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Making a referral as an employer

Advice on referring a nurse or midwife as an employer

When to make a referral

Depending on the circumstances, we don’t always need to be involved. For example, you may need to discipline a nurse or midwife through your own employment procedures, or provide further training.

As the employer, you need to decide whether to refer based on the individual circumstances of the case. Our Employer Link Service can support you in evaluating these circumstances.

You must always report a case to us if you believe the conduct, competence, health or character of a nurse or midwife presents a risk to patient safety.

Once you have evaluated a case, you can make a referral at any time, even if your own investigation is not complete.

The responsibility for dealing with lack of competence is shared between employers, supervisors of midwives, the NMC, as well as individual nurses and midwives.

Support and information

If you are an employer and you have a concern about a nurse or midwife’s fitness to practise, you can contact our Employer Link Service.

The service gives employers advice on individual referrals and information on NMC’s referral criteria and the information we need for a potential investigation.

Employer Link Service can be contacted on The advice line number 020 7462 8850 is open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 17:00.

Further information for employers