Not in frontline patient care?

What about doctors who don't treat patients?

All doctors registered with the Medical Council - thus retaining the right to practice medicine - have a legal obligation to maintain their professional competence. 

If you are not in clinical practice (e.g. in a full-time management role) fulfilling the internal CPD and Clinical Audit requirement can be more challenging.

However we have some suggestions as to how you can achieve the minimum requirements.

The requirement to be enrolled on a Professional Competence scheme is tied to your Medical Council registration and applies to all doctors regardless of employment status. You are allowed to record CPD and Audit activities that relate to your current scope of practice.

Suggestions as to how you can achieve the minimum requirements


A key point to remember is that the Professional Competence Scheme framework is based on self-directed learning and that the activities you record must reflect your current scope of practice. 

Some activities may not be immediately identifiable as attracting CPD credit, but if you have clearly defined your scope of practice it should be relatively simple to map what you do in your practice to the Professional Competence scheme framework.


In most cases, accumulating the required 20 External CPD credits is relatively straightforward. Credits in this category are calculated as 1 hour = 1 credit.

Below are examples of activities relevant to External CPD:

  • Regional, national or international scientific meetings relevant to your scope of practice
  • Educational activities organised by your training body, college or medical society
  • Courses, workshops or seminars, diploma or other courses, including online learning, that are relevant to your scope of practice
  • Our annual RCPI St Luke’s Symposium programme contains a range of day-time and evening activities that attract CPD credit
  • We deliver a wide range of educational activities, including our Masterclasses which you can attend at webcast centres around Ireland
  • There are many other educational meetings and lectures around the country approved by the six RCPI training bodies

Tip: You can claim CPD credit in this category for any educational activity that is relevant to your scope of practice, regardless of whether or not it is CPD approved. You simply need to indicate its relevance to you through the Reflective Notes section of your ePortfolio form and provide evidence that you attended.


The Internal CPD category may be the most challenging. 20 credits are required per year. Credits in this category are calculated as 1 hour = 1 credit.

Doctors in non-clinical practice can achieve Internal credits by:

  • Involvement with your RCPI Training Body, for example:
    • Exam question setting/writing
    • Mentoring SpRs /recently appointed specialists
    • Participation in committees
    • Hospital/training site inspections
    • Meetings in connection with research projects
    • Meetings in connection with national guidelines or policies
    • Training/orientation sessions in connection with your RCPI role
  • Involvement in volunteer or outreach activities
  • Forming a Journal Club with other doctors in your area of practice. Articles relating to your activities could be discussed
  • Regular Internal meetings related to your practice can be treated as the non-clinical equivalent of multi-disciplinary team meetings/case meetings
  • If you are teaching or acting in a professional advisory capacity , then the meetings, presentations or reviews that relate to that role can be recorded in the Internal category
  • Peer review groups
  • Meetings to discuss patient incident reviews or medico-legal cases
  • Chart reviews which commonly occur in medico-legal practice
  • Attending case presentations
  • Attending meetings that relate to practitioners current role


  • You may claim 5 CPD credits in the Internal category if you complete your Personal Development Plan before September 30 in the relevant PCS year.  
  • Some activities which have been approved for External CPD may equally fulfil the Internal CPD category, depending on your scope of practice. Where you can clearly identify that the topics covered  relate to your Internal CPD it would be appropriate for you to record them in the Internal CPD category.

Information for Doctors who are not involved in frontline patient care

Do you need help?

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 .  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