Many doctors, for various reasons, do not practise medicine for a certain period of time during their career. Leave from practice can 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.


Examples of circumstances that may result in a shortfall in minimum requirements are:

  • Maternity leave
  • Certified sick leave of three months or longer

Where possible, you should maintain some level of engagement in maintenance of your professional competence while on leave.


What to do if you are on long-term sick leave or maternity leave

  • Inform us of the circumstances as soon as possible
  • Keep supporting documentation or information. The Medical Council may ask to see this if you are selected for its Maintenance of Professional Competence Audit


We will record your absence. If your absence has occurred for three months or more during the professional competence year (which runs from 1st May to 30th April), the reported absence will be recorded on your Annual Statement of Participation.


If you are on Sabbatical or Extended Holidays


If you remain on the Medical Council register while on sabbatical or extended holiday, you are expected to continue to meet your professional competence requirements.


The Medical Council does not operate a system where a doctor who may not be practising and therefore unable to meet the professional competence requirements can stay on the register. If absence from practice is going to have an impact on your ability to meet professional competence requirements, you should consider whether or not to remain on the register.


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