CPD update

Maintenance of Professional Competence


The Professional Competence Schemes are operated by the Training Bodies under an agreement with the Medical Council.  As trainers, we encourage you to advise NCHDs working with you to make sure they enrol in a Professional Competence Scheme and are recording their credits in their portfolio.  


Annually doctors are required to record one clinical/practice audit and a total of 50 CPD credits that comprise of a minimum of 20 external CPD credits; 20 internal CPD credits; 5 personal CPD credits; and 2 research/teaching CPD credits (desirable).


As you will be aware, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Medical Council have modified the Framework for Maintenance of Professional Competence requirements for 2020/2021 and relaxed a number of the requirements. 

  • Doctors will not be required to record a clinical/practice audit with their Scheme during this year.
  • 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 individual category will not apply for 2020/21.


We would ask you to encourage your NCHDs to take a broader approach, where it is possible to do so, to ensure they participate in at least 20 hours of external activities (these can be online courses / seminars / conferences / webinars etc.), participate and record their attendance at 20 hours of hospital based events like Grand Rounds, MDTs and quality improvement activities (even if these are by web conference).  Doctors should continue to read, particularly the key journals for your specialty, and record your reading under the personal learning category. COVID-19 in surgery / emergency medicine presents an opportunity to do interesting, if not unique, audits, and we recommend that every surgeon / Emergency Medicine specialist / NCHD (and consultant) should continue to conduct and record an audit and share them with colleagues.


RCSI provides a Continuous Professional Development & Support Scheme (CPDSS), which is an educational programme, commissioned and funded by the HSE to facilitate NCHDs within the public health service who are not on training schemes to maintain the professional competence in line with Medical Council requirements.  This Scheme is free of charge to NCHDs who hold a contract with the HSE.  NCHDs who are not employed by the HSE and wish to attend classes can do so as well but must prepay in full to secure a place.


Many of the NCHDs working with you will have registered for the Scheme.  The Programme provides an offering of 95 courses, Scientific Meetings and Academic Programmes.  The COVID 19 pandemic has required all in surgery and emergency medicine to adapt and rethink how they must approach their own safety and the care of their patients. This extensive programme provides 48 face to face courses and 47 blended courses; 3 Certificate Programmes in Quality Improvement in Leadership, Medical Leadership in Practice, Lean Healthcare White, Yellow and Green Belt.  4 fully online programmes; Medical Emergencies, Surgical Emergencies, Communication modules of video and telephone consultations and Professionalism in 21st Century; 12 online modules.  Full details of the programme are available here.


In terms of assisting you, as a trainer, to meet the annual PCS requirements, we will automatically add credits directly to your online portfolio if you participate in interviews for CST or HST, in a training committee or if you teach in RCSI on courses organized for your trainees or as part of the CPDSS programme.

In addition, beginning in 2020, we will automatically add credits to your portfolio for operations where you directly supervise a trainee. This only applies to operations logged in the RCSI elogbook, which is currently used by trainees in core training and ST3. However, the use of this logbook will be rolled out to all trainees in due course. These credits are added once yearly. We are exploring the possibility of providing credits for other training based activities recorded by trainees in their portfolio.


Finally, we recommend that each trainer should examine their own development needs at the beginning of each PCS year (May). You might find it useful to complete a Personal Development Plan and upload this to your PCS portfolio. You may claim up to 3 credits for preparing and uploading your portfolio and an additional credit if you review the portfolio with a peer. A peer reviewer may also claim 1 CPD credit for reviewing and advising on a personal development plan at the beginning and end of the PCS year. Have a look at the PDP here.


Your training programme administrator or the PCS manager are always happy to advise if there are any issues that require clarification in relation to PCS.



LikeLike (0)