Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Meeting the PCS requirements

What happens if I don't complete the minimum of 50 credits plus audit in a given year?

Professional competence requires year-on-year compliance.

It is expected that doctors will garner 50 CPD credits including a minimum of 20 external, 20 internal, 5 personal learning credits and complete one practice related audit annually. Doctors who achieve these targets annually are meeting the PCS requirements as set by the Medical Council.

The Postgraduate Training Body (PGTB) will inform doctors who have not met the PCS requirements in any given year. The PGTB will offer support within available resources to assist the doctor in meeting the annual requirements.

A doctor who does not achieve this minimum target could increase activity in the following year to make up deficit from the preceding year.

If a doctor accrues greater than 50 credits in one year, but within that total has not achieved the minimum credits in the external, internal or personal CPD categories, the doctor is still deemed not to have met the PCS requirements as set by the Medical Council. The same applies to doctors who have accrued greater than 50 credits but not participated on a practice related audit.

At what frequency will doctors have to make returns to the postgraduate medical training body?

Each postgraduate medical training body has developed a system to enable you to record your CPD activity.

You are encouraged to keep your CPD activity record as up-to-date as possible. At the end of each 12 month period starting May 2012, the PGTB will issue you with a Statement of Participation in a PCS. This statement indicates the activity you have recorded and highlights any variance from minimum targets.

What happens if I do not record my professional competence activity with my PGTB?

You are encouraged to keep your CPD activity records as up-to-date as possible. At the end of each 12 month period starting May 2012, the PGTB will issue you a Statement of Participation in a PCS which will indicate the activity which you have recorded and highlight any variance from minimum targets.

If you have engaged in activity and not recorded it with the PGTB then you may find your Statement of Participation indicates less credits than you have actually undertake and, therefore that you are at variance from targets.

It is possible to retrospectively update the record of activities and the next Statement of Participation, when issued, will show this amended information.

I chair or participate in a lot of committees, can I claim these hours?

Yes. Credits for these activities for postgraduates can be claimed under the internal category.

However a doctor's PCS activity must be balanced and mirror his/her clinical practice and activity and reflect his/her scope of practice across all domains of practice.

Participation on committees is eligible for internal CPD credits to a maximum of 5 credits each year. There must be a patient safety element to the remit of the committee.

I review the practice of others. Can I claim these hours?

Yes. Credits for these activities can be claimed under the research postgraduate examining and teaching category.

However a medical practitioner's PCS activity must be balanced and mirror his/her clinical practice and activity and reflect his/her scope of practice across all domains of practice.

Can I claim preparation time for teaching, presenting and published articles?

Yes. Credits for these activities for can be claimed under the research and teaching category.

What is the sanction process for non-compliance?

In the rare situation where a doctor fails, refuses or ceases to cooperate with requirements to maintain competence, then the doctor will be the subject of follow-up action by the Medical Council, which may include disciplinary action through fitness to practice inquiry.

I am enrolled on two divisions of the specialist register. Do I enrol on two PCSs?

You only need to enrol on one PCS.

The doctor must enrol in the PCS appropriate to more than 50% of their patient-based clinical activity.

While some of the credits will be applicable to all PCS, specialty specific competencies will have to be fulfilled and a medical practitioner's PCS activity must be balanced and mirror his/her clinical practice and activity and reflect his/her scope of practice across all domains of practice.

How long should records/evidence be kept for?

Records and evidence should be kept for six years.

If I exceed the minimum number of credits during a cycle, can the additional credits be carried over to my next cycle?

Professional competence requires year-on-year compliance. There is no professional competence 'cycle'. There is no mechanism to 'carry forward' credits or competence from year to year.