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Our role in education

We set standards of education, training, conduct and performance for nurses and midwives in the UK

Our role in education

We want to make sure that nurses and midwives are consistently educated to a high standard, so that they are able to deliver safe and effective care at the point of entry to the register and throughout their careers. We also want to make sure that patients, service users and the public have a clear understanding of what nurses and midwives know and are competent to do.

We are committed to delivering a programme of change for education between 2016 and 2020, to modernise education standards and ensure that nurses and midwives are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to practise now and in the future.

What we do

  • We set education standards, which shape the content and design of programmes and state the competences of a nurse and midwife.
  • We approve education institutions and programmes and maintain a database of approved programmes (courses).
  • We deliver quality assurance of our approved programmes.
  • We register nurses and midwives when they have successfully completed their courses.
  • We assess and ensure the quality of practice placements for students.

What we don't do

  • We don't educate or select students. This is done by the approved education institutions (AEIs) and practice partners in line with our standards.
  • We don't set curricula. This is done by the AEIs and practice partners in line with our standards.
  • We don't regulate students. If there are concerns about a student, this is dealt with by the AEI.
  • We don't assess the ability of practice settings to support students' learning. This is done by AEIs.

We don't assess the quality of care in hospitals or the community. This is the responsibility of other regulators: the Care Quality Commission in England, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales and Northern Ireland's Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.

More information


Did you know...

  • 81

    The number of approved education institutions.

  • 1,000

    Approximate number of accredited education programmes

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