Diploma in Primary and Urgent Care

The College of Paramedics’ Diploma in Primary and Urgent Care (Dip PUC) is a professional examination designed to test the knowledge, skills and attitudes of experienced specialist practitioners in the field of primary and urgent care. Whether you work in a GP practice, a minor injury and illness unit, an acute hospital, for an ambulance service or in the private sector, the assessments are designed and planned to incorporate the range of possible patient presentations and the depth of knowledge required to carry out an effective and successful patient consultation. There is a focus on effective communication, recognition, diagnosis, management and appropriate referral and underpinning knowledge. The content of the exam includes unscheduled and emergency care presentations for all patient age groups from infants to the elderly.

PLEASE NOTE: The College of Paramedics is currently in negotiations with a number of venues in order to schedule a re-launch of the Diploma in Primary and Urgent care examination. Further details will be announced as soon as they are available.

Rationale for the Diploma in Primary and Urgent Care

Professional examinations provide a benchmark for clinical practice and standards. Benchmarking offers assurance to employers, employees, patients and insurers that clinical practitioners have reached required standards to practice in an environment that presents many challenges including uncertainty and ambiguity. Nationally, there is a wide variety of training and education that underpins the roles of specialist and advanced practitioners and also a wide variety of nomenclature. Training ranges from a short in house course to masters level study. Specialist and advanced practitioners work in variety of settings that include: general practice, emergency departments, minor injury units, out of hours services, telephone based health services and within ambulance services. The DipPUC assesses knowledge and competence regardless of prior qualification. The focus is on core knowledge and skills, applicable in multiple settings, with cross cutting themes of basic sciences, clinical reasoning, history taking, clinical examination and diagnosis, safe discharge and ethical practice.

Content of the Diploma in Primary and Urgent Care

The Diploma is a triangulated assessment which consists of:

  1. A period of Work-Place Based Assessment (WPBA). It is expected that all applicants will complete an appropriate period of WPBA prior to applying to undertake the Diploma. Candidates must be assessed as competent in the workplace by a suitably qualified supervisor before being admitted to the examination.
  2. 15 x 10 minute Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs), based on the range of potential patient encounters in primary and urgent care.
  3. A three hour Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) paper, formed of 150 single best answer (SBA) questions, designed to test underpinning knowledge and clinical reasoning.

History of the Diploma in Primary and Urgent Care

The examination was originally developed by South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust in association with the late Dr John Howard, with the aim of providing a benchmark examination for paramedics working as paramedic practitioners. In 2017 SECAMB signed over the intellectual property rights for the exam to the College of Paramedics, enabling the College as the professional body for paramedics to offer the opportunity to sit the DipPUC to paramedics and other health professionals from all across the United Kingdom. 

For existing specialists or advanced practitioners

Where practitioners are established and already working in the primary or urgent care environment the College has developed a process of sponsorship whereby an employer or an appropriate clinical supervisor may sign a declaration stating that WPBA standards have been met and maintained. This then enables existing specialist or advanced practitioners to apply for and undertake the examination.

Future Examination Dates

If you are interested in undertaking the DIP PUC examination, please email primarycare@collegeofparamedics.co.uk to be added to the waiting list.  Future exam dates have not yet been set by the Faculty.  This is due to a change of venue which is yet to be confirmed.


Any enquiries regarding the exam, please e-mail: primarycare@collegeofparamedics.co.uk


Diploma in Primary and Urgent Care Handbook
Diploma in Primary and Urgent Care Application Form