Forms and Guidance Documents

1. Application Process for a Consultant Post

All applications for Consultant posts must be made using the Consultant Application Portal (CAP) Module in the Doctors Integrated Medical System (DIME).

Below outlines the various stages the application form goes through before it reaches Consultants Division, NDTP:

  • Clinical Site initiates application and seeks local support/approval.
  • Clinical site submits their online application to the relevant Group/CHO for validation via CAP. 
  • The Hospital Group/CHO will seek the views of the Clinical Programme Lead on the relevant form which can be found here
  • The list of National Clinical Programme Leads is maintained by the HSE Clinical Design and Innovation Team. Clinical Lead contact details can be found here
  • The Hospital Group/CHO must also seek Confirmation of Funding from National Acute Operations on the relevant form which can be found here
  • The Hospital Group/CHO submits the application, together with the Clinical Programme Lead Evaluation Form and National Acute Operations Confirmation of Funding form, to the Consultants Division NDTP via CAP for screening.

Below outlines the stages following receipt of an application by the Consultants Division, NDTP:

  • Once all paper work is in order the application and supporting documentation can be put forward to CAAC for consideration
  • When a post is recommended for approval at CAAC and subsequently approved by National HR, a letter of approval (LOA) will issue on DIME
  • Relevant stakeholders will be notified once the LOA is available

*Please note at this stage the post status should be updated accordingly i.e. vacant pending permanent recruitment of the post or matched to a temporary/locum pending permanent recruitment of the post.

Please note applications will not be considered without the completed Clinical Programme Lead and National Acute Operations Confirmation of Funding forms being submitted together with the application.

2. Guidance on Completion of Consultant Post Application Forms

There are four different types of Consultant Post applications:

  • New:  

A post which has not been previously approved and is a new role or an additional post for an established department

  • Replacement:

An approved post which has been become or is due to become vacant and approval is being sought to refill

  • Restructure:

An approved post where changes are being proposed to the structure of the post – e.g. working hours, location of post

  • Replacement / Restructure:

An approved post which has been become or is due to become vacant and approval is being sought to refill & where changes are being proposed to the structure of the post – e.g. working hours, location of post.

The below documents are intended to assist with and clarify aspects of the current application process for the above Consultant posts:

Checklist for CAAC applications

National Acute Medicine programme (NAMP) guidance document

3. Application for Change of Contract Type (other than Type C)

The  application for change in contract type (under the Consultants Contract 2008 and change in category of Contract under the Consultants Contract 1997) is for all requests for a change of contract other than to Type C.

The employer with the sole or major interest in the post submits this application form complete with the necessary documentation to the office of the Hospital Group CEO or equivalent.

All applications for change of contract requests must be made using the CAP Module in DIME. The process is similar to the submission of Consultant post applications which is outlined above.

  •   Clinical Site initiates application and seeks local support/approval
  •   Clinical site submits their online application to the relevant Group/CHO for validation via CAP
  • The Hospital Group/CHO submits the application, together with supporting documents, to the Consultants Division NDTP via CAP for screening

Appendix III – Procedures for change in Type of Contract under the Consultants Contract 2008

1. Introduction

The procedure for the submission to the HSE, processing and approval of requests for change of Contract Type under the Consultant Contract 2008 is set out below.  

2. Provisions of Consultant Contract 2008 re change of Contract Type

Section 23 of Consultant Contract 2008 states:

a) “Consultants may apply to change Contract Type to Type A, B or C at five-yearly intervals. An appeals process is set out at Section 22 (d) below.

b) Those Consultants who previously held a Category I or Category II Contract under the Consultants Contract 1997 may, 2 years after accepting the Consultant Contract 2008 and thereafter at 5 yearly intervals, make application to the Health Service Executive Consultant Applications Advisory Committee[1] to transfer to Contract Type B*. A decision on such application will be made by the HSE following the advice of the Committee. Applicants must demonstrate that the change in Contract Type is consistent with the public interest and that there is a demonstrable benefit to the public health system.

