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The Medical Council intends to reinstate its “risk-based framework” for monitoring doctors’ maintenance of professional competence (MPC) for the current scheme year. Doctors will be asked to make a declaration about their MPC when renewing their registration in 2021. Doctors’ MPC declaration will be compared with professional competence scheme data to monitor compliance with requirements, a Council spokesperson told the Medical Independent.
The Medical Council receives annual reports from postgraduate training bodies which operate professional competence schemes under arrangements with the Council. These reports include continuing professional development (CPD) compliance and activity data, which are evaluated to “inform regulatory intervention”.
In spring 2020, after the onset of the pandemic, the Council announced that verification of CPD records for the 2019/20 scheme year would not be undertaken and the MPC declaration was removed from the 2020 retention process. Statements of participation were annotated to indicate “extenuating circumstances due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which may have limited engagement in and recording of CPD activity for 2020/21”.
A Council spokesperson said it recognises engagement in CPD has been “different” due to the pandemic. “This has resulted in focused learning arising from adaptations to the practice of medicine, both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19-related. This gave rise to the Council’s agreement to reduce the minimum CPD requirements for the 2020/21 year. However, this does not exempt doctors from engaging in CPD; this requirement does remain mandatory.”
In the scheme year beginning 1 May 2021, doctors will be required to undertake and record 25 credits in any category (as opposed to 50 credits pre-pandemic) and one clinical/practice audit. These requirements will be kept under review “in light of a protracted pandemic”, according to the Council.