Exam Details - Diploma in Immediate Medical Care (DIMC)

Key Facts

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Diploma in Immediate Medical Care (DIMC)

The Diploma in Immediate Medical Care (DIMC) exam is designed to test the underpinning knowledge, technical skills, and non-technical skills of doctors, nurses, and paramedics who provide pre-hospital emergency care. The exam focuses on the timely recognition, diagnosis, and management of conditions and situations in the pre-hospital environment rather than on the use of facilities for investigation and treatment that may be available predominantly within a hospital. This examination includes pre-hospital emergency care for all patient age groups from neonates to the very elderly.

The level of performance expected is that commensurate with level 6 on in the Skills for Health Key Elements of the Career Framework (www.skillsforhealth.org.uk).

This examination is blueprinted against the phase 1 elements of the current edition of the UK Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) curriculum (available currently at www.ibtphem.org.uk ). Potential candidates are strongly advised to read and consider the content of the curriculum thoroughly before applying for the examination. As a multi-professional examination, it will test against these curriculum elements and will not be limited by national or local professional scopes of practice. Success in the examination, however, should not provide the sole evidence of competence to practice in every one of these elements.

Exam Benefits

  • Utilised by the Intercollegiate Board for Training in Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine (IBTPHEM) as the phase 1 national summative assessment for clinicians working in pre-hospital emergency medicine training programmes
  • Eligible to join the Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care as an Advanced Practitioner Member
  • Excellent addition to your CV to help support applications for PHEM training or higher roles within the Ambulance Services
  • Opportunity to expand and benchmark your pre-hospital knowledge and practical skills
  • Increasingly required as a minimum qualification for staff on many of the UK’s Enhanced and Critical Care teams

Exam Format

The Diploma in Immediate Medical Care (DIMC) exam takes place over two days and consists of two parts:

  • Part A - Written Exam of Underpinning Knowledge
    A written paper of 180 minutes duration consisting of 180 Single Best Answer (SBA) questions.
  • Part B - An Objective Structured Practical Exam (OSPE)
    The OSPE will normally consist of 14 OSPE testing stations. 12 of the stations will each be of eight minutes duration and two will be of 16 minutes duration. There may also be one or more rest stations or preparation stations.

To gain a pass overall, candidates must achieve a pass in both parts. Candidates who are unsuccessful at either Part A or Part B may re-sit the relevant component alone provided it is within 3 subsequent available diets of the first attempt.

Advice to Exam Candidates

This examination has a limited number of places available, which will be allocated in the order detailed below.

  • Firstly, specific exam places are allocated to PHEM trainees currently in a PHEM training post and at the pre-determined point of their training as directed by the Intercollegiate Board for Training in Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine (IBTPHEM) (including resit candidates)
  • Secondly, exam places are allocated to all other applicants (including current PHEM trainees applying outside of their IBTPHEM allotted exam slot) in strict chronological order of application

Once the exam is full, applicants will be placed on a waiting list in chronological order of application. Those on the waiting list will be offered places that become available on the next available exam diet.


Exam Fee: £760

Resit Fee: This is calculated based on the number of components the candidate is resitting.

  • £325 if applying for the written paper resit only
  • £435 if applying for the OPSE resit only

Exam Eligibility

Candidates must fulfil one of the following requirements:

  1. Medical Practitioners must have been engaged in the practice of their profession for not less than four years after full registration with the UK General Medical Council or have completed 5 months whole–time equivalent training within a UK approved PHEM Training Programme by the date of the examination.

  2. Nurses must have been engaged in the practice of their profession for not less than four years after registration with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council. Candidates must provide an authenticated copy of their certificate of registration.

  3. Paramedics must have been engaged in the practice of their profession for not less than four years after registration with the U K Health and Care Professions Council. Candidates must provide an authenticated copy of their certificate of registration.

Those who do not fulfil any of the above entry requirements may apply for special consideration. This applies to all candidates from outside the UK. Their curriculum vitae and the extent of their pre-hospital experience should be submitted in full to the Examination Section RCSEd for consideration by the Convener for Examinations in Immediate Medical Care RCSEd.

