September 2014 PCS News

Medical Council guidance, focuses and courses

Professional Competence

Information on our Professional Competence Scheme (PCS) and Continuous Professional Development Support Scheme (CPD-SS) for NCHDs in Non-Training Posts.

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PCS News September 2014

Medical Council

Guidance on Doctors who have yet to record professional competence activity with professional competence schemes.
The Medical Council has asked Training Bodies follow up with any doctors in the above category (i.e. who have been enrolled in the PCS for three years and have not recorded any PCS activity) and offer support and assistance. The Medical Council proposes to request TBs to share information on this group on a named basis. Members are reminded to log their CPD credits and audit activity, and please contact the PCS office if they need assistance with logging. Members with difficulty in meeting the PCS minimum requirements in External, Internal & Personal CPD credits and/or Clinical Audit should contact the PCS office for advice.

Medical Council guidance

Relevance of CPD activities to doctors’ learning needs and the outcomes of national patient safety reviews.

In January 2014, we emailed all on PCS with links to national patient safety review reports. This was with reference to the Medical Council’s advice that attention be given to the “learning and professional development needs emerging from key national initiatives and from lessons learned through review of patient safety”.

Since then, the Medical Council has written to us asking us to give priority to “providing or recognising content for the professional competence scheme which is diverse, evidence-based, practice-based and incorporates the domains of good professional practice; this content can be tailored by registered medical practitioners to their individual needs and reflects the needs of the population and the wider health system”. We will continue to work to provide and approve CPD events with this priority in mind, and will provide further advice to all on PCS in due course.

Medical Council focus: Clinical Audit.

Clinical Audit has been highlighted by the Medical Council as an area of professional competence where many doctors continue to need support. The Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies will work together through the Forum to provide further guidance and support to doctors to complete a clinical audit each PCS year. It is worth noting that Clinical Audit should be relevant to a doctor’s scope of practice and can be a joint practice audit.

Education Programme

CPD courses organised and run recently

  • Balint Group Workshop – Dr Brendan McCormack & Dr Verena Keane – 24th September, Portlaoise
  • PIPSIG educational meeting – 26/27 September in Royal Marine Dun Laoghaire. See events listing on for programme & booking form. Further CPD courses to be organised;
  • Migrants / Transcultural Psychiatry – in progress
  • Perinatal Psychiatry Update – 16th October, Cork – see events listing on for programme & booking form
  • Old Age Psychiatry – SJOG to work with CPsychI to run an OAP educational event in on Saturday morning, 31st January 2015. Programme will be circulated.
  • Eating Disorders – working with college’s Eating Disorders Special Interest Group to organise a CPD Event on this topic.
  • College Winter Meeting: Professional Competence Workshop on “Reflecting on Peer Review Groups – What Works?” will be run at the Winter Meeting on Thursday afternoon (3:45 – 5pm) 6th November 2014.
  • Faculties are invited to organise inter-faculty meetings / updates to facilitate the flow of information and expertise across the faculties and specialties.
  • Faculties are invited to suggest and review third-party e-learning courses or modules with a view to recommending them for approval for CPD credits.


Royal College of Physicians’ online elearning modules are approved for CPD.
A small number of websites are approved by this College for CPD. Generally, credits are allocated by the organisation per completed module and can be claimed as Internal (up to 5 per PCS year) or External (up to 10 per PCS year). Where the organisation doesn’t indicate the credits for the module, the general rule is 1 CPD credit per hour of learning activity.

  • RCPsych CPD online
  • Medscape
  • Mental Health Commission
  • British Association of Psychopharmacology (BAP)
  • CPsychI & RCPI elearning module “Delirium: Recognition & Response
  • RCPI online learning modules which are relevant to your scope of practice

If you wish to claim online learning activity for CPD, you should ensure you complete any tests at the end of a module and the print off your certificate for the module. You may claim up to 10 External CPD credits per year for online learning, plus a maximum of 5 Internal CPD credits per year.

Withdrawing from PCS

Doctors who wish to withdraw from the PCS because of leaving the country, withdrawing from Medical Council Register, retiring etc. need to inform us by email so that we can withdraw them from the PCS.