Diploma in Geriatric Medicine

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The Diploma in Geriatric Medicine (DGM) is a credential awarded by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and developed in collaboration with the British Geriatrics Society (BGS). It has two parts: an online written exam and a clinical exam.

The DGM is designed for individuals who want to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the healthcare of older people in community, primary and acute care settings. We advise applicants to have at least 2 years’ post-qualification experience, at least 4 months of which should be in a setting where you have interacted with a large number of older people. Involvement in the production and implementation of care plans for older people should form a large proportion of any previous experience gained.

Candidates to date have included the following healthcare professionals:

  • GPs
  • Old age psychiatrists
  • Doctors in training 
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Physician associates (on the managed voluntary register)
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Osteopaths
  • Other allied health professionals.

How to apply

When applications are open, you can apply via our online exam provider Orzone. To apply to sit the exam, you will need to create an account on Orzone. 

An application button will appear in this section when an application period is open. Please see application period dates above. Payment for the exam is to be completed as part of the application process.

Should you subsequently be found not to be eligible for the exam, a full refund of the fees will be processed to your bank account or your original payment card. Please note that the written exam (Part 1) is only open one time in the year.

The fee for the clinical exam must be paid in advance. Candidates will receive official confirmation of their registration and admission to the clinical exam once the fee has been received.

Examination fees and dates for 2024 and 2025

The knowledge-based assessment is held online once a year. The clinical examination is held twice a year, in summer and autumn, at our Examination Assessment Centre at the RCP at The Spine in Liverpool.

If a candidate fails the written exam, the following year will be their next available opportunity to retake it.

2024 – Part 1 online written exam:

  • Examination fee: £305
  • Application period: 8–21 January 2024
  • Examination date: 28 February 2024
  • Results release date: 27 March 2024 – by 5pm to candidate email addresses. 

2024 – Part 2 clinical exam (set 1): 

  • Examination fee: £582
  • Application period: 1–14 April 2024
  • Examination date(s): 4–5 June 2024 (additional dates in the same week may be added depending on application numbers)*
  • Results release date: 3 July 2024 – by 5pm to candidate email addresses.

2024 – Part 2 clinical exam (set 2):

  • Examination fee: £582
  • Application period: 16–29 September 2024
  • Examination date(s): 4–6 November 2024 (additional dates in the same week may be added depending on application numbers)*
  • Results release date: 18 December 2024 – by 5pm to candidate email addresses.

2025 – Part 1 online written exam:

  • Examination fee: To be confirmed
  • Application period: Monday 6 January 2025 – Sunday 19 January 2025
  • Examination date: Wednesday 26 February 2025 (10:00am start – UK time)
  • Results release date: Wednesday 26 March 2025 – by 5:00pm to candidate email addresses. 

2025 – Part 2 clinical exam (set 1):

  • Examination fee: To be confirmed
  • Application period: Monday 31 March 2025 – Sunday 13 April 2025
  • Examination date(s): 2 June – 3 June 2025 (further dates in the same week may be added dependent on application numbers)*
  • Results release date: Wednesday 9 July 2025 – by 5:00pm to candidate email addresses.

2025 – Part 2 clinical exam (set 2):

  • Examination fee: To be confirmed
  • Application period: 1 September 2025 – 14 September 2025
  • Examination date(s): 3 November – 4 November 2025 (further dates in the same week may be added dependent on application numbers)*
  • Results release date: Wednesday 10 December 2025 – by 5:00pm to candidate email addresses.

*Clinical exam dates may be changed/added or removed depending on capacity.

Candidates must first pass the written exam in order to be eligible to sit the clinical exam. 

Should you have any specific date requests for your clinical exam, please notify us via the application form or email dgm@rcp.ac.uk. We will endeavour to allocate you to your preferred exam dates. However, this cannot be guaranteed in all cases.

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Guidance for candidates

Applicants should also be aware that a maximum of six attempts are permitted at each component of the DGM and are advised to consider this when planning their first application to the online knowledge-based assessment.

After six failed attempts, a candidate will be required to undertake additional educational experience for each resit and submit evidence of this. This evidence will need to be supported by a candidate’s educational supervisor, and the training programme director or equivalent. For more information, you can download the DGM additional attempt FAQs and form, which can be found at the bottom of this page.

Candidates must pass the online knowledge-based assessment before they sit the clinical examination. 

Eligibility

All statutorily regulated healthcare practitioners, currently registered and in good standing with the relevant regulator, and with no restrictions on their practice, are eligible to apply to take the DGM. Physician associates who are on the Managed Voluntary Register, which is held by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and Faculty of Physician Associates, are also eligible to apply.

For applicants declaring a UK registration, the RCP Assessment Unit will check registration with the relevant UK regulator (GMC, NMC, or Health and Care Professions Council, for example), including a check for any restriction to practise. Applicants declaring registration on the Physician Associates Managed Voluntary Register will have this registration checked with the Faculty of Physician Associates, including a check for any restrictions to practise.

Applicants who hold registration with a regulator outside the UK will be required to get their educational supervisor or line manager to submit a reference form confirming the following regarding the applicant:

  • Their regulatory body
  • Their regulatory body registration number (or equivalent)
  • That the applicant is in good standing in their professional practice
  • A general reference detailing why they are supportive of an application from the named individual.

Wherever possible, the registration details of the applicant will be verified with the relevant regulator, and the RCP reserves the right to contact the referee directly if further information is required.

The RCP reserves the right to verify candidate’s eligibility with their awarding institution, and to refuse entry to the examination to candidates who do not meet the eligibility criteria set out above.

Interested in becoming an examiner?

Becoming an examiner can add an extra perspective to your career: examining is an excellent source of CPD points, and is recognised by most NHS trusts as a supporting professional activity for consultant staff, which will add to your revalidation portfolio.

Become an examiner for the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine
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