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Equality analysis and research

We’re working on a new project to research where professionals going through our regulatory processes may have different access, experiences and outcomes linked to their protected characteristics, such as their ethnicity, gender or age.

Why we’re doing this

In 2017 we published research into disproportionate outcomes for some nurses and midwives. This report examined disproportionality in the progress and outcomes of Black and minority ethnic (BME) nurses and midwives in relation to fitness to practise (FtP), from the point of referral to the point of case closure, across the UK.

The report, and subsequent data published in our annual EDI reports, have shown that there are differences both in risk of referral to the NMC, and in FtP outcomes, for nurses and midwives from particular groups, such as those from different age and ethnic groups.

We’ve used this knowledge to develop new ways of working in our fitness to practise processes.

We’re now looking to understand the impact of all our processes on people with protected characteristics, and whether there are differences in how people on our register arrive at, move through and exit our processes.

We want a better understanding of why there are differences, how far these reflect differences in the wider healthcare environment, and what the impact of these are for the professionals on our register.

How we’ll use the research

This research is part of our wider efforts to understand difference and will inform our continuous improvements and how we embed EDI considerations in our work. The findings from this work will also inform our new NMC Strategy 2020-25.

There will be three key stages to the work.

During the first stage, we’ll determine what is possible for us to look at with the data we hold. We expect to complete the first stage of analysis by the end of 2019. In the second stage, we’ll focus on exploring the issues flagged up by our data in more detail and trying to unpick why any differences are occurring and what impacts these have for the people involved. The third stage will be identifying actions that we can take, either alone or in partnership with others.

We have made certain assumptions that:

  • we’ll be working with partner organisations
  • there is a role for us to actively communicate the findings to be transparent
  • the findings will inform our NMC Strategy 2020-25.

How we’re involving stakeholders

We’re convening a stakeholder group to provide EDI perspectives on how this research should be shaped and taken forward. This group will help us:

  • identify the key issues we should be looking at/investigating in relation to our processes and people that share protected characteristics
  • interpret the findings from this project
  • identify future actions that we can take on the back of these findings.

Find out more

We’ll update this page when each phase of the research is completed.

Contact us at if you have questions about this work.