CPD Credit Hours mandatory for renewal of medical license every 5 years for every doctor: NMC draft
New Delhi: Bringing uniformity regarding the rules concerning the existing practice of Continuing Medical Education (CME) for doctors, the Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB) of the National Medical Commission (NMC) has made it mandatory for all doctors to attend Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs and earn at least 30 CPD credit hours every five years.The submission...
New Delhi: Bringing uniformity regarding the rules concerning the existing practice of Continuing Medical Education (CME) for doctors, the Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB) of the National Medical Commission (NMC) has made it mandatory for all doctors to attend Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs and earn at least 30 CPD credit hours every five years.
The submission of the documentation of CPD credit hours is now mandatory for the renewal of the license of the Registered Medical Practitioners (RMPs), specified in the new Draft Registered Medical Practitioner (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 2022.
NMC has recommended Level 2 (L2) disciplinary action for the violation of these CPD Credit Hours rules. So, doctors not complying with the requirements might have to face a suspension of the license to practice for up to one month (30days).
In India, until now, several State Medical Councils have been complying with the rules regarding the CME credit hours to ensure that the medical practitioners stay updated with the latest medical advancements. As per the existing rules, many state medical councils have mandated compulsory CME, linking the 30 CME credit hours ( 90 actual hours) as a must for renewals of the registration.
Even though the rules were already in place, there was no uniformity in this regard. However, the EMRB of NMC has now introduced a uniform rule regarding Continuing Professional Development program specifying that the doctors must earn at least 30 credit hours by attending continuing professional development programs regularly.
In this regard, Section 5 of the Draft RMP Regulations, 2022 Stated, "Continuing Professional Development Program: A RMP should attend continuing professional development programs regularly each year, totaling at least 30 credit hours every five years. Only recognized medical colleges and health institutions or medical societies accredited or authorized by EMRB/State medical Councils can offer training and credit hours for this purpose. Credit hours awarded shall be updated online against the Unique Registration Number of RMP on the EMRBNMC website."
"Renewal of License to practice should be done every 5 years (from the publication of the Gazette notification), after submitting documentation of CPD credit hours," it added.
RMPs practicing in another State:
Addressing the concern regarding registration of doctors who wish to practice in a different State, the Regulations have stated, "The license renewal form will allow updates of details like specialization, place of work, address, contact details, or any other detail specified by EMRB/NMC. RMPs who wish to practice in another State (due to transfer of work of residence) should inform that State Medical Council and apply for License to practice in that State. State will have to mandatorily provide license to practice charging appropriate fee within 7 days. (CPD guidelines) (L2)."
NMC in the new Regulations have recommended Level 2 (L2) disciplinary action against doctors if they are found to be violating the rules regarding CPD credit hours. Guideline 4 of the Regulations mentions that when the State Medical Council or EMRB or NMC investigates a case, the disciplinary action will be awarded while keeping in mind the severity of the act of commission of omission.
These Regulations have graded the disciplinary actions at five levels. As per the Guidelines, Level 2 penalty "may be awarded even when the role of the doctor in causing direct harm was not conclusively proved but the doctor was found to have breached any of the codes listed above."
Clarifying that the doctors may get suspended for a period up to one month for non-compliance with the CPD Credit hours rules, the Guideline stated that in case of L2 penalty, "The maximum action is a suspension of the license to practice for up to one month (30days)."
However, doctors held accountable for Level 1 Disciplinary Action might get instructed to attend CPD programs in a specified field, mentioned the Guidelines. The number of CME credit points to be specified, it added.
CPDNMC in the new Draft Regulations has discussed in detail the CPD program including its definition, aim, purpose, definition of CPD credits, roles and responsibilities of State Medical Councils etc.
It has also drawn a comparison between the CPD credit hours with the already existing rules regarding CME credit hours. As per the CPD guidelines included in the Draft, while continuing medical education (CME) largely addresses the needs of health professionals with regard to updating knowledge and skills (in the form of workshops, seminars, lectures etc), CPD has a more holistic approach as it recognises the need for the health professional to develop all facets. CPD "goes beyond knowledge and skills to include, among others effective communication, evaluation of emerging evidence, the practice of ethics, the application of law in healthcare, and an understanding of public health, health policy and health economics, among others," stated the Guidelines.
Episodic events targeted to a group of learners
Lifelong based on self-assessments addressing educational needs for better healthcare
Mainly targeting technical skills and clinical
Comprehensive for wide arrays of skills
Format are fixed or structured
Based on active learning principles. Need more intense planning
Usually, podium based
Wide variety of methods customizable according to subject and target audience