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RSH Theory Course Providers


The ICGP Reproductive and Sexual Health (RSH) Committee awards the Certificate in Contraception.

Candidates wishing to apply for the Certificate in Contraception must attend a theory course in contraception. Many GP trainees wish to apply for the certificate during their GP training years and therefore some training programmes run the theory course as part of the day release programme. The theory course must comply with the requirements of the Reproductive and Sexual Health Committee (RSH) and must be approved by the RSH committee. 

RSH Theory Course requirements

  • The RSH Theory course should be run over the equivalent of 1.5 days.
  • The theory course should cover the syllabus listed below.
  • Course conveners should ensure that the course has been approved by the RSH committee, see below.

RSH Theory Course learning outcomes

The learning outcome of the theory course is to acquire knowledge in contraception, and the learning outcomes are as follows:

  • Be able to discuss all methods of contraception currently available.
  • Be able to provide basic counselling and advice about all these methods.
  • Know how to initiate the use of hormonal and non-hormonal contraception and deal with common problems.
  • Knowldedge of emergency contraception.
  • Understand the physiology of fertility and basic assessement of infertility.
  • Know how to undertake a sexual health assessment / consultation/Screening..
  • Knowledge of cervical cytology screening.
  • Knowldege of how to conduct a consultation on unintended pregnancy.
  • Knowedlge of termination and complications.
  • Knowledge of the law relating to young people.
  • Knowledge of medico-legal and ethical issues specific to sexual health care.
  • Knowledge of how to deal with common gynaecological presentations in general practice.

RSH Theory Course syllabus

  • The Contraception Consultation
    Counselling in methods of Contraception Choice of method
  • Scientific Basis of Fertility
    Physiology of human reproduction
  • Hormonal Contraception
    Combined oestrogen and progestogen contraception Progestogen only contraception
  • Barrier Methods and Spermicides
    Condoms, diaphragm, cervical and vault caps Spermicides
  • Long-Acting Reversible Contraception
    Types of IUCD's and Levonorgestrol IUS Subdermal implants
  • Emergency Contraception
    Hormonal emergency contraception Emergency IUD
  • Sterilisation
    Tubal ligation and vasectomy Counselling and complications
  • Natural Contraception
    Methods of natural contraception
  • Crisis Pregnancy
    Summary of current legal situation in Ireland and medical council guidelines
    Non-directive counselling for women with crisis pregnancy
    Methods of pregnancy termination
    Risks and complications of termination – recognition and treatment
    Post termination care
  • Contraception for young people
  • Contraception in the perimenopause
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
    Sexually transmitted infections, presentation, diagnosis and management
    Pelvic inflammatory disease Management of vaginal discharge
  • Health prevention
    Cervical screening
  • Fertility
    Pre-conceptual care
    Initial assessment and basic investigations for infertility
  • Gynaecology
    Menstrual disorders

How to apply for approval?

Course conveners must apply to the Reproductive and Sexual Health Committee for approval of a theory course. You must apply at least once per year or each time a course is held if held less often than once per year. Application must be forward to or posted to ICGP Education, ICGP, 4-5 Lincoln Place, Dublin 2.

Course application form for consideration of the RSH Committee


If you wish to contact the RSH Committee, please do so in writing to:

RSH Committee
C/O ICGP, 4-5 Lincoln Place, Dublin 2


 Application form for course providers (Application_form_for_course_providers.pdf | 199 KB)