Research into pre-registration programme requirements

Now the EU exit transition period has ended, the UK is no longer required to follow EU law on requirements for nursing and midwifery education programmes.

We want to draw on best practice from around the world to see whether different approaches will better enable students to achieve our Future Nurse and Future Midwife Standards, and help support workforce development and growth.

We've commissioned independent research to help understand whether we should move away from any of the EU requirements and change our programme standards.

Seeking people’s views

We recently invited people to complete a short survey about our current pre-registration programme standards and whether they should be changed.

Thank you to everyone who shared their views. We had 6,266 responses.

An independent research organisation, Traverse, is now analysing the findings on our behalf.

If we propose to change our programme standards as a result of this research, we will undertake further engagement and a public consultation.

Building our evidence

As part of this research, Harlow Consulting will carry out a desk-based evidence review and Traverse will carry out qualitative stakeholder engagement across the four nations of the UK, including this survey.

The research will help us to understand whether:

  • the requirements of EU law are necessary to enable students to achieve the Future Nurse and Future Midwife standards
  • any changes to our programme standards could help support workforce development and growth
  • the requirements of EU law have any influence on areas such as public protection, quality of care, or the quality and availability of education programmes
  • there are alternative approaches to education programme standards that could better support students to achieve our standards of proficiency.

The research will provide us with up-to-date evidence about parts of our pre-registration programme standards, looking at standards in other countries and for other professions within the UK.

It covers the areas of the standards that reflect aspects of EU law, including:

  • the length of programmes and the number/ratio of theory and practice hours
  • the definition of practice learning for adult nursing and the lack of reference to simulation
  • general education required for admission
  • recognition of prior learning
  • entry to shortened midwifery programmes
  • content and clinical experience requirements for nursing and midwifery programmes, with specific mention of minimum numbers in midwifery such as 40 births.

For more information

For more information on this work, please contact Sue West, Senior Nursing Education Adviser.