SDU UK letter to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine

Download letter  RCEM SDU-UK.pdf

Dr Katherine Henderson

President Royal College of Emergency Medicine

7-9 Bream’s Buildings,


London EC4A 1DT


Re: Restrictions imposed on Sudanese doctors sitting the Royal College of Emergency Medicine exams using the Pearson VUE/OnVUE system 

Dear Dr Henderson,

A concern has been raised with Sudan Doctors’ Union – UK Branch regarding an unexpected problem faced by a group of Sudanese doctors sitting the Royal college of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) exams. The doctors have faced an issue with the Pearson VUE online system which has resulted in their ID documents being rejected.

As you are aware, the RCEM has recently switched to online exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has announced that all written exams in 2020 will be undertaken through the OnVUE remote invigilation system or at a Peasron VUE center. This has presented a great challenge for Sudanese doctors as this programme and its website are blocked in Sudan, most likely in relation to the economic sanctions imposed on the country. As such Sudanese candidates are unable to sit for the exam from Sudan. We are aware that upon informing the RCEM about this situation, Sudanese candidates have been formally instructed to travel to the nearest neighbouring country to take the exam in one of the Pearson VUE centres but also with the condition that they need to have the legal right to be living there. Clearly this is not going to apply to the majority of candidates in Sudan who are willing to sit for the exams.

Additionally, it appears that there has been confirmation by the RCEM that Pearson VUE does not accept ID documents issued from Sudan at all regardless of where in the world the examination candidate attempts to sit the exam from.

We urge the RCEM to investigate this matter immediately as it is a clear and indisputable act of discrimination against candidates from Sudan. We understand that this disappointing and unfair situation may also apply to other nationalities which are negatively affected by similar sanctions. We also anticipate that this will most likely affect other Royal Colleges and specialty exams using the aforementioned online examination system and hence we are sending a copy of this letter to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

We would like to suggest a solution to this problem and we believe that this solution should address two core issues and these suggestions are as follows:

  • Pearson VUE/OnVUE system should be made readily available online to candidates in Sudan. Perhaps, it could be unblocked through direct communication between the RCEM and the managers of Pearson VUE/ OnVUE.
  • 2- Sudanese ID documents should be accepted by Pearson VUE in all exam centres around the globe without any limitations or exemptions pertaining to the examination candidate’s Sudanese nationality.

Alternatively, the RCEM could consider allowing Sudanese candidates to sit for the exams using other online systems such as the Prometric provided that these are not subject to similar restrictions.

We kindly request that the RCEM takes immediate and appropriate action to resolve this serious and unfair situation.

We look forward to hearing from you soon. Yours sincerely,

Dr Sara Abdelgalil 



Dr Nabil Mahmoud

Secretary General


Dr Ahmed Hashim

Academic Secretary


Sudan Doctors’ Union – UK Branch (SDU-UK)


Mr Alastair Henderson

Chief Executive Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

10 Dallington Street

London EC1V 0DB

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