Medical Council News


Medical Council Announces Details of Schemes to Maintain Professional Competence

30th March 2011

13 Training Bodies to operate schemes which will keep doctors’ knowledge and skills up-to-date

The Medical Council held a formal ceremony today (30th March, 2011) to announce details of the 13 postgraduate training bodies which have been accredited to operate professional competence schemes for doctors. 

From May, it will be a legal requirement for all doctors to commit to a formal process of lifelong learning and improvement by enrolling in professional competence schemes and fulfilling requirements set by the Medical Council.  Doctors will enrol in schemes relevant to their areas of practice and participate in a range of activities including maintenance of knowledge and skills, practice evaluation and development, personal learning and research/teaching. 

Announcing the recognition of training bodies, Professor Kieran C Murphy, President of the Medical Council said:  “The maintenance of professional competence is a strategic priority for the Medical Council and the recognition of training bodies is a pivotal component in the development of the professional competence system.  The Medical Council has worked very closely with training bodies to develop professional competence schemes which will be straightforward, practice-based and focused on patient safety.  Doctors can be confident that the range of schemes on offer will ensure that professional competence activities will support the development needs of every specialty and be of real benefit to them, their patients and practice.”

CEO of the Medical Council, Caroline Spillane said: “Professional competence schemes will be operated by postgraduate training bodies on a not-for-profit basis with Council oversight of each scheme’s financial processes.  To minimise the financial burden on doctors, the Medical Council has opted not to levy any fees for the operation of these schemes and will absorb the costs of monitoring and oversight.”

Fees of €250 to €275 will be levied by training bodies to support doctors in engaging in activities which meet their individual requirements.  A recent survey[1] found that in 2010 over half of doctors spent in excess of €1,000 on voluntary activities relating to continuous professional development. 

Ms Spillane added: “For years, doctors have considered their professional competence a responsibility which warranted significant investment.  These new schemes will add value to existing activities and ensure that doctors’ commitment and investment in lifelong learning will be formally recognised and appreciated by the public.” 


[1] Medical Council Doctor Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviour Survey.pdf conducted in November 2010. 

Signing Ceremony - 30thMarch11


List of Recognised Training Bodies and Enrolment Fees for Professional Competence Scheme
The College of Anaesthetists of Ireland
Enrolment Fee: €270
Faculty of Sports & Exercise Medicine
(joint collaboration between RCPI and RCSI)
Enrolment Fee: €275
The College of Psychiatry of Ireland
Enrolment Fee: €252
Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, RCPI
Enrolment Fee: €250
Faculty of Occupational Medicine, RCPI
Enrolment Fee: €250
Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP)
Enrolment Fee: €267
Faculty of Paediatrics, RCPI
Enrolment Fee: €250
Irish College of Ophthalmologists
Enrolment Fee: €275
Faculty of Pathology, RCPI
Enrolment Fee: €250
Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI)
Irish Committee on Higher Medical Training
Enrolment Fee: €250
Faculty of Public Health Medicine, RCPI
Enrolment Fee: €250
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)
Enrolment Fee: €275
Faculty of Radiologists, RCSI
Enrolment Fee: €250