c) Where significant changes occur in a particular area in the delivery of acute hospital care (e.g. hospital closures or major changes taking place in the character of the work being carried out there[2]) or where the volume of private practice is significantly below 20% of total clinical workload, the Consultant shall be entitled to have his/her Contract Type reviewed by the Health Service Executive Consultant Applications Advisory Committee / Type C Committee within the 5 year period.

d) Applications for change of Contract Type A, B or B* will be considered by the Health Service Executive Consultant Applications Advisory Committee together with the Employer’s views on the application. A decision on such application will be made by the HSE following the advice of the Committee. Applications for change of Contract Type to Contract Type B* will be considered subject to the condition that the total number of Consultants holding B*, Type C and Category 2 Contracts will be subject to an upper limit of such posts within the system.  In the event that the HSE does not accede to the request, the Consultant may refer the matter to the Independent Appeals Panel for a recommendation.  The Independent Appeals Panel shall be composed of:

i)      an Independent Chairperson,

ii)     a representative of the Consultant (e.g. from the relevant medical organisation), and

iii)    an Employer representative.

e) Appointments for reclassification to a Type C post will be considered by the Health Service Executive Type C Committee1. A decision on such application will be made by the HSE following the advice of the Committee. Applications for change of Contract Type to Type C will be considered with reference to the total number of Consultants holding Type B*, Type C and Category II Contracts not exceeding the specified limit. In the event that the Type C Committee does not accede to the request the matter will be referred to Chief Executive Officer of the Health Service Executive for a final decision.”

3. Role of the HSE regarding movement between Contract Types

Section 57 of the Health Act, 2004 transferred a number of statutory functions previously performed by Comhairle na nOspidéal to the HSE with effect from 1st January 2005. These included regulating the number and type of appointments of consultant medical staff.

Under the Consultant Contract 2008, the HSE determines changes in Contract Type for all Consultants. The HSE will seek the advice of the Consultant Applications Advisory Committee on each application.

4. Procedure for submission of requests under Consultant Contract 2008 to the HSE

The procedure for submission of requests for change of Contract Type is as follows: 

a) The employer with the sole or major interest in the post submits the following to the office of the Hospital Group CEO/CHO Chief Officer: 

  • the view of the Consultant occupying the post;
  • the view of the representative grouping of the Consultants in the relevant hospital / service (e.g. medical board);
  • the Consultants’ current schedule of commitments;
  • the changes proposed to this schedule of commitments if the request for change of Contract Type is approved;
  • the rationale for the Employer’s support or lack of support for the request for change of Contract Type;
  • the benefits to the hospital and the public health system if the request for change Contract Type is approved;
  • how the post will align with other posts in the specialty under the employer(s) if the request for change of Contract Type is approved;

b) The office of the Hospital Group CEO/CHO Chief Officer forwards the documentation to the Consultants Division [together with a letter:

  • Indicating whether he or she agrees with the request for change of Contract Type;
  • Confirming that funding is available to meet any salary increases arising from change in Contract Type.

5. HSE determination of change of Contract Type requests

The Consultants Division will submit requests for change in Contract Type to the Consultant Applications Advisory Committee / Type C Committee as follows:

a) Applications for change of Contract Type A, B or B* will be considered by the Health Service Executive Consultant Applications Advisory Committee together with the Employer’s views on the application. A decision on such application will be made by the HSE following the advice of the Committee.

b) Applications for change of Contract Type to Contract Type B* will be considered subject to the condition that the total number of Consultants holding B*, Type C and Category II Contracts will be subject to an upper limit of such posts within the system. 

c) In the event that the HSE does not accede to the request as set out at a) and b) above, the Consultant may refer the matter to the Independent Appeals Panel for a recommendation.  The Independent Appeals Panel shall be composed of:

  • an Independent Chairperson,
  • a representative of the Consultant (e.g. from the relevant medical organisation), and
  • an Employer representative.

d) Applications for reclassification to a Type C post will be considered by the Health Service Executive Type C Committee1. A decision on such application will be made by the HSE following the advice of the Committee. Applications for change of Contract Type to Type C will be considered with reference to the total number of Consultants holding Type B*, Type C and Category II Contracts not exceeding the specified limit. In the event that the Type C Committee does not accede to the request the matter will be referred to Chief Executive Officer of the Health Service Executive for a final decision. No further appeals process exists.

