Medical Council News


Medical Council Launches Report of Progress on the Maintenance of Professional Competence

Medical Council launches Report of Progress on the Maintenance of Professional Competence

98.3% of Doctors in Ireland Now Enrolled in Continuous Professional Development

Friday, 13th July, 2018: The Medical Council has today published a report of progress on the Maintenance of doctors’ Professional Competence.

The mandatory Maintenance of Professional Competence commenced in 2011 and since its inception much has been progressed and achieved to support doctors’ compliance with Maintenance of Professional Competence requirements resulting in a 98.3% enrolment rate.

Ms Jantze Cotter, Director of Professional Development and Research at the Medical Council said “To maintain professional competence, doctors are required to enrol in a professional competence scheme, and to take part in activities which are relevant to their scope of practice. These comprise of relevant activities in order to maintain knowledge and skills, evaluate and develop clinical practice and to focus on personal learning and research or teaching. Doctors must also undertake one practice improvement or clinical audit activity on an annual basis.”

“Today’s report provides an overview of the achievements to date and action taken to monitor and address maintenance of professional competence implementation issues.” said Ms Cotter.

In late 2016, the Medical Council identified that a significant numbers of doctors had failed to enrol on a Scheme which they were mandatorily obliged to do. Since then, significant progress has been made to address this finding.

With doctors working in increasingly complex healthcare environments, the model has evolved following a review which was undertaken to advance the model to reflect national and international best practices in light of changes across healthcare.

As part of the development of the model, the Medical Council took steps in 2017 to increase the enrolment rate by instituting a number of incremental actions which lead to the development of a more robust mechanism through which doctors’ Scheme enrolment could be closely managed and monitored. Through close collaboration with the Post Graduate Training Bodies, this resulted in more than 98 per cent of doctors actively enrolled in the Scheme to date a reduction from 9.9 per cent to 1.7 percent in non-enrolment. 

Speaking on the publication of the report Mr Bill Prasifka, CEO of the Medical Council said “Engagement in relevant and quality CPD, including reflective practice should become the norm. It is important that doctors are supported by the Schemes and employers who are both best placed to facilitate lifelong learning. It is extremely welcomed to see that through our close collaboration with the Post Graduate Training Bodies when have now achieved a 98.3% enrolment rate. ”

“By supporting doctors with the compliance with Maintenance of Professional Competence, the Medical Council is continuing to fulfil its dual role of protecting patients and supporting doctors.” concluded Mr Prasifka.

Newly elected President of the Medical Council, Dr Rita Doyle, said “I am delighted to see the dramatic increase in enrolment rates in professional competence schemes. The Medical Council will continue to work with our stakeholders to ensure that Continual Professional Development is relevant and of the highest standard.”

The Medical Council operates schemes which are run by the Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies. They provide systems and programmes of activities to monitor and assist maintain doctors’ professional competence obligations whilst enabling them to plan, record and reflect on professional development needs, as part of their engagement and lifelong learning.

The Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies provide CPD recognition of activities that are offered by external parties. With 13 Schemes established facilitating CPD in over 50 speciality areas of medicine, last year they recognised a diverse range of CPD programmes, reflecting eight domains of good professional practice which equated to over 10,000 CPD hours.


Notes to Editor:

  • A copy of the report is available here:
  • Doctors must now provide evidence of Scheme enrolment to the HSE’s National Employment Record in advance of taking up employment.
  • Where compliance issues arise, they are addressed through a comprehensive proportionate risk-based approach adopted by the Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies and employers.
  • Escalation for regulatory intervention by the Medical Council is necessary when a pattern of ongoing non-compliance is identified.