Absent from practice?

What to do if you are absent from practice

Sometimes, for various reasons, you may not practise medicine for a period of time.

Leave from practice may have an impact on your ability to meet the legal minimum professional competence requirements, and this may then be reflected on your annual statement of participation.

You are advised to maintain some level of engagement in maintenance of competence, however this may not always be feasible.

Annual Statement Annotation

If the duration of your absence from practice lasts for 90 days or more within a Professional Competence year, and falls into one of the categories listed below, it will be possible to make an annotation on your Annual Statement of Professional Competence

  • Maternity Leave
  • Medically Certified Sick Leave
  • Bereavement Leave
  • Parental Leave
  • Adoptive Leave
  • Carer’s Leave

While you don't need to upload certificates to your ePortfolio, you should keep them in a safe place

Steps to record an absence from practice in new ePortfolio

  • Click “Create a new event”
  • Choose “Record an Absence from Practice”
    • “Date Occurred on” is the start date for your record
    • “End Date” is the end date for your record
  • Pick the Professional Competence Year that applies to your absence
    • If the end date for your absence from practice is after 30 April, please complete a separate form for the dates that apply to each year
  • Click "Submit"

Download instructions on how to record your absence from practice here

Sabbatical or extended leave

If you stay on the Medical Council register while on sabbatical or extended leave you are expected to continue to meet your professional competence scheme requirements.

The Medical Council does not allow doctors to stay on the register if they cannot meet professional competence scheme requirements.

If your absence from practice has an impact on your ability to meet professional competence requirements, you should consider removing yourself from the medical register.

If you do not practice medicine and do not intend to practise medicine for the foreseeable future, the Medical Council advises you to voluntarily withdraw from the register.

Protocol -Return to work after a period of absence

This protocol is to be used in circumstances where a doctor is returning to work after a significant period of absence from clinical duties of 3 months or more. This protocol is not for use when doctors have been absent due to illness but rather it is aimed at doctors who have undergone a substantial break from clinical work for personal or professional reasons such as extended maternity leave or following a significant period of research.

Download:  Forum of Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies protocol on return to work after a period of absence 

Protocol: Return to work after a period of illness

This protocol is to be used in circumstances where a doctor is returning to work after a significant period of absence due to ill-health. In particular it should be used when the doctor in question has been absent due to stress-related illness, mental ill health or where the doctor has experienced trauma (either personal or work-related) resulting in significant emotional distress.

Download:  Forum of Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies protocol on return to work after a period of illness

Do you need help?

Professional Competence

Tel: +353 1 863 9739

  We have a highly experienced Professional Competence support team. They are always happy to answer your questions and advise you on how to maintain Professional Competence.  As the team are presently working at home, the fastest way to contact this department is by logging in to our support desk here

  • If you need help with your ePortfolio, we can arrange a convenient time to work with you to ensure your records are up to date.
  • If you need advice on how to apply for CPD approval for your event submit your event title and proposed date and we will talk you through what you need to do.
  • Contact the Professional Competence Team at professionalcompetence@rcpi.ie .  If you would like a callback, please let us know the best time and phone number to call you. .
  • Alternatively, you might like to visit Professional Competence FAQs