Candidates are permitted five attempts in which to pass the exam. A re-sit of an individual component part constitutes an attempt.

Additional Information

Before applying for this exam, please ensure you have read and understood the relevant documentation

Our Exam Policies and Procedures page will provide you with more general information about sitting an exam at the College.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can sit this examination?

The Diploma in Immediate Medical Care (DIMC) is open to Medical Practitioners, Nurses and Paramedics.

My work organisation will be paying my examination fee. Can you raise an invoice?

We will only a raise an invoice for an organisation in extreme circumstances. We ask, where possible, that candidates either pay the fee online or provide a cheque for the relevant examination fee.

When do I get to see the contents of the Sandpiper Bag?

To enable examination candidates to familiarize themselves with the Sandpiper bag, please visit the following link: Sandpiper Bags - The Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care (rcsed.ac.uk)

How can I apply for an examination?

You can apply for an examination via the RCSEd College website by completing the application form online or by downloading the paper application and submitting this to the Examination Section by post.

Where and when are the examinations held?

We hold examinations in the UK and Internationally. Please check the College website for exact dates and locations.

Where do I send my supporting documents?

Surgical Examinations

You can submit supporting documents electronically by scanning copies and emailing these to surgical.exams@rcsed.ac.uk. Alternatively, you can send it by post to the College address of FAO Examinations Department, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW.

FPHC Examinations - FIMC / DIMC / DRTM / DUMC

You can submit supporting documents electronically by scanning copies and emailing these to fphc.exams@rcsed.ac.uk. Alternatively, you can send it by post to the College address of FAO FPHC OFFICE, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW.

I want to postpone my examination, what do I do?

Sadly, we cannot allow candidates to postpone their examination to a later diet. You will need to withdraw from the examination and then re-apply for the examination diet you wish to sit.

I want to withdraw from an examination, how do I do that?

You must advise the Examinations Department in writing (via email) that you wish to withdraw from an examination. Depending on when you request to withdraw, you may be asked to provide supporting evidence. If you withdraw before the closing date for application, there is no requirement to submit evidence. However, following the closing date, you will be required to submit evidence which must be received by the College within 14 days of the examination commencement date.

What are suitable reasons for withdrawing from an examination?

There are a number of number of reasons for needing to withdraw from an examination; these are:

  • medical reasons (illness prior or illness on the day of an examination)
  • compassionate grounds (e.g. bereavement)
  • unable to secure time off work
Can I get a full refund following my withdrawal from an examination?

Candidates who withdraw from an examination will be subject to a 20% administrative fee. 80% of your fee will be returned via the original payment method used to pay for the examination.

When will I receive my candidate notice?

Candidate notices are usually sent 4-6 weeks prior to the examination commencement date.

Will I be quarantined?

Occasionally candidates need to be quarantined. This depends on the examination session you are allocated to. For most examinations, we quarantine candidates who sat the morning examination session until the afternoon examination session has commenced. A light lunch is normally provided for you. You will receive information about whether you need to be quarantined in your candidate notice.

Is there somewhere to store my belongings?

Yes - where possible, we will provide you with a securely locked cloakroom to store your belongings. If this is not possible, we will have a designated area in the examination hall for this.

Can I keep my mobile phone and other electronic devices on my person?

When you register for the examination on the day, you will be asked to hand over your mobile phone and any other electronic devices (e.g. tablets, smartwatches) to the RCSEd Coordinator. Your device(s) will be placed in an envelope marked with your candidate number and stored securely in the RCSEd Administration Office while you undertake your examination.

When will my results be published?

Each examination varies. Results are normally published around 6 weeks after the examination has taken place. The intended results publication date will be stated on your candidate notice, and it will also be mentioned at your examination sitting.

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Get in touch

If you have any questions about this exam, please contact us and a member of our Examinations team will be happy to help you.

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Examinations Section

Phone: +44 (0)131 527 1600
Fax: +44 (0)131 527 6406

Email: fphc.exams@rcsed.ac.uk