Our fitness to practise aims and objectives
Our overarching objective is the protection of the public, and it's central to everything we do.
To achieve this objective, we need to:
- protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and wellbeing of the public
- promote and maintain public confidence in the nursing and midwifery professions
- promote and maintain proper professional standards and conduct for nursing and midwifery professionals.
Our aims for fitness to practise
We have two clear aims for fitness to practise:
- a professional culture that values equality, diversity and inclusion, and prioritises openness and learning in the interest of patient safety
- nurses, midwives and nursing associates who are fit to practice safely and professionally.
Our principles for fitness to practise
We have 12 principles to make sure we're consistent and transparent in the way we work and in the way we make decisions about nurses, midwives and nursing associates' fitness to practise.
- A person-centred approach to fitness to practise.
- Fitness to practise is about managing the risk that a nurse, midwife or nursing associate poses to patients or members of the public in the future. It isn't about punishing people for past events.
- We can best protect patients and members of the public by making final fitness to practise decisions swiftly and publishing the reasons openly.
- Employers should act first to deal with concerns about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate's practice unless the risk to patients or the public is so serious that we need to take immediate action.
- We always take regulatory action when there’s a risk to patient safety that an employer isn’t effectively managing.
- We take account of the context in which the nurse, midwife or nursing associate was practising when deciding whether there’s a risk to patient safety that requires us to take regulatory action.
- We may not need to take regulatory action for a clinical mistake, even where there has been serious harm to a patient or service-user if there's no longer a risk to patient safety and the nurse, midwife, or nursing associate has been open about what went wrong and can demonstrate that they’ve learned from it.
- Deliberately covering up when things go wrong seriously undermines patient safety and damages public trust in the professions. Therefore, restrictive regulatory action is likely to be required in such cases.
- In cases about clinical practice, taking action solely to maintain public confidence or uphold standards is only likely to be needed if the regulatory concern can't be addressed.
- In cases that aren't about clinical practice, taking action to maintain public confidence or uphold standards is only likely to be needed if the concerns raise fundamental questions about the trustworthiness of a nurse, midwife or nursing associate as a professional.
- Some regulatory concerns, particularly if they raise fundamental concerns about the nurse, midwife or nursing associate's professionalism, can't be addressed and require restrictive regulatory action.
- Hearings best protect patients and members of the public by resolving central aspects of a case that we and the nurse, midwife or nursing associate don't agree on.
Part ofWhat is fitness to practise