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Review of professional competence schemes to be conducted by Council

The Medical Council is to undertake a €50,000 review of professional competence schemes focusing on the maintenance of professional competence (MPC) and scheme operations.

The review will examine whether the MPC framework enables doctors to maintain their professional competence through “maintenance of knowledge and skill, personal learning, reflective practice, and quality improvement processes”.

It will also examine if the schemes through which doctors plan, record and reflect on their professional development needs, “ensure consistency in the application of the standards across the schemes”, or whether alternative approaches are required to ensure greater efficiency for the profession and the Medical Council.

A minimum of three schemes will be reviewed, a spokesperson for the Medical Council told the Medical Independent (MI).

“As the review does not focus on specialty-specific CPD, but instead examines how CPD is delivered through the schemes, it was anticipated that a minimum of three schemes would be sufficient for the review. More schemes may be added in collaboration with postgraduate training bodies and where resources allow,” the spokesperson added.

There are 13 postgraduate medical training bodies operating schemes recognised by the Medical Council through which doctors keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date.

The Medical Council reviews the operation of schemes on an annual basis through the submission of reports and meeting with each individual postgraduate training body, the spokesperson told MI.

Tender documents published by the Medical Council, seeking a provider to undertake the review, state that it will “identify the strengths and weaknesses of the existing MPC framework model and scheme operations in a detailed report”.

It is expected the review will propose a number of recommendations and will be completed before the end of 2019. Any recommendations made “will inform the future direction of the MPC framework model and scheme operations from 2020”.

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