2015 to present)[2]


  1. ^ RCPCH website
  2. ^ "Professor Neena Modi becomes President of the RCPCH". Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 30 August 2015. 

External links[edit]