Medical Council News


Professional Competence Participation

As the new year for professional competence activities begins, it’s timely to reflect on how these schemes can benefit doctors in giving a structured approach to continuous improvement. 

Participation in activities is an issue that is of great concern to me.  In our last audit, over 30% of the 1,000 doctors audited failed to provide satisfactory evidence that they were maintaining their professional competence.  The majority of that 30% who were non-compliant were on the general division of the medical register.  Doctors with valid reasons for non-compliance are supported and given opportunities to get back on track with activities, but what we’re finding is that many doctors are simply not engaging in activities and are ignoring their statutory duty. 

We have committed to looking at this issue in more detail, and particularly at arrangements for doctors in the general division.  Doctors consistently tell us that they feel that activities are of benefit to their practice, so we need to get a greater understanding of the potential blockages to participation in schemes.

In the coming months, we will be doing more work to establish the scale of participation in activities and identifying next steps to make requirements more responsive to the evolving needs of doctors.  For all of us, it’s never good enough to stand still, we need to focus on how we can improve what we do every day.  I look forward to working with doctors, patient representatives and partner organisations to determine the most effective course of action to continue to raise standards of professionalism. 


- Bill Prasifka