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This is an aggregate of the syllabus for all competencies in Domain 12. To view the syllabus for each competence click here.


Basic ethical principles: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, justice
Consent and assent in the competent and non-competent patient
Confidentiality and data protection - legal and ethical issues
Management of information
Ethical and legal issues in decision-making for the incompetent patient
Methods of effective communication of information (written; verbal etc)
Principles of crisis management, conflict resolution, negotiation and debriefing
Principles of delivering bad news to patients and families
Principles of professional appraisal and constructive feedback
Strategies to communicate to the general population critical care issues and their impact on the maintenance and improvement of health care.
Sources of information about different cultural and religious attitudes and beliefs to life threatening illness and death available to health care professionals.
Principles of adult education and factors that promote learning
Impact of occupational and environmental exposures, socio-economic factors, and life style factors on critical illness
Purpose and process of quality improvement activities such as evidence based practice, best practice guidelines & benchmarking and change management
Methods of audit and translating findings into sustained change in practice
Use of information technology to optimize patient care and life-long learning
Electronic methods of accessing medical literature
Identification and critical appraisal of literature; integration of findings into local clinical practice
Principles of appraisal of evidence: levels of evidence; interventions; diagnostic tests; prognosis; integrative literature (meta-analyses, practice guidelines, decision & economic analyses)
Principles of applied research and epidemiology necessary to evaluate new guidelines / forms of therapy
Ethical principles involved in conducting research (including subject protection, consent, confidentiality and competing interests) and national ethical approval processes
Ethical management of relationships with industry
Requirements of ICM training at local and national level

Skills & Behaviours

Maximise safety in everyday practice
Act appropriately as a member or leader of the team (according to skills & experience)
Communicate with patients and relatives - give accurate information and re-iterate to ensure comprehension; clarify ambiguities
Lead, delegate and supervise others appropriately according to experience and role
Discuss treatment options with a patient or relatives before ICU admission
Differentiate competent from incompetent statements by patients
Collaborate with other team members to achieve common goals
Communicate effectively with relatives who may be anxious, angry, confused, or litigious
Consult and take into account the views of referring clinicians; promote their participation in decision making where appropriate
Obtain consent/assent for treatment, research, autopsy or organ donation
Involve patients in decisions about their care and treatment
Liaise with medical and nursing staff in other departments to ensure optimal communication and continuing care after ICU discharge
Use non-verbal communication appropriately
Use available opportunities and resources to assist in the development of personal communication skills
Communicate effectively with professional colleagues to obtain accurate information and plan care
Participate appropriately in educational activities and teaching medical and non-medical members of the health care team
Manage inter-personal conflicts which arise between different sectors of the organisation, professionals, patients or relatives
Contribute to professional meetings - understand their rules, structure and etiquette
Acquire, interpret, synthesize, record, and communicate (written and verbal) clinical information
Professional and reassuring approach - generates confidence and trust in patients and their relatives
Listen effectively
Respect, acknowledge & encourage the work of others
Attentive to detail, punctual, reliable, polite and helpful
Take decisions at a level commensurate with experience; accept the consequences of these decisions
Contribute to departmental / ICU activities
Participate in the processes of clinical audit, peer review and continuing medical education
Propose realistic initiatives / projects to promote improvement
Utilise personal resources effectively to balance patient care, learning needs, and outside activities.
Develop, implement and monitor a personal continuing education plan including maintenance of a professional portfolio
Use learning aids and resources to undertake self directed learning
Use electronic retrieval tools (e.g. PubMed) to access information from the medical & scientific literature
Use a systematic approach to locate, appraise, and assimilate evidence from scientific studies relevant to a patient's health problem
Demonstrate initiative in problem solving


Integrity, honesty & respect for the truth underpin relationships with patients, relatives and colleagues
Establishes trusting relationships with and demonstrates compassionate care of patients and their relatives
Consults, communicates and collaborates effectively with patients, relatives and the health care team
Sensitive to the reactions and emotional needs of others
Recognises personal limitations, seeks and accepts assistance or supervision (knows how, when and who to ask)
Approachable and accessible when on duty
Recognises impaired performance (limitations) in self and colleagues and takes appropriate action
Regards each patient as an individual
Assesses, communicates with, and supports patients and families confronted with critical illness
Willingness to communicate with and support families / significant others
Sensitive to patients' expectations and responses; considers their perspective in order to understand their conduct and attitudes
Recognises personal strengths and limitations as a consultant to other specialists
Promotes respect for patient privacy, dignity and confidentiality
Respects the cultural and religious beliefs of the patient; demonstrate an awareness of their impact on decision making
Acknowledges the consequences of the language used to impart information
Respects the expressed wishes of competent patients
Recognises that communication is a two-way process
Adopts a problem solving approach
Desire to minimise patient distress
Fosters effective communication and relationships with medical and nursing staff in other wards / departments
Seeks to modify the stresses which the intensive care environment places upon patients, their relatives and members of staff
Accepts responsibility for patient care and staff supervision
Generates enthusiasm amongst others
Desire and willingness to share knowledge
Contributes effectively to interdisciplinary team activities.
Participates in, and promotes continuing education of members of the multi-disciplinary health care team.
Takes responsibility for his/her personal physical and mental health, especially where impairment may affect patient care and professional conduct
Enquiring mind, undertakes critical analysis of published literature
Recognises and uses teaching and learning opportunities arising from clinical experiences, including errors
Recognises and manages circumstances where personal prejudices or biases may affect behaviour, including cultural, financial and academic aspects
Well-being of the patient takes precedence over the needs of society or research
Desire to contribute to the development of new knowledge
Seeks to recognise those changes in the specialty, medicine or society, which should modify their practice and adapt their skills accordingly.

Basic Sciences also underpin the competencies within this domain. These are presented in full in the Basic Sciences Syllabus.

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