Medical Council News


Medical Council Professional Competence Rules Public Consultation Launched

Wednesday 27th October 2010

Medical Council Professional Competence Rules Public Consultation Launched
Rules will help place quality and safety at the core of healthcare delivery

The Medical Council has today begun a period of public consultation in advance of publishing a number of rules governing the Maintenance of Professional Competence for all Registered Medical Practitioners. This new system requires doctors to engage in activity which will help them to keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date and to manage the quality and safety of care they provide. The system is designed to be straightforward and practical for doctors to use and to be effective in helping them to maintain good professional practice for the benefit of their patients.

Launching the consultation phase today, Professor Kieran Murphy, President of the Medical Council said that: "We are pleased to publish these draft rules and to provide all stakeholders with an opportunity to influence how the Medical Council should oversee the mandatory requirement for doctors to maintain their professional competence".

"The Medical Council aims to protect the public by promoting and ensuring the highest professional standards amongst doctors. Our consultation on these rules governing the maintenance of professional competence marks a significant step forward in achieving this aim through further modernising how we regulate doctors. Engaging with the public, the profession and other relevant stakeholders is central to how we achieve this aim".

Dr Paul Kavanagh, Head of Professional Competence at the Medical Council, explained: "These rules will underpin a new system through which the Medical Council will regulate the maintenance of professional competence. Healthcare is constantly changing and good professional practice requires doctors to keep up to date and to manage the quality and safety of care they provide. For the public, this development will support your confidence in the doctors who provide you with care".

"Placing quality and safety at the core of health care delivery is a goal shared by doctors and the public. For the profession, maintaining competence is already accepted as an essential part of being a good doctor. We are building on this support to establish a straightforward and practical system which will help doctors achieve this goal.", added Dr Kavanagh.

The Medical Council has developed a number of draft rules governing the Maintenance of Professional Competence for all registered medical practitioners. Under Sections 91 and 94 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 ("the Act") the Medical Council is required to make rules in respect of Part 11 of the Act - Maintenance of Professional Competence for the better operation of its provisions.

The main areas the rules will govern are:

  • The criteria to be applied to recognised bodies/bodies seeking recognition by the Council to assist it with its duties under the Act. Council may then make arrangements with recognised bodies for the operation of professional competence schemes.
  • The requirements on registered medical practitioners in respect to their duty to maintain competence under Part 11 of the Act.

The period for the public consultation will run for five weeks from today, 27th October 2010, until Tuesday 30th November 2010. Members of the medical profession and the public are invited to view the draft rules and send submissions to the Medical Council using a submission form both of which can be downloaded at All submissions received by 30th November will be considered before a final decision is made by Council.

For further information contact:
Ciara McMorrow, Corporate Services
Telephone: +353 1 4983153