Council governance

How our Council works

The Council is our governing body. It sets our strategic direction and holds the Executive to account. Council members are also the charity trustees.

Council meetings

The Council is committed to openness and transparency and holds meetings in public at least six times a year. Anyone is welcome to observe a Council meeting

The Chair of the Council presides at the meeting, which usually includes issues ranging from our regulatory role to scrutiny of our performance and finances. A meeting may include important matters that only the Council can decide, as well as issues for discussion or information. The Council members discuss items and give their views.

View dates of scheduled Council meetings.

Standing Orders

The Nursing and Midwifery Council Standing Orders (the Standing Orders) set out the procedures the Council and its committees use when they conduct business.

They make sure that the Council has the information it needs to make decisions and provide assurance that senior staff are implementing the Council's decisions effectively. They also mean that our governance processes are consistent.

They also set out the membership and remit of the committees of the Council.

The terms of reference for each of the committees can be found in Appendix 2 of the Standing Orders.

Scheme of delegation

The Scheme of Delegation is intended to allow the efficient and effective functioning of the NMC.

It specifies when decisions should be taken on important matters. It also sets out which decisions should be made by the Council, the Chair of Council, the Chief Executive and Registrar, or the constituted committees of Council.

The Council has approved financial regulations which ensure that high standards of financial integrity are maintained at all times and provide high level principles that guide planning and managing the NMC’s finances and the proper use of resources and stewardship of assets.

Code of conduct for members

All members adhere to a code of conduct.

This code sets out the standards that Council members should meet and are based on the Seven Principles of Public Life (the ‘Nolan principles’).


Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.


Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.


Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.


Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this. As a Council member you are accountable to the public for the exercise of the NMC’s functions and the use of its funds.


Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.


Holders of public office should be truthful.


Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

Supporting good governance

The below documents set out our approach to governance:

Council code of conduct

Council travel, accommodation and expenses policy

Council Managing Interest Policy

Managing interests policy for members of the Executive