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Maintenance of Professional Competence – Interim Guidelines 2020/21 


In light of the COVID–19 pandemic, the Medical Council has considered how Maintenance of Professional Competence (MPC) requirements should apply in 2020/21 and has agreed interim guidelines for the Professional Competence Scheme Year 2020/21 to:


  • Help RMPs focus on the best possible care for patients and themselves;
  • Acknowledge the learnings gained by RMPs during the COVID-19 outbreak; and
  • Reduce anxieties regarding the recording of CPD during this unprecedented time.


For the 2020/21 Professional Competence Scheme Year, the Framework for Maintenance of Professional Competence Activity found in the Maintenance of Professional Competence Guidelines for Doctors has been modified.


Old Framework for Maintenance of Professional Competence Activity


Annually doctors are required to record one clinical/practice audit and a total of 50 CPD credits which comprise of:

  • A minimum of 20 external CPD credits;
  • A minimum of 20 internal CPD credits;
  • A minimum of 5 personal CPD credits; and
  • A minimum of 2 research/teaching CPD credits (desirable).


Revised Framework for Maintenance of Professional Competence Activity for 2020/21


For the 2020/21 Professional Competence Scheme Year only the following will apply:

  • Doctors will not be required to record a clinical/practice audit with their Scheme;
  • Doctors will not be required to record 25 CPD credits of the 50 CPD credit total with their Scheme.
  • These credits will be considered as met arising from increased learnings by doctors during COVID-19.
  • Of the 25 CPD credits remaining, doctors will be permitted to record these credits in any CPD category (external, internal, personal, research/teaching). CPD targets for each category will not apply for 2020/21.


The Medical Council have advised that the 2020/21 CPD requirements as outlined above will be kept under review in light of a protracted pandemic. Should further updates be required, these will be communicated to doctors through the Professional Competence Schemes and on the Medical Council website.


RCSI would encourage you to take a broader approach, where it is possible to do so, to ensure you participate in at least 20 hours of external activities (these can be online courses / seminars / conferences / webinars etc) , participate and record your attendance at 20 hours of hospital based events like Grand Rounds, MDTs and quality improvement activities (even if these are by web conference).  You should continue to read, particularly the key journals for your specialty, and record your reading under the personal learning category.  Auditing the outcome of care process is more important than ever and we recommend that every surgeon and Emergency Medicine NCHD or specialist should continue to conduct and record an audit of some aspect of their practice every year. 


We ask that you reflect on your own practice (including the lessons from audit), consult with your peers or consultant colleague, and plan your Professional Development needs early in the PCS year.  Please click here for the Professional Development Plan (PDP) template and we encourage you to complete this and upload the completed plan to your PCS portfolio and claim the relevant CPD credits.


Please be aware that the Medical Council have indicated that doctors will be asked to make a declaration about their maintenance of professional competence during the 2021 annual retention process.


Failure to re-enrol and record your CPD activity may result in regulatory action by the Medical Council including referral to the Fitness to Practice Committee.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at