Case Studies

We've developed some case studies to help you decide if you need to make a self referal. 

1. Fixed penalty speeding offence: doesn’t need to self-refer


Midwife A recently received a fixed penalty notice for a speeding offence, accruing three points on their licence. Midwife A also remembered that several months ago they’d received a penalty charge notice for a parking infraction.

Should Midwife A self-refer?

Midwife A doesn’t need to self-refer for either matter - we don’t investigate fixed penalty notices or parking contraventions. 

2. Criminal charge: does need to self-refer


Nurse B was out with a group of friends and got into an argument with another group. The argument escalated and a fight broke out which Nurse A was involved in. The police attended and Nurse B was charged with assault.

Should Nurse B self-refer?

Nurse B does need to self-refer for this matter. It’s a requirement under the Code to tell us as soon as you can about any charge against you. (See paragraph 23.2 of the Code).

3. Health condition: should consider self-referring


Nurse C has a health condition which affects their neurological function. They’re taking prescribed medication, but they still struggle with memory and to perform routine tasks. Their employer is aware of Nurse C’s health condition. The employer hasn’t been able to make any adjustments which they consider would adequately support Nurse C’s circumstances, and they’re concerned about Nurse C’s ability to practise nursing safely.

Should Nurse C self-refer?

Nurse C should consider self-referring in these circumstances. That’s because Nurse C’s health condition is likely to impact on their fitness to practise nursing.

4. Health condition: doesn't need to self-refer


Nurse D has a health condition which means they’re more prone to becoming tired and lacking energy. Nurse D is taking prescribed medication which helps to alleviate the symptoms. Nurse D’s employer is aware of their heath condition, and they’ve made adjustments such as allowing them longer breaks where needed, reducing their hours slightly and adjusting and monitoring their shift pattern to ensure they’re not over worked. There are no concerns with Nurse D’s ability to practise nursing safely.

Should Nurse D self-refer?

Nurse D doesn’t need to self-refer in these circumstances. Nurse D’s health condition is being managed effectively by their employer, and there’s no concern about their nursing practice or the standard of care they’re able to provide.

As a member of a trade union or professional body

If you are a member of a trade union or professional body, you might find it helpful to discuss your concern with them before deciding whether to self-refer to our fitness to practise process.

During the process, you or your representative might need to give us more details in writing, talk through your experience with a member of our team or receive written information from us.

If you decide to self-refer and complete the form, we will begin by screening your self-referral to decide if there is good reason for us to take any further action.


Screening has three stages: 

Firstlywe establish whether we have a written concern about someone on our register – if you are self-referring, this will always involve us checking your registration.

Secondlywe check whether we have evidence that there is a serious concern that could require us to take any regulatory action to protect the public.

Thirdly, we assess whether there is clear evidence to show that you are fit to practise.

We use these stages to make sure we reach the right decision quickly and flexibly, making sure that we only take any further action if this is necessary.

At the screening stage we might decide that a case needs no action from us or we might decide it needs to be further investigated. Investigations can take different time periods, but you can help us to make sure that this is done quickly and fairly by providing us with as much information as possible.

Make a self-referal