Our new approach to FtP

  • Putting people at the heart of fitness to practise
  • Redefining the purpose of hearings
  • Emphasising the need to give nurses, midwives and nursing associates the chance to remedy and address the concern
  • Looking at ways employers can deal with complaints at a local level
  • Underlining the importance of considering the context of a case.

We put people first

Our new approach to fitness to practise builds on improvements we’ve already made to the way we investigate concerns about the people on our register, which we believe will help us to protect the public in a fairer, more effective, proportionate and consistent way.

Alongside a focus on keeping people safe, we're committed to putting patients and families at the heart of everything we do.

New ways of working

We'll treat patients and families with compassion and respect, and properly listen to and resolve concerns about nurses, midwives and nursing associates. We'll provide better information and more support for patients and families, as well as a rolling programme of training and development for our employees.

We think it's important that we work more closely with employers so that as many issues as possible can be resolved quickly and effectively at a local level. We'll give more consideration to the context in which incidents occur, in recognition of the complex issues and unique pressures nurses and midwives face every day in the NHS.

We are piloting a new support service for nursing and midwifery professionals on our register going through Fitness to Practise. Find out more about the FtP Careline.

New guidance on remediation

When concerns are raised with us, nurses, midwives and nursing associates will be encouraged to be open about what has happened and to talk to us as early as possible about what they have done to put things right.

If more needs to be done, we'll try to agree with the nurse, midwife or nursing associate, the steps that they need to take before they're fit to practise safely and professionally.We call this remediation.

In November we will be providing new remediation guidance to help the professionals on our register better understand how they can demonstrate that they are safe to practise after a complaint has been raised against them.

This might include information such as their reflection on what has gone wrong, extra training they have undertaken, or the views of their employer or other healthcare professionals on their practice since the incident(s).

We recognise that going through the fitness to practise process is challenging and we hope this guidance will make it easier for professionals to engage with us positively and constructively.

The guidance is part of our new approach to fitness to practise, which promotes a culture of openness and learning and giving professionals on our register the chance to remedy and address any concerns that have been raised with us, not punishing people for past events.

We are currently working with our stakeholders to finalise the guidance. 

Read the background to these changes

See our extensive guidance on how we deal with concerns.