Appendix IV – Procedures for change in category of Contract under the Consultants Contract 1997

1. Introduction

The procedure for the submission to the HSE, processing and approval of requests for the re-categorisation of Consultant posts under the Consultant Contract 1997 is set out below.  

2. Provisions of the Consultant Contract 1997 re change of category

Section 3.10.2 – 3.10.4 of the Memorandum of Agreement attached to the Consultants Contract 1997 address movement between category of post as follows:

3.10.2 - Nothing in the following paragraphs shall impede consultants from moving from one category of post to another where the employer has no objection to any such request.

3.10.3 - The category of post shall be determined by Comhairle na nOspidéal at the time of approval.  The employer shall obtain the views of the Hospital Medical Board prior to submitting an application to Comhairle.

3.10.4 - Consultants may apply to have the category of post changed at 5 year intervals.  In the event that the employer does not accede to the request the matter will be referred to an agreed third party for a recommendation.”

3.10.5 - Where significant changes occur in a particular area in the delivery of acute hospital care, (e.g. - hospital closures) consultants shall be entitled to have their category of post reviewed within the 5 year period.

3. Role of the HSE regarding movement between categories

Section 57 of the Health Act, 2004 transferred a number of statutory functions previously performed by Comhairle na nOspidéal to the HSE with effect from 1st January 2005. These included regulating the number and type of appointments of consultant medical staff.

Under the Consultant Contract 1997, the HSE, as the employer, determines movement between categories for those consultants employed by the HSE. Custom and practice has been that the non-HSE employer seeks the determination of the HSE (and previously Comhairle na nOspidéal) prior to taking any action regarding movement between categories for Consultants in its employ.

4. Procedure for submission of requests under Consultant Contract 1997 to the HSE

The public interest is the dominant criterion in determining whether to approve requests for changes in category of post. Taking this into account, the procedure for submission of requests for change of category is as follows: 

a) The employer with the sole or major interest in the post submits the following to the office of the Hospital Group CEO/CHO Chief Officer: 

  • the view of the Consultant occupying the post;
  • the view of the representative grouping of the Consultants in the relevant hospital / service (e.g. medical board);
  • the Consultants’ current schedule of commitments;
  • the changes proposed to this schedule of commitments if the request for change of category is approved;
  • the rationale for the Employer’s support or lack of support for the request for change of category;
  • the benefits to the hospital and the public health system if the request for change of category is approved;
  • how the post will align with other posts in the specialty under the employer(s) if the request for change of category is approved;

b) The office of the Hospital Group CEO/CHO Chief Officer forwards the documentation to the Consultant Division together with a letter:

  • Indicating whether he or she agrees with the request for change of category;
  • Confirming that funding is available to meet any salary increases arising from change in category.

5. HSE determination of change of category requests

a) Each request will be analysed on its own merits using the following criteria:

  • The application for change of category requests shall be received from the office of the Hospital Group CEO/CHO Chief Officer rather than any other source.
  • The extent to which it has been demonstrated that the change of category is consistent with the public interest
  • The benefits if any arising from a change in category to the public health system.

b) Once a determination has been made regarding the request to change category, the Consultants Division will issue a letter setting out the decision, the new category (if any) and the date the post was originally approved. This letter will form part of the Consultant’s Contract and should be attached to Appendix I of the contract documents signed by the post-holder.

c) A function of the Consultant Applications Advisory Committee will be the provision of advice on requests for change of contract under the Consultants Contract 1997.

