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Council launches consultation on new draft professional competence rules

By Reporter - 26th Jan 2023

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The Medical Council has today launched a public consultation on new draft maintenance of professional competence rules and accompanying guidelines.

Maintenance of professional competence is the formal way by which doctors record their continuing professional development throughout their medical career.

The current maintenance of professional competence framework model has been in operation since 2011. Over the last number of years, several processes pointed to the need to strengthen the framework to increase its “relevance and usefulness for doctors”, according to the Council.

The Medical Council has developed new draft rules which provide information on doctors’ and scheme operators’ obligations under a new “strengthened” framework. Alongside this, a set of draft guidelines were developed to further expand on the obligations contained in the draft rules and to act as an accompanying document.

The public consultation will enable the Medical Council to obtain a broad range of feedback from individuals and organisations which will inform the finalised versions of the documents.

Dr Suzanne Crowe, President of the Council said: “The Medical Council, as the regulatory body for doctors, has a statutory role in protecting the public by promoting the highest professional standards amongst doctors practising in Ireland. The path to lifelong learning starts for a doctor in medical school, and continues until they retire, all part of the continuum of medical education.”

“Engaging in lifelong learning helps improve the safety and quality of care provided for patients and the public. Ensuring doctors maintain their professional competence is an essential element in allowing the Medical Council to safeguard the public, by verifying the quality of the doctor’s competence through the new draft rules and guidelines.”

Ms Jantze Cotter, Director of Professional Competence, Research and Ethics in the Medical Council, said: “The new draft maintenance of professional competence requirements are not entirely different to what is already in place. However changes made to the maintenance of professional competence rules and associated guidelines will now bring these in line with best practice.”

“This consultation will be an important process to collect feedback provided by stakeholders, grounding the framework in experience and practice. Stakeholder input and collaboration is an important aspect in developing new draft maintenance of professional competence rules and guidelines, taking into consideration the impacts on the wider health ecosystem.”

The documents are available at  https://www.medicalcouncil.ie/public-information/public-consultations/ . This consultation closes on Thursday 16 February.

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