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Medical Practitioners (Vocational Training) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998

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Part IIPrescribed Experience

Prescribed Medical experience

6.—(1) Subject to regulation 12(9), the medical experience prescribed for the purposes of Article 8(2) of the 1978 Order is the satisfactory completion of a period or periods of training amounting to at least three years employment, and meeting the other requirements of this regulation.

(2) The reference in paragraph (1) to three years employment, and the references in paragraphs (3) and (4) to other periods of employment, are to periods of whole-time employment; but, subject to paragraph (8), the requirements of this regulation may be satisfied by periods of part-time employment of equivalent duration.

(3) The training shall include a period or periods amounting to at least 12 months employment as a General Practice (GP) Registrar with a trainer who falls within regulation 7(1).

(4) The remainder of the training—

(a)shall be spent as a practitioner in posts falling within regulation 8;

(b)shall include a period or periods amounting to not less than 6 months nor more than 12 months employment in each of two specialties mentioned in different paragraphs below—

(i)General Medicine;

(ii)Geriatric Medicine;

(iii)Paediatrics;

(iv)Psychiatry;

(v)One of—

  • Accident and Emergency Medicine; or

  • General Surgery; or

  • Accident and Emergency Medicine together with either

  • General Surgery or Orthopaedic Surgery;

(vi)One of—

  • Obstetrics; or Gynaecology; or

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

(5) Where training is spent in employment in specialties which are not mentioned in paragraph (4)(b), not more than six months in any one such specialty may be taken into account in calculating, for the purposes of paragraph (1), the period or periods of training undertaken.

(6) The Joint Committee shall supervise training and shall in particular secure that it complies with the requirements of Article 31(1) of the Medical Directive, or (in the case of part-time training) Article 31(1) as appropriately modified together with Article 34 (the text of Articles 30, 31(1) and 34 as they had effect on the date these Regulations were made is reproduced at Schedule 1).

(7) The prescribed experience must be acquired within the period of seven years ending on the day on which a practitioner makes an application for a certificate of prescribed experience under regulation 10.

(8) In relation to periods of part-time employment—

(a)in computing any period of training which began on or before 31st December 1994 there shall be disregarded any period of part-time employment during which the duties of the practitioner employed occupied less than half of the time usually occupied by the duties of practitioners employed whole-time in similar employment; and

(b)in computing any period of training which began after 31st December 1994 there shall be disregarded any period of part-time employment during which the duties of the practitioner employed, taken week by week,occupied less than 60% of the time usually occupied by the duties of practitioners employed whole-time in similar employment;

and in relation to any period of training which began after 31st December 1994 employment which is not whole-time shall not be regarded as equivalent to whole-time employment unless it includes at least two periods of whole-time employment, each lasting not less than one week, one such period falling within paragraph (3) and one within paragraph (4).

(9) For the purposes of this regulation, a “month” includes a period which begins on the first Wednesday of the month (whether or not that is the first day of the month) and ends on the last day of the month.

Approval of trainers

7.—(1) A practitioner falls within this paragraph for the purposes of regulation 6(3) if—

(a)his name is included in the medical list;

(b)he is, for the time being, approved by the Joint Committee for the purposes of regulation 6(3).

(2) An approval under paragraph (1) may be withdrawn by the Joint Committee at any time before it expires.

(3) The Joint Committee must, before approving a practitioner under paragraph (1), be satisfied that the characteristics and qualities of the practitioner and his practice are such that he is suitable to provide the experience referred to in regulation 6(3).

(4) A practitioner whose name is included in the medical list may appeal to the Department against a refusal by the Joint Committee to approve him under this regulation, or to withdraw his approval, but that decision shall continue to have effect until the appeal has been determined.

(5) An appeal under paragraph (4) shall be made by sending to the Department, within the period of 28 days beginning with the day on which the decision of the Joint Committee is given to him, or (subject to paragraph (6)) such longer period as the Department may allow, a notice of appeal containing a concise statement of the facts and contentions upon which the practitioner relies.