6. Procedure to be followed by non-HSE employers regarding movement between categories

As noted at Section 3 above, custom and practice has been that the non-HSE employer seeks the determination of the HSE (and previously Comhairle na nOspidéal) prior to taking any action regarding movement between categories for Consultants in its employ.

Such determination is subject to the use of the public interest as the dominant criterion. Taking this into account, the HSE requires HSE-funded agencies:

a) to notify the HSE, prior to taking any action, of requests from Consultants to move between categories in line with the procedure set out at Section 4 (a); and

  • to provide confirmation – with specific reference to the agreed service plan – that funding is available to meet any salary increases arising from change in category;
  • to forward to the HSE a letter setting out:
  1. how the change of category is consistent with the public interest;
  2. the benefits if any arising from a change in category to the public health system.

HSE funded agencies will, in their service plan agreed with the HSE, have documented the level of service to be provided to the public and key deliverables. A decision regarding movement between categories must not affect – financially or otherwise – the delivery of the service plan.

7. Appeals Process

The Consultant may, once (s)he has received the determination regarding the request to change category, make an appeal to the Independent Appeals Committee. This Committee consists of an Independent Chairperson, an employer representative and a representative of the relevant medical organisation. Contact details for the Appeals Committee will be available from the employer or either medical organisation.

4. Application for Type C Contract

The Application for Type C Contract (under the Consultants Contract 2008) is for all requests for a change of contract to Type C or designation of an approved post as Type C. The employer with the sole or major interest in the post submits this application form complete with the necessary documentation to the office of the Hospital Group CEO or equivalent. 

Type C applications can be submitted from the Clinical Site, via the relevant CHO or Hospital Group to the Consultants Division by email: typec.applications@hse.ie

Procedures for change in Type of Contract under the Consultants Contract 2008

1. Provisions of Consultant Contract 2008 re change of Contract Type

Section 22 of Consultant Contract 2008 states:

a) “Consultants may apply to change Contract Type to Type A, B or C at five-yearly intervals. An appeals process is set out at Section 22 (d) below.

b) Those Consultants who previously held a Category I or Category II Contract under the Consultants Contract 1997 may, 2 years after accepting the Consultant Contract 2008 and thereafter at 5 yearly intervals, make application to the Health Service Executive Consultant Applications Advisory Committee1 to transfer to Contract Type B*. A decision on such application will be made by the HSE following the advice of the Committee. Applicants must demonstrate that the change in Contract Type is consistent with the public interest and that there is a demonstrable benefit to the public health system.

c) Where significant changes occur in a particular area in the delivery of acute hospital care (e.g. hospital closures or major changes taking place in the character of the work being carried out there2) or where the volume of private practice is significantly below 20% of total clinical workload, the Consultant shall be entitled to have his/her Contract Type reviewed by the Health Service Executive Consultant Applications Advisory Committee / Type C Committee within the 5 year period.

d) Applications for change of Contract Type A, B or B* will be considered by the Health Service Executive Consultant Applications Advisory Committee together with the Employer’s views on the application. A decision on such application will be made by the HSE following the advice of the Committee. Applications for change of Contract Type to Contract Type B* will be considered subject to the condition that the total number of Consultants holding B*, Type C and Category 2 Contracts will be subject to an upper limit of such posts within the system. In the event that the HSE does not accede to the request, the Consultant may refer the matter to the Independent Appeals Panel for a recommendation. The Independent Appeals Panel shall be composed of:

  • an Independent Chairperson,
  • a representative of the Consultant (e.g. from the relevant medical organisation), and
  • an Employer representative.

e) Appointments for reclassification to a Type C post will be considered by the Health Service Executive Type C Committee1. A decision on such application will be made by the HSE following the advice of the Committee. Applications for change of Contract Type to Type C will be considered with reference to the total number of Consultants holding Type B*, Type C and Category II Contracts not exceeding the specified limit. In the event that the Type C Committee does not accede to the request the matter will be referred to Chief Executive Officer of the Health Service Executive for a final decision.”

