Doctors not in day to day practice

Not all doctors see patients on a regular basis. Doctors not in day to day practise can be:

Professional Competence Requirements

In order to maintain public trust in doctors, all doctors must keep their skills up to date regardless of how frequently they practise medicine, so that patients can be confident that their doctor has the knowledge and skills to provide the care they need.

Professional competence schemes are in place to support doctors meet their legal requirements, and training bodies will provide guidance to assist in continuous professional development and clinical audit activities. 

Professional Competence Schemes Introduction

View more information on meeting the professional competence requirements.


Registration with the Medical Council gives a doctor the right to practise medicine. This applies to all doctors regardless of whether they practise full time, part time, as a locum, privately, in the Health Service Executive (HSE) or whether they are employed or self-employed.

Doctors registered with the Medical Council:

  • Are legally entitled to practise medicine in the Republic of Ireland 
  • Must fulfill professional competence requirements 
  • Are required to pay an annual retention fee and complete an annual retention application form 

Doctors currently not in full time practice who are unable or unwilling to engage in a professional competence scheme are advised to voluntarily withdraw from the register.

Doctors who have voluntarily withdrawn their name form the register:

  • Will not be entitled to practise medicine in the Republic of Ireland 
  • Are not subject to professional competence requirements 
  • Are not required to pay an annual retention fee or to complete an annual retention application form

In the event of withdrawal from the register, they will still retain their title of Doctor and can still administer emergency aid in the event of an accident. Doctors should contact their relevant postgraduate training body to discuss collegial activities which they may engage in as a doctor who has voluntarily withdrawn from the register.

Doctors can manage their registration through their online registration account. In order to be registered with the Council, doctors must retain their registration on an annual basis and keep up to date with professional competence requirements.

Additional Information