We’re busting some myths about Professional Competence!

Don't make these common mistakes

New research by the Medical Council has uncovered some common misconceptions about Professional Competence, which have the potential to create problems for doctors.

Please check if you think any of the following statements are true, and our myth-dispelling advice for doctors on Professional Competence Schemes.

Myth: If you record 50 CPD credits overall, it's ok not to reach the minimum requirement in one category

You have to reach the minimum target for each CPD category every year (20 Internal, 20 External and 5 Personal Learning).

Click here for guidance on meeting your CPD requirements

Myth: Personal Learning isn't as important as other CPD categories

You only need to record five hours of Personal Learning each year, but one of the most common mistakes we see is doctors forgetting to record it. It's just as mandatory as the other CPD categories.

You can find examples of Personal Learning activities here

Myth: Time spent on audits and Quality Improvement projects can be counted towards CPD

Clinical (Practice) Audit is not the same as CPD – it’s a separate Professional Competence requirement.

To meet this requirement, you must complete one audit or quality improvement project about an aspect of your own practice every year.

You'll find further guidance on Audit here

Myth: CPD credits can be transferred from year to year and aren't annual requirements

You are required to meet all of your Professional Competence Scheme requirements every year.

It is extremely important to make sure your ePortfolio for Professional Competence accurately reflects your educational activities by the end of the year before we create your Annual Statement of Participation.

The reason for this is that each year, when you apply to retain your registration with the Irish Medical Council, you are required to confirm that your Annual Statement demonstrates that you are meeting your professional competence requirements. Failure to do this will place your continuing registration at risk.

Myth: Going on leave and other changes to your circumstances only need to be communicated to your employer

Sometimes, for various reasons, you may not practice medicine for a period of time. Leave from practice may have an impact of your ability to meet the minimum requirements of your Professional Competence Scheme.

If the duration of your absence from practice (e.g. maternity leave, medically certified sick leave, bereavement leave, parental/adoptive leave, and carer’s leave) lasts for 90 days or more within a professional competence year, this can be reflected on your annual statement - but only if we know about it.

Remember to let us know if you are going to be absent from practice.

Click here for further guidance on absence from practice

We're here to help

We hope this information is helpful. We're always happy to answer your questions and advise you on how to maintain your professional competence.

If you need help with your ePortfolio, we can arrange a convenient time to work with you to ensure your records are up to date.

Professional Competence

Tel: +353 1 863 9739

  We have a highly experienced Professional Competence support team. They are always happy to answer your questions and advise you on how to maintain Professional Competence.  As the team are presently working at home, the fastest way to contact this department is by logging in to our support desk here

  • If you need help with your ePortfolio, we can arrange a convenient time to work with you to ensure your records are up to date.
  • If you need advice on how to apply for CPD approval for your event submit your event title and proposed date and we will talk you through what you need to do.
  • Contact the Professional Competence Team at professionalcompetence@rcpi.ie .  If you would like a callback, please let us know the best time and phone number to call you. .
  • Alternatively, you might like to visit Professional Competence FAQs