2. Role of the HSE regarding movement between Contract Types

Section 57 of the Health Act, 2004 transferred a number of statutory functions previously performed by Comhairle na nOspidéal to the HSE with effect from 1st January 2005. These included regulating the number and type of appointments of consultant medical staff.

Under the Consultant Contract 2008, the HSE determines changes in Contract Type for all Consultants. The HSE will seek the advice of the Consultant Applications Advisory Committee or the Type C Committee on each application, as appropriate.

3. The role of the Type C Committee

The role of the Type C Committee, which was established in accordance with the provisions set out in the Consultants’ Contract 2008, is to make recommendations to the HSE on applications for Type C posts. This advice is then provided to the Chief Executive Officer of the HSE for a final decision on requests for Type C posts.

Where a Type C post is requested, the applicant organisation will be required to satisfy a number of criteria pertinent thereto, which would include but not be limited to the following:

  • A clear indication as to why the post requirements cannot be met through a Type A or B arrangement;
  • A clear demonstration as to the added patient, service and public system benefits and values to be achieved through establishment of the post as a Type C rather than a Type A or B position.

In considering such requests the Type C Committee are informed by correspondence from the Chief Executive Officer of the HSE to the Chairperson of the Type C Committee (letter dated 30th Aug 2013) that such approval can only be made if it can be clearly demonstrated that there exceptional circumstances pertaining. Therefore, the Committee should seek the submission by the requesting location of a business case and supporting evidence of a clinical services need to demonstrate the exceptional nature of the request.

4.  Procedure for submission of requests for Type C contracts under Consultant Contract 2008

The primary employer submits an application from an individual consultant or in respect of a vacant approved post for Type C contract to the Hospital Group CEO. The Hospital Group CEO confirms by way of letter that they have reviewed the request and are satisfied that the request does or does not demonstrate the exceptional circumstances necessary to warrant a Type C Contract and makes a recommendation that the request for a Type C Contract be acceded to, or not acceded to. The application is then submitted to the Consultants Division.

The Consultants Division reviews the documentation to ensure that all documentation required by has been included and all documents are appropriately signed. Where documentation is not complete, the Consultants Division will notify the office of the Hospital Group CEO of the outstanding items.

When the documentation is in order it is forwarded to if the first instance to the National Director of the Acute Hospitals Division to endorse or not endorse the recommendation of the Hospital Group CEO (or equivalent) and then to the National Director of Human Resources to confirm that the request is within or is not within the upper limit for CAT 2 / Type B* / Type C appointments (as set out in Appendix VII of the Consultants’ Contract 2008). This is referred to as the Corporate Sign Off process.

When the required corporate sign off has been received from the National Direct of the Acute Hospitals Division and the National Director of Human Resources the application is included on the next available agenda of the Type C Committee for consideration.

The Type C Committee makes a recommendation on the application.

The recommendation of the Type C Committee and all documentation relating to the application is submitted to the HSE CEO for final decision.

The HSE CEO makes a final decision to accede to or not to accede to the request.

A letter issues from the HSE CEO to the individual approving or not approving the request for a change in contract, copied to the employer and the Consultants Division.

Guidance note on completion of Benefit Reports for Type C Committee

5. Procedures for the Regulation of Consultant Appointments

The Successful Recruitment Appointment and Retention Report and Guidance Document sets out the procedures to be followed by health service employers in relation to the submission and processing of applications for permanent and non-permanent Consultant posts and related matters effective from February 2017

6. Conditions and process by which Permanent Consultant Posts may be filled with Locum appointments or Temporary Appointments

This circular is to clarify the conditions in which a permanent consultant post may be filled with a locum consultant appointment or a temporary consultant appointment. It defines when a locum appointment or a temporary appointment may be made and the process to be followed in each case.