Accreditation of Postgraduate Training Bodies
Part 10 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 places responsibilities on the Medical Council in relation to the quality assurance of medical education and training in Ireland at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
One of these responsibilities is to accredit programmes of specialist training and the bodies which deliver them. There are 13 postgraduate training bodies in the State which are currently recognised by Council and who between them are responsible for delivering programmes of specialist training in 52 specialties.
As part of its Statement of Strategy 2010-2013, the Medical Council is committed to completing a formal accreditation process for each training body.
The Medical Council's accreditation standards for postgraduate medical education and training form the basis of the accreditation process.
The process involves the following stages:
- The training body is asked to complete an initial self-evaluation based on the above standards and to submit same to the Medical Council within an agreed timeframe.
- As part of the process, a single programme of specialist training is reviewed in detail so that a full training pathway, from entry to exit, is considered.
- An accreditation team is formed, chaired by a member of the Medical Council, which is made up of a number of Council's external assessors, from both within and outside the State.
- The team will thoroughly review the submitted documentation in advance of meeting with the training body.
- There will then be a full-day accreditation session during which the team will engage with the training body to discuss their submission.
- As part of the accreditation process, the team will also meet with a number of trainees at various stages of the training programme. This is an important stage of the process and provides the team with an invaluable perspective as to how well training standards are being met.
- Following the meeting, a report will be drafted and agreed by the team which will make a primary recommendation to the Medical Council in respect of approving the training body and the training programme. These possible recommendations are as follows:
- approval with conditions
- removal or amendment of conditions
- withdrawal / refusal of approval
- The report will also contain a number of recommendations which Council will monitor as part of a process of ongoing engagement with the training body
- Further information on the accreditation process can be found here.