In 2018 we published our education framework, new standards for education and training and new standards for student supervision and assessment. Both of these sets of standards apply to all parts of our register including our post-registration standards.

Also in 2018, we commissioned an independent evaluation of our SCPHN and SPQ post-registration standards to help inform our approach.

Download the independent evaluation


In Autumn 2019 we set up a steering group to oversee the project, review and ratify the outputs and make recommendations to our Council.

The steering group is chaired by Dr David Foster OBE, who was appointed in October 2019. The group includes a range of key stakeholders from across the four countries of the UK. Read about membership of the steering group.


The steering group made the following recommendations which our Council agreed at its January 2020 meeting:

  • To do an initial phase of work to scope standards of proficiency content of a proposed new SPQ for community nursing practice and associated programme standards.
  • To give notice that signals our intention to withdraw the current nine SPQ qualification standards no later than 2023.
  • The development of new standards of proficiency for the health visitor, occupational health nurse and school nurse and fields of SCPHN practice, and associated programme standards.
  • To give notice that signals our intention to withdraw the current (SCPHN) qualification standards no later than 2023.

Our Council met in May 2020 and reaffirmed the importance of this work and our need to continue to work with others to co-produce the new standards.

Pre-consultation engagement

To make sure that our draft standards were shaped by a diverse range of voices and perspectives, we undertook a range of engagement activities in the summer and autumn of 2020. Because of the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions on travel and meeting in person, this engagement took place online.

We were pleased that 2,200 people attended 12 webinars between June and October. We also held 16 virtual roundtable meetings with specific audiences, such as frontline practitioners, educators, employers and advocacy groups, to hear their views and understand what they think should be considered for the new standards.

Read our pre-consultation engagement activity report

Read the report by Pye Tait, an independent research organisation, on themes from the pre-consultation engagement