Around 1,000 registered doctors were being “monitored” for compliance with continuing professional development (CPD) requirements in late 2019, according to a report from the Medical Council CEO to members of Council.
The report, presented at a meeting in November and obtained by the Medical Independent (MI) under Freedom of Information law, stated that the monitoring exercise had commenced through a “proportionate risk management approach”.
In December, the CEO’s report for Council referred to monitoring of professional competence scheme “non-enrolment compliance” in regard to approximately 400 registered doctors.
Currently, registered doctors are legally required to enrol in a professional competence scheme and to comply with the Council’s standards for the maintenance of professional competence. In recent years, the Council and postgraduate medical training bodies have collaborated to substantially reduce the number of doctors who are not enrolled in professional competence schemes.
A spokesperson for the Council told MI it has a duty to satisfy itself as to the ongoing maintenance of professional competence of registered doctors.
“In November 2019, approximately 400 doctors were found to be non-compliant with scheme enrolment requirements. These doctors were advised and supported through the risk-based monitoring process, resulting in an increased compliance rate, which stands at 99 per cent, representing the highest possible compliance result, given the transient nature of the Medical Council register.
“The Medical Council also pilot-tested its new risk framework for monitoring CPD compliance in 2019. During the testing phase in 2019, a selection of approximately 1,000 non-compliant doctors were contacted, advising them to become compliant with their CPD activity requirements by April 2020. An awareness-raising campaign was implemented, informing doctors via their schemes and the Medical Council media of the implementation of the new risk framework in 2020.
“We would have expected to see increased compliance for the 2019/20 scheme year resulting from the communications sent to doctors. However, with the onset of Covid-19, many conferences and planned CPD events were cancelled, and doctors’ workload increased. We would suspect this will have an impact on the overall CPD compliance rate. The planned implementation of the risk framework for monitoring CPD compliance for the 2019/20 scheme year due to take place in 2020 has been suspended until further notice.”