Diploma in Musculoskeletal Medicine


Bookings are now closed for this sitting. Information on future sittings will be posted here when confirmed.

The Diploma in Musculoskeletal Medicine sets the standard for MSK knowledge across the entire breadth of community care.

Approximately 18.8m people in the UK are living with a musculoskeletal problem with one in five people in England attending their GP seeking help for such a condition1. The Diploma has been developed to support the multi-professional workforce that is evolving to meet the growing need for optimal care of musculoskeletal conditions by demonstrating applied knowledge in this important field.

This Diploma will support evidencing competency as a GP, GP Working in Extended Roles as well as allied health professionals working towards advanced practice roles (including first contact practitioner and advanced practitioners in primary care) in a range of community settings.

Developed jointly by the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (UK) and the Primary Care Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Medicine Society (PCRMM), the examination and associated qualification recognises excellence in MSK care and provides a benchmark of quality for both service commissioners and patients.

The Diploma in Musculoskeletal Medicine will be offered online, allowing candidates to sit remotely. The first sitting took place on Tues 8 June. The examination is administered by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Both the Faculty and PCRMM are dedicated to promoting a more active nation and ensuring that MSK and rheumatological conditions and pain symptoms are not a barrier to living an active life at any age or ability level.

The diploma represents many years’ work from multiple people. We would particularly like to thank Dr Richard Collins, Dr Louise Warburton and Dr Chris Tomlinson, and many others from both PCRMM and the Faculty.


Who can sign up for the diploma?
Any doctor or allied health professional working in MSK care – including GPs, GP Working in Extended Roles as well as AHPs working towards advanced practice roles (including first contact practitioner and advanced practitioners in primary care) in a range of community settings.

Is there a course?
The diploma is an examination only, designed to allow doctors and AHPs to evidence their competency in MSK care.
Learning for the examination is self-directed. It can be expected that existing university and other (e.g Versus Arthritis courses), along with knowledge of current reputable guidelines when mapped to the diploma syllabus can all equip clinicians with the knowledge required to pass the diploma.

Where can I take the exam?
The examination is delivered remotely, so it can be taken from anywhere in the world. You do not need to travel to a test centre.

How much does it cost, and how do I pay?
The diploma costs £250. Payment can be made via the booking link by visa or mastercard. To discuss alternative payment options, please contact the exam administrators at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh at sem.exams@rcsed.ac.uk.

What post-nominals are awarded upon successful completion of the Diploma?
The precise form of post-nominals is still being finalised, and we will provide an update soon.

What resources are there to help me prepare?
PCRMM has published a list of useful resources that can be found here. These resources were not specifically developed with the diploma in mind, so it is recommended that those sitting the exam consider their own learning needs when mapped to the syllabus and seek out additional resources as needed. The Red Whale MSK and Chronic Pain Handbook is recommended as a good revision and reference text.

How does the diploma fit with the FCP/AP pathway developed by HEE?
The diploma is designed as an entry level applied knowledge test for multiple specialities wishing to work in community MSK settings. While it does not, in isolation, provide evidence of achieving competencies in the curriculum it can contribute to a portfolio of evidence for any individual aiming to work in an advanced role/

Are there sample questions?
As this is the first sitting, there are no sample questions/

How often will the diploma run?
The diploma will run annually.

Can undergraduate students take the Diploma?
As the diploma is a postgraduate qualification, undergraduate students are not currently eligible to sit the examination.