What to expect from the process
The fitness to practise process for those under investigation
The Case Examiners will consider all the information and decide whether there is case to answer. If the Case Examiners decide there is no case to answer, the matter will be closed. If they decide there is a case to answer, your case will be referred to either a Conduct and Competence Committee panel or a Health Committee panel.
The following leaflets have full details on the process:
- Information about cases considered by Case Examiners
- Deciding your case: Information about cases being considered by the Conduct and Competence Committee
- Deciding your case: Information about cases being considered by the Health Committee
In preparation for important changes to our fitness to practise process we have updated the guidance for Case Examiners on applying the ‘case to answer’ test and the use of their new powers to issue warnings, give advice and recommend undertakings. This guidance will not become effective until the new powers are introduced on 31 July 2017. It is being published in advance to assist those who are involved in cases which will be considered by the Case Examiners after these changes take effect in the late summer.
We strongly recommend that you take advice from your professional organisation, trade union or lawyer. Alternatively, the Citizens Advice Bureau or law centre may be able to advise you. If you attend your hearing without representation, please read our leaflet for unrepresented registrants. This explains the hearing process and covers some of the things you should expect to happen.
As a nurse or midwife, you are entitled to have your case decided at a hearing. However, cases can sometimes be decided at a meeting if they are straightforward and there is no public interest in dealing with them at a hearing.
Your hearing will usually be held in the country in which you live, or in England if your registered address is outside the UK. However, there are limited circumstances where it may be appropriate to hold your hearing in a different country to that of your registered address, for example, if you have informed us that you do not wish to take part in the hearing. More information on where your hearing may take place can be found in our guidance.
You are entitled to attend the hearing and be represented. The case against you will be presented by an NMC case presenter. Witnesses can be called by either side.
In some cases it may be appropriate for a panel to hear allegations at the same time when there is more than one allegation against a nurse or midwife, or allegations against more than one nurse or midwife in the same matter. For further information please refer to our policy on hearing allegations together.
At any time until the we have completed our investigations, we may decide to refer the case for an interim orders hearing. If so, the reasons will be explained to you and you will be invited to attend or send written representations. An interim order would place temporary limits on your practice.
If you admit the fitness to practise allegations against you and do not intend to continue practising, you may apply for voluntary removal from the register. This is likely to be available to those who are no longer fit to practise due to a serious or long-term health condition, or who are near retirement age and have not committed serious misconduct.
Voluntary removal allows you to be removed from the register without the need for a full hearing.
Through consensual panel determination, you may provisionally agree a sanction with us. We will seek the comments of the person who referred the allegation to us, where possible, then put our provisional agreement before a panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee or Health Committee. The panel will either agree to the proposed sanction, or send the case to a full hearing.
If the allegations made against you are found proven, an order will be made. There are a range of sanctions available to panels.
Read our guidance for decision makers on insight, remediation and risk of reoccurrence. This is intended to help our decision makers to consider whether concerns arising from allegations have been remedied (put right) by the nurse or midwife. Registrants and their representatives may wish to refer to the guidance when preparing a response.
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