About the 8 Domains of Good Professional Practice

The eight principles on which good practice is founded

The Medical Council’s eight Domains of Good Professional Practice set out the principles on which good practice is founded. 

Doctors are best placed to choose the activities that reflect their educational needs. You are expected to make a judgement on the value of a particular activity based on your scope of practice.

You should map your Professional Competence activities against the relevant Domain of Good Professional Practice and ensure that activities undertaken over the course of a five-year cycle cover all eight domains.

It is possible to edit your claims for previous years if you feel you have already recorded an activity that will reflect one of these Domains.

We recommend reading the Medical Council guidance on Professional Conduct and Ethics

About the eight domains


Patient safety and quality of patient care should be at the core of the health service delivery that a doctor provides.  A doctor needs to be accountable to their professional body, to the organisation in which they work, to the Medical Council and to their patients thereby ensuring the patients whom they serve receive the best possible care.


Good medical practice is based on a relationship of trust between doctors and society and involves a partnership between patient and doctor that is based on mutual respect, confidentiality, honesty, responsibility and accountability.


Medical practitioners must demonstrate effective interpersonal communication skills. This enables the exchange of information, and allows for effective collaboration with patients, their families and also with clinical and non-clinical colleagues and the broader public.


Medical practitioners must co-operate with colleagues and work effectively with healthcare professionals from other disciplines and teams. He/she should ensure that there are clear lines of communication and systems of accountability in place among team members to protect patients.


A medical practitioner must understand how working in the health care system, delivering patient care and how other professional and personal activities affect other healthcare professionals, the healthcare system and wider society as a whole.


Medical practitioners must systematically acquire, understand and demonstrate the substantial body of knowledge that is as the forefront of the field of learning in their specialty, as part of a continuum of lifelong learning. They must also search for the best information and evidence to guide their professional practice.

A Medical practitioners must demonstrate a commitment to fulfilling professional responsibilities by adhering to the standards specified in the Medical Council’s “Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Medical Practitioners”.

The maintenance of Professional Competence in the clinical skills domain is clearly specialty-specific and standards should be set by the relevant Post-Graduate Training Body according to international benchmarks

Remember, you can assign up to three different Domains to each claim in ePortfolio for Professional Competence.

Read our guide to the 8 Domains of Good Professional Practice

The Medical Council’s eight Domains of Good Professional Practice set out the principles on which good practice is founded. These principles together describe medical professionalism in action. The Domains provide a framework to ensure the inclusion of the essential learning activities undertaken by doctors during the course of a five year cycle. These skills are necessary to effectively meet the health care needs of the people they serve whether through direct medical treatment or education, management or governance

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