Frequently Asked Questions

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Reproductive and Sexual Health (RSH) Committee

  • The Joint Committee for Family Planning disbanded on 30 June 2010 and all its functions were handed to the newly formed RSH Committee of the Irish College of GPs. This Committee oversees training in Reproductive and Sexual Health and awards the Certificate in Contraception.

  • It is the aim of the RSH Committee that all applications would be reviewed and certificates issued within an eight-week timeframe. This is based on the assumption that all components for your application have been completed satisfactorily.

  • The cost to apply to the RSH Committee for Certification is €50. Cheques should be made payable to the RSH Committee.

  • Yes, duplicate certificates will cost €25. Please send your request in writing to Administrator, RSH Committee, 4-5 Lincoln Place, Dublin 2, together with a cheque made payable to the RSH Committee.

  • All details, including links to the course (and the logbook) and application form can be found on the Contraception page in the Women's Health programme section.

  • Please send this to the attention of: The Administrator, RSH Committee, c/o ICGP, 4-5 Lincoln Place, Dublin 2.

About the Certificate in Contraception

  • The Certificate in Contraception is a certificate awarded by the Irish College of GPs Reproductive and Sexual Health Committee. It is an educational programme that provides medical practitioners with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide a contraception service.

  • There are three parts:

    • Part I. Theory Course
    • Part II. Gynaecological Examination
    • Part III. Practical Training

    NB: Parts 1 and 2 must be completed before commencing Part III. Practical Training.

  • The time period allowed to complete the Certificate in Contraception is 2.5 years. This starts from the date you commence your Theory Course to the date you complete the Practical Course/Training. 

  • In the event that you cannot complete all the training within the 2.5 year period, you will be required to re-attend the theory course. If exceptional circumstances have delayed your training, such as severe illness, then you can apply to the RSH committee for an extension on the 2.5 year period.

    • Complete all sections of the Certificate in Contraception application form. 
    • Provide evidence of attendance at a theory course
    • Ensure your gynaecological training is signed by your supervising gynaecologist
    • Ensure that your logbook is completed and signed by a registered Contraception Tutor
    • Make payment online at the payment link provided 
    • Email a scanned copy of all documents through Contact Us page

    All forms can be found through the Contraception page in the Women's Health programme section.

Contraception Theory Course Part I

  • The Irish College of GPs runs a theory course several times a year. These are held in Dublin over 1.5 days and provide a comprehensive update on all aspects of contraception and include other topics relating to sexual and reproductive health.

    This course satisfies the theoretical component as outlined in the syllabus set by the RSH Committee.

  • Yes. Provided the external course provider has applied to and been accredited by the RSH Committee. To confirm this, please contact the Administrator of the Reproductive and Sexual Health (RSH) Committee through the Contact Us page.

  • No. We currently have no arrangement with the FSRH. 

  • The theory course costs is €275 for members and €350 for non members.

  • We usually hold courses in January and September, with extra courses being held subject to demand.

  • To gain maximum benefit from this course, we advise that participants are at least senior house officer level of their training or practising general practitioners.

  • No. This course is aimed at fully registered doctors who are in practice and who want an update in reproductive and sexual health. This is also the first step required to obtain the Certificate in Contraception. 

    All three parts of the Certificate in Contraception must be completed within a 2.5 year timeframe and it is our experience that doctors who start the Theory Course during their intern year cannot finish Part II Gynaecological Examination and Part III Practical Training within this timeframe. 

    NB: If this timeframe is not met by the candidate then they will be required to re-sit the Theory Course again. It is for this reason that we have a policy of not accepting interns on this course.

  • Please note that if you do not complete the practical training within 2.5 years of undertaking the Theory Course you will be required to sit the Theory Course again before submitting your application to the RSH Committee for the Certificate in Contraception.

