Please visit nmc.org.uk/COVID19 for information about our recent announcements including temporary registration and changes to how we’re operating during this time.

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Our new approach to fitness to practise

Ensuring public safety, enabling professionalism

Changes we are making

  • 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.

Our commitment to change

Our new strategic direction for Fitness to Practise (Cymraeg) builds on improvements we’ve already made to the way we investigate concerns about the people on our register.

It draws on the rich insights from:

We believe this new approach will help us to protect the public in a fairer, more effective, proportionate and consistent way.

People at the heart of fitness to practise

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

We're providing better information and more support for patients and families, as well as a rolling programme of training and development for our employees.

We’re also exploring how the public voice can be used at each stage of the fitness to practise proceedings.

In 2019, we commissioned an independent agency, Traverse, to help us understand the value the voice of the public can bring to our fitness to practise (FtP) process. 

The voice of people who use services, families and members of the public in fitness to practise proceedings (2019) PDF

We’ll be getting together a group of stakeholders to consider the findings further and how we might make changes to the FtP process to ensure that people are truly at the heart of our work and that we are fair to everyone involved. 

Alongside this, we’re piloting the FtP Careline – a new support service for the professionals on our register going through a fitness to practise investigation.

Read our guest blog by Jessie Cunnett: The value of personal experience statements. 

Enabling remediation

Our new approach to fitness to practise promotes a culture of openness and learning, not punishing people for past events. 

We want to give the professionals on our register the chance to remedy and address any concerns that have been raised with us.

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're currently working with our stakeholders to finalise the guidance. 

Working more closely with employers

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, midwives and nursing associates face every day.