What to expect on the day of The Faculty of Public Health Diplomate Examination (DFPH)

Two weeks after the closing date for applications, allocation packs will be emailed to candidates. The pack will include a letter which will indicate your candidate number. The pack will also include information and guidance to do with taking the DFPH. 

Please use the drop down menus to find further information on what to expect on the day of the exam.

  1. You are required to show one of the documents listed below as proof of identity at the examination. It must be original, current and bear your photograph.

    • Your passport

    • Your UK Immigration and Nationality Department identification document

    • Your Home Office travel document

    • Your UK driving licence

    • Your EU identity card

  2. If the name on your identification document is different from that on the confirmation from FPH offering you a place in the examination, you must provide original evidence that you are the person named in that letter. We will accept:

    • Your marriage certificate or

    • A declaration from the awarding body that granted your primary medical qualification, stating that both names relate to you.

If you do not bring one of the documents listed above, or if the document does not bear your photograph, you will not be allowed to take the examination. Your examination fee will not be refundable under these circumstances.

Candidates should bring at least one ballpoint or ink pen (with black ink). Please note that black ink is essential as exam scripts will be photocopied before they are sent to the examiners. Pencils, rulers and erasers may also be brought to the examination but please note: candidates are required to use pen to answer the questions.

Candidates should also bear in mind that their scripts need to be read by examiners, and so should take care over their handwriting. Examiners make great efforts to read candidates scripts, but helping them by writing clearly is sensible. Writing for up to (or beyond for those with extra time) 2.5 hours is tiring both mentally and physically. It is well worth preparing for that through timed practice exam opportunities (either formal or informal). Finally, candidates are also advised not to write below the final line of the answer-booklets, as these are photocopied before being marked, and that final space relies on good positioning of booklets when they are photocopied.

Prohibited items include: 

  • English and/or foreign language dictionaries

  • calculators

  • laptop computers 

  • mobile phones

  • personal organisers and radio pagers. 

Calculators will be provided by the invigilators. The model provided will be a basic (non-scientific) pocket calculator with memory and square root functions but no floating decimal point. A knowledge of engineering notation will therefore be useful in the calculation of extremely large or small numbers (over 8 digits in length). Statistical tables will not be provided.   

Each examination is supervised by an invigilator to ensure that the examination is conducted in accordance with the FPH rules and regulations.

The invigilator has authority in matters regarding admission to the examination hall, permission to use the toilets and discipline in general.

Each invigilator will report any queries or problems to the Chair of the Part A Examiners. In cases of serious and prolonged disruption of the examination the invigilator will liaise with the Chair and Academic Registrar to determine the most suitable course of action.

  • Candidates will be invited to enter the examination hall about 10 minutes before the examination is due to start.

  • Candidates should ensure that the name and examination number on the front of their answer folder are correct.

  • Coats and bags must be left at the back of the examination hall. Mobile telephones and alarm clocks must be switched off.

  • Valuables should not be left in the examination room between papers. FPH cannot accept responsibility for any items that are lost or stolen.

  • Place your identity card face up on your examination desk so that it can be checked by the invigilator.

  • Phones MUST be turned off and are not allowed to be kept on your person during the exam. They should be left in bags / briefcases at the end of the room.

  • Note that each question will be marked by a different examiner, so questions must be clearly separated within the answer folder - make sure you follow the instructions below.

    Please ensure that you complete the boxes at the top of each sheet of paper correctly, as in this example:

Candidate number:


Question number:


Page number: 


Each question to be started on a fresh sheet of paper. This is very important as each question will be separated and sent to the relevant section examiner.

  • Page numbering to start from 01 for each question

  • Nothing to be written in the margins

  • Only the lined side of the sheet to be used

  • Any rough work on the page to be crossed through with a single line

For confidentiality, please DO NOT write your name or other identifying information in your written answers.


The invigilator may stop any candidate suspected of misconduct during the examination from completing it and, if necessary, confiscate any unauthorised materials and expel the candidate from the examination room.

Examples of serious offences include:

  • possession of any prohibited items in the examination hall (except those held in bags at the back of the examination hall)

  • helping or receiving help from another candidate

  • consulting any materials outside the examination room during the examination

  • continuing to write after the invigilator has asked all candidates to stop at the end of the examination.

If candidates do any of these things or engage in any other activity that may be deemed to constitute professional or academic misconduct, they will be reported directly to examination officers and the FPH Education Office. All incidences will be investigated in accordance with the FPH Examinations Misconduct Policy and Procedure, and, if found to have engaged in misconduct, candidates may have their examination result declared invalid and their name reported to their professional regulatory authority.

Candidates who finish before the scheduled time will be allowed to leave the room, except during the last 15 minutes. Answer folders must be given to the invigilator before leaving. Candidates will not be readmitted.

When the examination ends, the invigilator will tell you to stop writing. You will then have five minutes to ensure that all the pages in the folder have the correct examination number, question and page numbers.

After five minutes, answer folders will be collected regardless of their condition. Answers should be placed in the folder provided, the front of which must be signed. Only work which is inside the folder will be marked by the examiners.

Any work removed from the room may not be submitted and will not be marked by the examiners.

  • No candidate may leave the examination hall during the first 30 minutes.

  • The invigilator will allow candidates to leave the examination hall (one at a time) for a short period after the first 30 minutes to go to the toilet.

  • No candidate may leave the examination hall during the last 15 minutes of the examination.

  • Once the examination has ended, candidates must remain seated in silence until all answer folders and question papers have been collected.

  • Examination materials, including question papers, may not be removed from the examination hall.

  • If you feel unwell during the examination tell the invigilator immediately. If you cannot continue you may leave the room. If you wish the Board of Examiners to be informed of your illness you must complete and return the Extenuating Circumstances Form within three days of the examination.

Candidates are advised that marks and pass/fail decisions are unlikely to be changed as a result of notification of illness

Candidates with agreed special adjustments, including extra time, will be allocated rooms apart from the main hall. These candidates will be emailed prior to the examination day to notify them of their room allocation.
Candidates with dyslexia will be provided with a coloured sticker they can attach to their examination scripts. This is to ensure that during anonymous marking a dyslexic candidate is not penalised for typical dyslexic spelling and syntax errors. The sticker system is simply to bring to the attention of the marker that it is a dyslexic script and that there may be errors in written expression. Dyslexic candidates will not be penalised unduly for errors that have nothing to do with the understanding of the subject. Dyslexic candidates are under no obligation to use the sticker system and some may choose not to.

Candidates may complete the extenuating circumstances form to inform FPH of serious circumstances that occurred in the three weeks up to and including the date of the Part A or Part B MFPH Examination and that have adversely affected their examination performance. This information will be made available to the relevant Chair of Examiners.

Please note that marks/results will not be altered to reflect individual circumstances.The only available outcome as a result of a successful submission is that the attempt can be discounted.

It is the candidate's responsibility to complete and return this form to arrive at the FPH no later than three days after the examination date.

Types of adverse circumstance that FPH may consider:

  • The death or critical illness of a dependent or close relative.

  • A severely debilitating illness during most of the revision period or examination.

  • The loss, due to circumstances beyond your control, of more than 10 minutes of examination time.

Circumstances not normally considered:

  • Planned house removals.

  • Work-related contingencies (eg. shift work).

  • Normal pregnancy.

  • English as a second language.