Medical Expert Accreditation - Information for AUT and MRO Users
Published: 29 March 2019
Ensuring the independence and quality of medical reports in personal injury claims for whiplash is a key part of MedCo's role. That includes maintaining the ongoing quality and value of medical expert’s training through the accreditation process undertaken. In order to make improvements to the accreditation process a number of changes will be made which will come into effect on 1 June. We are writing to remind you of these changes to ensure you are aware.
Why is accreditation required?
Medical experts must be MedCo accredited before they can be selected to provide medical reports through the MedCo system. MedCo provides the system through which first fixed costs medical reports are obtained. It’s use is determined by the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents. The Government’s Civil Procedure Rules require all medical experts completing the first fixed costs medical reports in low value soft tissue injury claims to complete accreditation training.
What is happening and when?
From 01 June 2019, after achieving the initial accreditation certificate, all experts will transfer to a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Programme. If the expert’s accreditation certificate is due to expire before 1 June 2019 it will remain valid and the expert will remain accredited until CPD is introduced.
The CPD academic year will run from 1 June to 31 May each year.
For new medical experts the annual CPD requirement will start at the beginning of the first CPD academic year following completion of the accreditation. (For example, if accreditation training is completed in Nov 2019, the CPD requirement will commence from 1 June 2020).
What is involved in the annual MedCo CPD training?
The MedCo CPD training programme runs annually from 1 June to 31 May. It is made up of a variety of modules designed by the MedCo Education and Training Committee. Some modules are mandatory, and others are optional.
In May each year the MedCo Board will stipulate how many hours training need to be completed for the next CPD year. The 2019/2020 requirement will be communicated soon. In any academic year the MedCo Board may also introduce Mandatory Modules that must be
completed by the expert by a set date. Mandatory Modules may cover issues such as changes in legislation or key issues regarding the forthcoming whiplash reforms.
What happens if an expert does not complete the annual CPD hours in the academic year June - May?
Please note if an expert fails to complete the required CPD hours, their MedCo status will be suspended. As an MRO or Authorised User you must continue to check the status of a medical expert prior to instruction. Experts will remain suspended until the CPD shortfall has been made up.
If an expert fails to complete the outstanding CPD hours within 12 months of the end of the academic year of the shortfall, they will be withdrawn from the MedCo system.
How is the suspension removed?
Suspension will only be lifted on the expert’s completion of the CPD shortfall from the previous year. Shortfall CPD hours will not count towards the current year CPD requirement.
Withdrawal from MedCo
If an expert is withdrawn from the MedCo system for failing to complete the CPD shortfall, they will not be reinstated. Should they wish to re-commence MedCo work, they will have to re-register to become an accredited medical expert and start the full accreditation training again from the beginning. (As long as an expert maintains their status as a MedCo accredited medical expert, they'll not need to repeat the initial accreditation training once it has been successfully completed).
What do I need to do?
MROs and Authorised Users should continue to check MedCo to ensure that expert(s) are operational prior to instruction.
Experts will be responsible for maintaining their own accredited status by completing the annual CPD requirement. All experts will automatically transfer to the new CPD programme and will receive periodic reminders on the status of their CPD progress. They will also be able to track their progress from their MedCo account.
The training site is currently being updated in preparation for CPD. All existing accreditation course material is available for the experts reference at any time. New content will be gradually loaded in the run up to the changes that come into effect in June. However, experts will not be able to start any of the new training until CPD is live from 01 June 2019.
Accreditation certificates will no longer have an expiry date. Once the initial accreditation is achieved it remains valid provided the expert maintains their CPD requirement.
How do I check the status of a Medical Expert?
To check the MedCo status of a medical expert you can us the Expert Enquiry Service. Find out how to use the service here:
Insert link to how to guide here
For support and information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org