Medical Council News


Time running out for 'grandparent' entry in the Specialist Register

If you are currently on the Register of Medical Specialists OR you qualified since 1994,this notice does not apply to you.

The Register of Medical Specialists (RMS) was established by the Medical Council on 1st January, 1997 under Section 30 of the Medical Practitioners Act, 1978. Under the Act, the Council was permitted to set entry criteria for doctors who had completed specialist training prior to the establishment of the RMS.

At that time the Medical Council decided that fully registered doctors' satisfying the following criteria on or before 31st December, 1996 were eligible for specialist registration:

  • Held a permanent consultant post approved by Comhairle na nOspidéal, or
  • Held a contract with the GMS Payments Board, or
  • Held a permanent post of Specialist in Public Health Medicine

These provisions, often referred to as "grandparent provisions" will be repealed with the commencement of Part 6 the new Medical Practitioners Act on 16th March 2009. It is estimated that over 2,000 doctors who are eligible to avail of these provisions, have not applied for RMS entry. Under the new legislation, applicants for specialist registration who have not completed a programme of specialised training, certified by one of the 13 recognised training bodies in Ireland or a competent authority in another EU member state, will be required to satisfy the Council through a detailed and possibly lengthy assessment process, that they have completed specialist training. The new legislation will become operational on 16th March 2009. The Council has for some time been strongly encouraging doctors entitled to avail of the 'grandparent' provisions to apply for specialist registration as soon as possible. Part 6 of the Act will come into force on 16th March. Click here for clarification concerning "grandfather" entry in the Specialist Register.

It is likely that, in future, only doctors with specialist registration may be eligible to apply for consultant posts, GMS lists and other contracts and positions providing for independent specialist practice. It is also probable that the use of titles such as "consultant" and 'specialist' will be reserved for doctors with specialist registration.

The Irish Medical Organisation, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association and the Postgraduate Training Bodies have agreed to publicise this matter among their respective membership.

The RMS application process is straightforward. Forms are available on the Council's website at The fee for specialist registration is €210.00. For further information please contact the Registration Section at or telephone (01) 4983100