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The Medical Council has become the first regulatory body in the country to achieve international accreditation from the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) External Evaluation Association (IEEA), for their assessor training programme.
The Council is responsible for the quality assurance role in medical undergraduate and postgraduate training in Ireland. An assessor team, which is typically made up of Council members and experts in medical education and training from within and outside of Ireland, visits the medical schools and clinical sites such as teaching hospitals.
To achieve this, assessors are trained to objectively evaluate the colleges and hospitals providing this training. Assessors include medically qualified members of the Medical Council, lay members of the Medical Council, members of the Council executive, and external assessors who have expertise in medical education, training and/or quality assurance, or represent the public interest.
The training programme, developed in conjunction with Health Care Informed (HCI), covers the skills and knowledge that assessors require. The development programme incorporated an extensive training needs analysis, focus group interviews, and a substantial survey of key stakeholder groups, such as the medical schools, postgraduate training bodies, and clinical training sites.
Speaking about the accreditation award, Mr Bill Prasifka, CEO, at the Medical Council, said: “The Medical Council has a vital role in setting the standards and monitoring compliance for medical education and training in Ireland. The future of our health service depends on highly qualified doctors graduating and continuing their training in our excellent medical schools and with our postgraduate training bodies.
“We have a statutory role in ensuring that these high standards are met and our assessor teams play a key role in achieving this. We are delighted that our assessor training programme has achieved this important international accreditation and we are very grateful to HCI for using their experience and playing a pivotal role in achieving this award, and achieving our goal of implementing a training programme that promotes international best practice in our assessment procedures.”
HCI CEO Mr John Sweeney said: “It has been a great opportunity to partner with the Medical Council in the development of an Assessor training programme which has been internationally benchmarked. The ISQua international accreditation programme provides regulators with a framework to develop all aspects of their external evaluation programmes, ultimately leading to safer patient care.”