Are you interested in becoming a panel member?

We are currently recruiting panel members and chairs.

This page will help you consider whether the role of panel member is right for you, and what you’re likely to be asked to demonstrate through a recruitment process. If you’d like more information, or to apply, please visit the panel member recruitment hub.

We’re recruiting

We’re seeking to recruit 85 panel members and 55 chairs to reach timely, fair, and balanced decisions in fitness to practise cases. 

Of these, 80 must be lay – someone who has not been on our register – and 60 must be either a registered nurse, midwife, or nursing associate.

Panels consist of three members, including at least one nurse, midwife, or nursing associate, and one lay person. Together, they determine whether a professional is fit to practise and whether any restrictions are needed on their practice to keep people safe.

For both roles we are looking for applications from a diverse range of individuals to ensure that panels are reflective of the UK population and the professionals on our register. That’s why we’ve partnered with Inclusive Boards, a recruitment agency that specialises in supporting organisations to achieve their equality, diversity, and inclusion recruitment goals.

We particularly encourage registrants and lay candidates from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to apply. We also want to hear from nursing associates, as we currently do not have any nursing associate panel members, which we are keen to change.

We welcome applications from registrants at any point in their careers.

Recruitment is open until Friday 12 July 2024.

Visit the panel member recruitment hub to find out more and to apply. If you have any questions or would like an informal conversation, please contact us at  

What do panel members do?

Independent panel members are key to making fair, kind and consistent decisions about professionals’ fitness to practise.

Panel members work in groups of three. In that group there’s always at least one nurse, midwife or nursing associate, and one lay person (that is, someone who’s never been on our register). They collaborate, using advice from a legal assessor, to come to a decision about whether a professional is fit to practise and decide what restrictions, if any, to put on the professional’s practice to keep people safe.

Many panel members have other jobs outside the NMC – but the NMC asks that applicants can commit at least 15 days a year to being a panel member. That includes four days for a thorough induction when first appointed, and one day a year for training.

If you’d like to find out more, you’re very welcome to observe a hearing.

What do we look for in our panel members?

We want to hear from people who meet our eligibility criteria and who can demonstrate our values and our competencies. Those values are fairness, kindness, ambition, and collaboration. And the competencies include professionalism and integrity, and a commitment to equality.

This list isn’t exhaustive – we may identify other attributes in the published job description. But we hope this helps you to prepare and to focus your development.

We wish you every success if you decide to apply to become a panel member.


  • Inside and outside a hearing, you treat everyone fairly.
  • You act with kindness and in a way that values people, their insights, situations and experience.
  • You take pride in your role, always exhibiting a strong sense of public responsibility.
  • You’re open to new ways of working and always aim to do your best for the professionals on our register, the public we serve and the people you work with.
  • You value your professional relationships (both within and outside of the NMC) and recognise that we’re all at our best when we work well with others.


  • You understand how to handle data and sensitive information in strict confidence.
  • You’re able to reflect on your performance, take on board and provide constructive feedback.
  • You demonstrate a fair and balanced view based on the information presented and can set aside your own bias and prejudices.
  • You have an understanding and commitment to the principles of equality and diversity and you’re confident in speaking up to challenge discriminatory behaviours.
  • You have strong influencing and negotiation skills and experience in handling difficult conversations.
  • You can collaborate with other panellists to reach consensus in line with NMC objectives.
  • You express yourself clearly and succinctly in simple language that can be understood by all hearing participants
  • You tailor your communication style according to the needs of those around you.
  • You can assimilate complex evidence and information in a fair and balanced way.
  • You have strong judgment, coupled with the mental resilience to participate in making difficult evidence-based decisions.
  • You can make decisions within tight timeframes and in accordance with relevant policies and guidance.

We don’t look for in-depth regulatory experience. We train all our new panel members on how fitness to practise works, and how to make high-quality decisions in line with the guidance we set.

Being a panel member, in their own words

Jim, consultant learning disability nurse and registrant panel member

"The role has improved me as a person, as a clinician, and as a colleague … its by far the hardest interviewing process I have ever done but the benefit of that is even if I hadn’t been successful, I would trust that it’s a rigorous process and have faith in those in the panels making these very significant decisions."

Anne, community matron and registrant panel member

"I applied for the role of registrant panel member when I was looking for a new challenge but did not want to change my current clinical role as a Community Matron. As I continue to work full time clinically, I feel that my role is to bring insight into the context that registered nurses are working within to discussions and decisions made by the panel.

Being a registrant panel member has enabled me to develop new skills and work with people from different professions. Having been qualified for over twenty-five years being a registrant panel member is an opportunity for me to try to ensure that standards are maintained within the profession for the benefit of both nurses and patients.

My employer allows me to use annual leave or to take unpaid leave to sit as a panel member. I typically sit for around twenty days a year which are pre-booked in advance so I can schedule it in with my other work commitments."

Registrant panel member

"I became a registrant panellist because I wanted to have a better understanding of the NMC regulatory process . . . and as a black nurse registrant add my professional voice to ensure that all nurses particularly those who are black and brown are treated fairly and are not lost to the nursing profession. It has been one of the best experiences of my professional life so far."

Registrant panel member

"I myself went through the fitness to practise process when I became impaired through reasons of ill health. The panel(s) who decided upon my case were so kind and compassionate . . . that I wanted to be able to do the same for other registrants once I regained my fitness to practise. I remain a registered midwife and now juggle my rewarding work as an NMC panellist.”