Medical Expert Accreditation - Information for Medical Experts on Continuous Professional Development
Published: 24 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 and help you to become prepared.
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. Its 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 your accreditation certificate is due to expire before 1 June 2019 it will remain valid and you will remain accredited until CPD is introduced.
The CPD academic year will run from 1 June to 31 May each year.
If you are a new medical expert the annual CPD requirement starts at the beginning of the firstCPD academic year following completion of your accreditation training. (For example, if accreditation training is completed in Nov 2019, the CPD requirement will commence from 1 June 2020).
Accreditation certificates will no longer have an expiry date. Once the initial accreditation is achieved it remains valid provided the expert maintains their annual CPD requirement.
What is involved in the annual MedCo CPD training programme?
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 is 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 a set date. These modules may cover issues such as changes in legislation or key issues regarding the forthcoming whiplash reforms.
What happens if I do not complete all my annual CPD hours in the academic year June - May?
If you do not complete the required CPD hours, your MedCo status will be suspended meaning you will no longer be able to receive instructions to carry out the first fix cost medical report in RTA soft tissue injury claims. You will remain suspended until the CPD shortfall has been made up.
If you fail to complete the outstanding CPD hours within 12 months of the end of the academic year of the shortfall, you will be withdrawn from the MedCo system.
How is the suspension removed?
Suspension will only be lifted on 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 you are withdrawn from the MedCo system for failing to complete the CPD shortfall, you will not be reinstated.
Should you wish to re-commence MedCo work, you will have to re-register to become an accredited medical expert and start the full accreditation training again from the beginning. This includes the initial 30-40-hour training course. (As long as you maintain your status as a MedCo accredited medical expert, you will not need to repeat the initial accreditation training once you have successfully completed it).
What do I need to do?
Each year from 01 June 2019 you will be responsible for maintaining your 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. You will also be able to track your progress from the training option on your MedCo account.
To access the training material, you will need to log on to your MedCo account at https://app.medco.org.uk/ and select the Training option that is now available on your home page.
The training site is currently being updated in preparation for CPD. You will notice that the design of the site has changed, and that all existing accreditation course material is available for your reference at any time. New content will be gradually loaded in the run up to the changes that come into effect in June. However, you will not be able to start any of the new training until CPD is live from 01 June 2019.
For support and information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org