Medical Council News


Medical Council Registration Rules to Be Revised - Public Consultation Launched

Press Statement - on 3rd August 2010

Medical Council Registration Rules to Be Revised
Public Consultation Launched

The Medical Council has today begun a period of public consultation in advance of amending a number of rules governing the registration of medical practitioners.

Úna O'Rourke, Head of Registration at the Medical Council, explained that: "The Medical Council drew on its experience of registering doctors in accordance with the provisions of the 1978 Medical Practitioners Act when it made its new Registration Rules in 2009. The Medical Council has been applying its new rules since March 2009, almost one-and-a-half years. The experience gained by the Council since commencement of Part 6 of the 2007 Act has highlighted a number of issues with the Rules which now need to be addressed."

The main differences are as follows:

  • The new set of rules replaces both the Registration Rules and the Rules Specifying Pre-Registration Examinations and Exemptions, as one set of rules will suffice;
  • Much of the contents of the existing Registration and PRES rules outlining the requirements for registration will be contained in a new revised Guide to Registration, which will be published once the new Rules have been adopted;
  • The way in which medical practitioners become eligible for internship, trainee specialist, specialist or visiting EEA registration has not changed significantly;
  • The most significant change is to the eligibility requirements for general registration. The Medical Council will soon publish criteria for issuing a Certificate of Experience in Ireland and medical practitioners who qualified outside the EEA will be required to either prove to the satisfaction of the Council that they have been trained to that standard or higher. If they cannot do so, they will be required to pass a pre-Registration examination (PRES). Currently, the Council requires all of these medical practitioners to pass the PRES.

The Council's Guide to Registration will be reviewed once the new Rules have been adopted to reflect these rule changes and will be published by the Medical Council in due course.

The period for the public consultation will run for six weeks from today, 3rd August 2010, until Tuesday, 14th September. Members of the medical profession and the public are invited to send submissions to the Medical Council using a submission form which can be downloaded at All submissions received by 14th September will be considered before a final decision is made at Council in October.

Ms O'Rourke said that "On reflection, it was felt that, as the Act is already quite specific with regard to eligibility for registration, a Guide to Registration should put the legislation into plain language and provide a practical guide for the applicant, rather than attempting to do so in statutory Rules. Much of the existing rules which are noticeably absent in the new draft Rules will, instead, be contained in a new revised Guide to Registration. The new Rules will focus on "filling in the gaps" where the Act clearly requires the Council to make statutory rules."


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