Monitoring and Audit
The Medical Council oversees doctors to ensure that they are observing their legal duty to maintain professional competence by implementing monitoring and audit procedures.
The audit process is designed to be straightforward and support the confidence of the public, the profession and other stakeholders in professional competence arrangements. Doctors have previously received information regarding maintenance of professional competence, and the new audit process will provide doctors with an opportunity to demonstrate that they are fulfilling their legal duty.
As part of the process for the annual retention of registration, doctors make a declaration regarding maintenance of professional competence.
The submission of this declaration is a requirement under Rules for the Maintenance of Professional Competence.pdf.
Having considered these professional competence declarations, the Medical Council contacts a sample of doctors to participate in an audit of their professional competence activities, where they must supply documentation to support their declaration.
- Doctors who are contacted will receive correspondence which provides clear and comprehensive information on submission of supporting documentation to the Medical Council.
- If requested to participate in the audit, doctors will submit a copy of the Statement of Participation as supporting documentation to the Medical Council. This document confirms enrolment in a professional competence scheme operated by a recognised postgraduate training body and sets out the types and amounts of activities which they have reported as having completed.
- The postgraduate training body may also ask some enrolled doctors to undertake a verification process in which selected doctors will be asked to support recorded activities with additional evidence. Further information will be provided by postgraduate training bodies. This is a separate process to the Medical Council’s maintenance of professional competence audit. A doctor who is asked to participate in Medical Council maintenance of professional competence audit and postgraduate training body verification process should respond to both requests.
- There is no need to submit further documentation – in particular, there is no need to submit certificates or evidence in relation to individual maintenance of professional competence activities – and no need to make further contact with the Medical Council. Submitted supporting documentation will be reviewed and doctors will be contacted with the outcome.
- For the majority of doctors, the Statement of Participation will be evidence that they are fulfilling their legal duty to maintain professional competence.
- Some doctors practise medicine overseas and can find further information on submission of supporting documentation in the information they will receive from the Medical Council. In addition, for general guidelines for doctors practising overseas please visit our website.
Any doctor requested by the Medical Council to participate in maintenance of professional competence audit should cooperate with submission of supporting documentation within the time period set out in the request. Failure to cooperate with the process is a breach of rules and may result in disciplinary action by the Medical Council.
The new maintenance of professional competence audits are important elements of the arrangements which the Medical Council have in place to support the relationship between the public and the profession. They provide an opportunity for doctors to demonstrate that they are fulfilling their legal duty, are keeping their knowledge and skills up-to-date, and are committed to ensuring the care they provide is safe, personal and clinically sound.
For further information on professional competence is available here.