Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI announces 2012/2013 Professional Development Programme for NCHDs

02 October 2012

Deadline for registration on new programme is Friday, 26th October 

The 2012/2013 Professional Development Programme for non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs) working in the fields of surgery and emergency medicine, taking place at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), has been announced with this year's programme offering a newly expanded choice of technical skills and human factors modules. Eligible NCHDs have until Friday, 26th October to enrol on the Programme.

Pictured (l-r) are Dr. Leonie Heskin, Clinical Lecturer; Professor Séan Tierney, Director, Professional Development and Practice, RCSI; Ms. Eva Doherty, Senior Lecturer; and Professor Oscar Traynor, Director, National Surgical Training Centre, RCSI.

The Programme, which is now in its second year, is commissioned and funded by the Health Service Executive (HSE) to facilitate NCHDs within the public health service, who are not on training schemes, to maintain their professional competence in line with Medical Council requirements and provides a structured means of achieving 20 external CPD credits. Approximately 500 NCHDs are eligible for enrolment on the Programme and the HSE will cover the cost of participation for NCHDs who meet the criteria and enrol by the October 26th deadline.

Following feedback from last year's participants, the 2012/2013 programme has been tailored to cater more specifically for the different specialities and varying career levels of NCHDs in surgery and emergency medicine. Eleven new courses in the technical skills division and two additional human factors modules have been introduced based on candidate requests.

Pictured are Professional Development Course Participants (l-r) Dr. Haroon Malik, Naas General Hospital; Dr. Abhi Tej Mhaske, Cork University Hospital; and Dr. Saad Kalin, Mayo General Hospital.

Technical skills modules now include specific subjects for emergency medicine with a full day courses dedicated to airway management and resuscitation. For general surgery, basic and advanced surgical skills courses have been devised for SHOs with more advanced courses in endoscopy and laparoscopic surgery targeted at senior registrars. Vascular and urology surgeons will be offered the opportunity to enhance their operative skills with surgery techniques courses tailored to these specialities. Two new courses "Orthopaedic Surgery Casting Course" and "X-Ray and Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine", which will be of interest to those in emergency medicine, orthopaedic surgery and general surgery, are being run in conjunction with the Faculty of Radiologists and the Department of Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery in Cappagh Hospital. The existing ‘Early Management of the Trauma Patient', module continues to be offered so new programme participants can avail of this course.

In addition to the existing human factors module "Communication Challenges for Doctors", two new courses in stress management and conflict management will be available for the 2012/2013 Programme.

Pictured is Ms. Eva Doherty, Senior Lecturer, delivering a communications skills course as part of the Professional Development Programme at RCSI. 

Professor Oscar Traynor, Director, National Surgical Training Centre, RCSI, said: "The expanded Professional Development Programme which RCSI is offering this year is in line with our commitment to delivering a first class programme on behalf of the HSE to assist NCHDs in satisfying their Professional Competence requirements. With eleven technical skills courses and three human factors courses now on offer, we are providing highly relevant courses, tailored to the needs of emergency medicine and surgery NCHDs at both SHO and Registrar level, to equip them with invaluable skills and technical expertise in order to excel in their speciality."

Ciara Mellett, Medical Education and Training, HSE said: "The Professional Development Programme provides a structured curriculum for NCHDs to achieve up to 20 CPD credits per annum, with a choice of modules tailored for both surgery and emergency medicine now available. We strongly encourage all eligible NCHDs who are not currently on a training scheme to enrol on the Programme by 26th October in order to avail of the educational activities which the HSE is supporting."


Pictured (l-r) are Dr. Haroon Malik, Naas General Hospital; Dr. Saad Kalin, Mayo General Hospital; and Dr. Zia Abbasi, Mayo General Hospital.

The Professional Development Programme is open to NCHDs who are registered on the General Division or Supervised Division of the Register of Medical Practitioners maintained by the Medical Council. NCHDs must hold the 2010 NCHD contract and be working within the public health service. To successfully enrol on the Professional Development Programme, applicants must have paid the annual Professional Competence Scheme Fee for 2012/2013.

Since the 1st of May 2011, it has been mandatory for all doctors to register with a Professional Competence Scheme (PCS) run by one of the postgraduate training bodies. RCSI has been designated by the Irish Medical Council to run PCS for Surgery and Emergency Medicine.

Pictured are Professional Development Programme Lecturers (l-r) Dr Gozie Offiah, Clinical Lecturer; Mr. Athar Sheikh; Clinical Lecturer; Ms. Eva Doherty, Senior Lecturer; and Dr Leonie Heskin, Clinical Lecturer.

For further information on the Professional Development Programme delivered by RCSI visit The Programme runs until April 2013 and the timetable up to December 2012 is now available on