Information Relevant to Membership of The Medical Council

Medical Council Role
The objective of the Medical Council is to protect the public by promoting and better ensuring high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training and competence among registered medical practitioners.

Established by the Medical Practitioners Act 1978 (updated in 2007), the principal functions of the Medical Council are to:

  • Establish and maintain the Register of Medical Practitioners
  • Set and monitor standards for undergraduate, intern and postgraduate education and training
  • Specify and review the standards required for the maintenance of the professional competence of registered medical practitioners
  • Specify standards of practice for registered medical practitioners including providing guidance on all matters related to professional conduct and ethics
  • Conduct disciplinary procedures

Mission Statement:
‘Protecting the public by promoting and ensuring the highest professional standards amongst doctors’

The Medical Practitioners Act 2007 conferred the Medical Council with an increased number of statutory functions that allows Council to exercise this role in a more comprehensive manner. The above principal functions, in addition to the increased responsibilities for establishing standards for undergraduate education and postgraduate training of doctors, provides a stable mandate for achieving Councils mission statement.

The Medical Council’s Vision, Mission and Values are laid down in our Statement of Strategy 2014-2018 available on our website, arising from which the six strategic objectives that define the focus for the organisation have been identified.

Time Commitment Associated
In terms of time commitment the Council holds 8 scheduled Meetings (each held over 2 days) and approximately 6 extraordinary Council meetings per year, totalling approximately 22 meeting days per year.

In addition to this, Council members will be nominated to serve on a range of Council activities including Committees, Sub Committees, Working Groups and Medical School and Post Graduate Training Body inspections. The work and associated time commitment for such Committees can be significant. For example, Medical Council Committees are charged with investigating and determining in the region of 400 complaints per year against medical practitioners, conducting oral inquiries into doctors’ fitness to practise, with up to 120 hearings days per year, conducting registration appeal hearings, in addition to training hospital and medical school site inspection programmes.

Council Members will be asked to devote as much time to the duties of Council as necessary for the proper and efficient discharge of their duties. This will include significant time to prepare for Council meetings, and to attend and prepare for other activities, such as, Committee meetings, stakeholder meetings, events and ad hoc meetings as required. By applying for the position it is assumed that the member understand this time commitment.

Council members are obliged to comply with the relevant provisions of the Code of Practice for the Government of State Bodies. This Code includes a description of the role and responsibilities of Council Members. Council members will be further expected to comply with the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Legislation as appropriate.

Expertise & Experience
Ideally nominees should have extensive experience in at least one but preferably two or more of the following: Corporate Governance, Financial management, Risk Management, Change management, Strategy development, Regulation, Sectorial Knowledge / Experience, Public Interest, Patient Safety, Law, Complaint handling, Tribunals / quasi-judicial decision making processes, Education & Life-long training.

Skills & Values of Council members should ideally include:

  • Show effective judgement. Consider diverse opinion, including the needs of the consumer, and maintain own values and opinions despite opposition and influence
  • Be open-minded and independent thinking 
  • Possession of excellent interpersonal skills with proven ability to build key relationships and consensus among diverse stakeholders.
  • Previous board experience
  • Have effective communication skills 
  • Be improvement focussed 
  • Consider information and follow a logical sequence to analysis and reasoned decision making
  • Be proportionate, consistent and fair in the consideration of all board matters
  • Act in the public interest, as a body corporate

Fees & Expenses payable
Fees are currently paid to Council Members who qualify, subject to the One Person One Salary principle, in the sum of €7,695 per annum. Travel & Subsistence expenses arising from Council business are payable in accordance with rates laid down by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.