Gynaecological Training Part II

  • There are three ways of certifying in this area: 

    • Three months bin a gynaecological / obstetric post.
    • Attendance and training at four or more sessions at a gynaecological clinic under the supervision of a consultant gynaecologist
    • Certification by a GP trainer (applicable to GP trainees only). 
  • No. The contraception tutors are only required for Part II for those who choose to undergo practical training in a GP setting instead of the ICGP Practical Course.

    Your GP trainer can certify trainees on the GP specialist training programme for Part II.

  • Gynaecological training must be completed before embarking on the practical training for the Certificate in Contraception. 

  • Yes, the RSH Committee assesses each application individually. If the gynaecological training is done within a reasonable timeframe they are happy to accept the application. It is important that you include proof of completing your gynaecology training.

Contraception Practical Course Part III

  • There are two methods of obtaining practical training:

    1. Practical training may be undertaken in a Family Planning Clinic or general practice surgery under the supervision of a recognised Contraception Tutor.
    2. Candidates can attend a practical training course run by the Irish College of GPs.
  • Fully registered Medical Practitioners who are:

    • fourth year GP trainees, or
    • Obs and Gynae Registrars, or
    • established GPs in general practice.
  • Candidates attending the practical course are expected to have a good basic knowledge of contraception and sexual health in a general practice setting. For this reason it is advisable that either fourth-year trainees or qualified GPs attend this course.

  • A contraception tutor is a GP experienced in providing contraception service. They already hold the Certificate in Contraception, or its equivalent, and have at least two years' experience in clinical practice, post training. They achieve the status of contraception tutor status by attending a masterclass that certifies them as contraception tutors for three years.

  • Please contact the Administrator for the Women's Health Programme through the Contact Us page,

  • Please contact the Administrator for the Women's Health Programme through the Contact Us page

Information for contraception tutors

  • This course is open to registered medical practitioners who:

    • Hold the Certificate in Contraception or Family Planning Certificate or equivalent UK qualification and evidence of clinical involvement in reproductive and sexual health. Please note, this is not required if you are a GP trainer.
    • Have had at least two years' experience post training in general practice or a family planning clinic.
    • Current contraception tutors/instructing doctors.
    • You MUST be a GP trainer; assistant programme director; or be involved in GP training.
  • Masterclasses are held annually in the spring. 

  • Yes, however, the RSH Committee have recommended that all instructing doctors and tutors attend a Masterclass in Contraception at least once every three years.

  • You must attend the half day contraception update course, which is part of the Masterclass on Contraception, once every three years. 

  • You must participate in an ICGP Masterclass in Contraception Course.

  • LARC tutor workshops are held throughout the year. Please check course listings for upcoming workshops.

    Applicants must:

    • Be working in a GP training practice
    • Be registered with the Irish Medical Council
    • Have the Advanced Certificate in LARC or equivalent

    Priority will be given to GP Trainers or doctors working in a training practice who are already training their GP Trainee in LARC AND who have already successfully completed their Advanced Certificate in LARC.

JCFP Family Planning Certificate

  • The Certificate in Family Planning, awarded by The Joint Committee for Family Planning (JCFP), had no expiry date. There is currently no process in place to renew the JCFP Family Planning Certificate. You can check the Upcoming Events tab on the Womens' Health page for information on upcoming events in contraception and sexual health.

Training in Long Acting Reversible Contraception insertion (LARC)

  • It is an individual doctor's responsibility to ensure competence and maintain competence in any procedure they undertake during their working day. The vast majority of doctors have undertaken training in IUD or Implanon insertion and do not hold a certificate.

  • No. For information on certification in these techniques, please see further information in the Advanced Certificate in LARC section.

  • Yes, we will be accepting applications from experienced inserters who apply via the Experienced Inserter route.

  • If you are a GP trainee with a LARC tutor in your practice, you can apply for the certificate.

    If you are a GP trainee and do not have a LARC tutor in the practice, we suggest you ask your training programme to facilitate you with a tutor.