Audit of SHO and Registrar Posts

June 3rd 2008

Report provides valuable insight into Postgraduate Medical Training

An audit of Non Consultant Hospital Doctor (NCHD) posts, at Senior House Officer (SHO) and Registrar level, has recommended that a national database of all NCHDs should be maintained in order to assist strategic planning within
the Irish health service.

The audit, commissioned by the HSE, was carried out by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 2007/2008 and involved all stakeholders responsible for postgraduate medical training. Data on over 3,500 SHO and Registrar posts was
collected, and provides, for the first time in Ireland, a comprehensive national database of posts in all specialties.

Commenting on the report, the Chair of the Steering Group and CEO of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Mr Leo Kearns said "The data gathered during this audit is a unique resource that, if further analysed and maintained, will support strategic planning in the field of postgraduate medical education and training. This resource must be utilised to the fullest extent possible, thereby helping to deliver improved training opportunities for all doctors and raising standards across the spectrum of medical education and training."

The data now available has highlighted a number of issues

  • The current and future role of the registrar grade as a training post
  • The structured progression of doctors through the postgraduate training pathway
  • The number of posts not accredited for training
  • The registration status of doctors with an approved postgraduate training body
  • The future management of stand-alone training posts

The lack of national data in a wide range of areas in medical education was formally identified as a major issue in both the Fottrell (2006) and Buttimer (2006) Reports. In particular, the Buttimer Report highlighted how the lack of data on SHO and Registrar posts at a national level was a significant obstacle to improving the training opportunities available to doctors in these posts, or indeed, to identifying their training needs in the first instance.


Expanding on the reports recommendations Mr Kearns said "Another key recommendation contained in this report is the establishment without delay of a working group, comprised of representatives from the HSE, the Medical Council, the
Postgraduate Training Bodies, the Department of Health and Children and the Postgraduate Medical and Dental Board, in order to further analyse the data gathered during the audit and develop plans and strategies to address the issues and
challenges identified."

For further information please contact;
Paul McAuliffe, Communications Manager
Royal College of Physicians of Ireland
Main Ph: 01 8639700

You can read or download the National Audit of SHO and Registrar Posts on this page.