(6) The Department may allow a longer period only when it is satisfied that there was reasonable cause for failing to send the notice of appeal within the period of 28 days referred to in paragraph (5).

(7) The Department shall consider the appeal and may confirm the decision of the Joint Committee, require the Joint Committee to reconsider the matter, or substitute its own decision for that of the Joint Committee.

(8) Where the Department has required the Joint Committee to reconsider a decision, paragraphs (4) to (7) shall apply in relation to a second or subsequent decision by the Joint Committee to refuse to approve a practitioner under paragraph (1) or, as the case may be, to withdraw his approval, as they apply in relation to the first such decision.

Approval of training posts

8.—(1) A post falls within this regulation for the purposes of regulation 6(4) if it is—

(a)a post which is, on 30th September immediately before the start of employment in that post, approved by the Joint Committee in accordance with paragraph (2);

(b)a post which is an educationally approved post for the purpose of acquiring prescribed experience under regulations made under section 32 of the National Health Service Act 1977(1); or

(c)a post which is an educationally approved post for the purpose of acquiring prescribed experience under regulations made under section 22 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978(2).

(2) The Joint Committee may approve a post for the purposes of paragraph (1) if—

(a)it is approved by the Specialist Training Authority of the Medical Royal Colleges (“the STA”) pursuant to Article 7 of the European Specialist Medical Qualifications Order 1995(3); or

(b)it is not so approved and the post is one for which there is no relevant Royal College or Faculty which is entitled to appoint a member of the STA pursuant to Article 3(3) and Part I of Schedule 1 to that Order.

Satisfactory completion of prescribed experience

9.—(1) In these regulations, in relation to a period of training in any employment, “satisfactory completion” means the completion of that period of training in such a manner as to have acquired the medical experience which may reasonably be expected to be acquired from training of that duration in that employment.

(2) Satisfactory completion of the period or periods of training prescribed by regulation 6(3) shall, if the whole of that training was undertaken after the day on which these regulations come into operation, be assessed by means of summative assessment, which for the purposes of these regulations means reports, examinations, interviews, written submissions and other forms of assessment all designed to test the competencies specified in Schedule 2.

(3) Subject to paragraph (1) and Schedule 2, the procedure for carrying out summative assessment and the curriculum to be followed by the General Practice (GP) Registrar shall be determined and published by the Joint Committee from time to time.

(4) A practitioner may elect to be assessed on the curriculum which was current at the time he started training as a General Practitioner (GP) Registrar and under the summative assessment procedure which was applicable at the time, or on the curriculum which was current and under the procedure which was applicable at any other time during the period of his training.

(5) Subject to regulation 10(1), satisfactory completion of training shall be evidenced—

(a)in relation to the period or periods prescribed in regulation 6(3), by a statement containing information specified in Part I of Schedule 3, which is completed by the trainer with whom the training took place and signed by that person and authorised by the Regional Advisor for Postgraduate General Practice Education or a person authorised by him to act on his behalf for that purpose; and

(b)in relation to a period or periods prescribed by regulation 6(4), by a statement containing the information specified in Part II of Schedule 3, which is completed by the practitioner who has supervised the training and signed by him and authorised by the Regional Advisor for Postgraduate General Practice Education or a person authorised by him to act on his behalf for that purpose.

Certificate of prescribed experience

10.—(1) A practitioner who claims to have acquired the prescribed experience may apply to the Joint Committee for a certificate of prescribed experience and shall include with his application the statements mentioned in regulation 9(5) or, if he does not have those statements, such evidence as the Joint Committee may require of satisfactory completion of his period of training.

(2) If the Joint Committee are satisfied that the practitioner has acquired the prescribed experience, they shall issue to him a certificate of prescribed experience.

(3) A certificate of prescribed experience shall show the qualifications by virtue of which the practitioner to whom it is issued is entitled to be registered under the Medical Act 1983 and where those qualifications were awarded.

(4) If the Joint Committee are not satisfied that the practitioner has acquired the required medical experience, they shall issue to him a statement setting out the reasons why they are not satisfied.

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