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Examination Guidance and Regulations

Certificate and Diploma in
DPM Part 1/CPM: Wednesday 16 September 2020
DPM Part 2: Monday 12 October 2020


Examinations guidance

The following guidance relates to our two examinations. A pass in the first examination awards a Certificate in Pharmaceutical Medicine (CPM) and is also Part 1 of the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine (DPM). The CPM/DPM Part 1 must be passed before candidates are able to sit DPM Part 2.


Structure of the exams

CPM/DPM Part 1 is a Multiple Choice Question paper (MCQ) of 75 questions, each with five possible answers, all to be completed in 2 hours 30 minutes;

DPM Part 2 consists of a Short Answer Question (SAQ) paper of ten questions all to be completed in 2 hours 30 minutes; and a Critical Appraisal paper (CAP) in which candidates have 2 hours 30 minutes to study a published paper and answer questions on it.

The time allowed for the written examination is sufficient to complete the papers working at a reasonable pace.  Please note our reasonable adjustment policy for candidates who may require additional time.

Please refer to the Guidance and regulations for DPM candidates for details of changes implemented in 2019, whereby a Part 1 pass is now final leading to an award of CPM and Part 2 candidates who pass one of the papers but fail the other, do not have to retake the paper they passed at the subsequent 3 exam sittings.


The Syllabus for Pharmaceutical Medicine

Since 1976 the Syllabus for Pharmaceutical Medicine has been developed by the Royal Colleges of Physicians in the UK for the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine examination, and as the basis for course curricula in postgraduate training in the discipline, and subsequently specialty, of pharmaceutical medicine. Over the years the Syllabus underwent a number of revisions and updates under the auspices of the Colleges, and since 1989 by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine.  In 1985 the Faculty’s Syllabus for Pharmaceutical Medicine was offered to IFAPP as the basis for the IFAPP Syllabus for Pharmaceutical Medicine, utilised for course curricula and examinations in Europe and by IFAPP National Member Associations around the world.

The syllabus for the exam is based on the PharmaTrain 2018 Syllabus. The syllabus is divided into sections covering the below sections. For more information download the full syllabus.

Section 1 Discovery of Medicines
Section 2 Development of Medicines: Planning
Section 3 Non-Clinical Testing
Section 4 Pharmaceutical Development
Section 5 Exploratory Development (Molecule to Proof-of-Concept)
Section 6 Confirmatory Development: Strategies
Section 7 Clinical Trials
Section 8 Ethics and Legal Issues
Section 9 Data Management and Statistics
Section 10 Regulatory Affairs
Section 11 Drug Safety, Pharmacovigilance and Pharmacoepidemiology
Section 12 Information, Promotion and Education
Section 13 Economics of Healthcare, Health Econocmincs and Pharmacoeconomics


Please note the following:
FPM led a project in 2017 on behalf of the PharmaTrain Federation and the International Federation of Associations of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Pharmaceutical Medicine (IFAPP) to update the 2010 PharmaTrain Syllabus (2010 syllabus). The output, the 2018 PharmaTrain Syllabus (2018 syllabus), was published in December 2017 and came into effect in January 2018. You can find the new 2018 syllabus and a list of the changes on FPM’s ‘PharmaTrain Syllabus Revision Project’ webpage.

The syllabus is used worldwide by the universities and course providers that design and run courses and exams in pharmaceutical medicine. FPM uses the syllabus to write questions for the DPM exam.

Digital Handbook

To download further details about the Examinations, see the links below.

For exam tips and past papers, see the links below.