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A longer cycle of maintenance of professional competence with an appraisal system is being developed by the Medical Council.
Ms Jantze Cotter, the Council’s Director of Professional Development and Research, said a new model would place greater focus on reflective practice. The Council is also developing an appraisal system, but Ms Cotter indicated it would not necessarily be akin to the revalidation model at the General Medical Council in the UK. She said the Council is examining a number of international models.
A three-year rather than annual cycle may be adopted, according to Ms Cotter, who also confirmed the Council’s longer-term aim to implement a licensing system. Meanwhile, a number of postgraduate training bodies have advocated for increased flexibility in the model of maintaining professional competence. Prof Sean Tierney, Dean of Professional Practice and Development, RCSI, said the College would welcome “some flexibility introduced into the credit system so that doctors who are exceeding their requirements in some categories and meeting the overall requirements could use their excess in other categories to ‘compensate’ for other areas”.
The RCSI would also endorse further development of the audit requirements and support to expand the range of national audits provided by the National Office of Clinical Audit, in addition to more HSE resourcing for local audits. Prof Michael Griffin, Chair of the professional competence scheme committee at the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland (CAI), said the College favours the model “being less rigid in its categories and more supportive of doctors selecting relevant educational activities proportionate to their stage of career”. CAI CEO Mr Martin McCormack also emphasised the importance of more protected time for doctors to engage in educational activities.