If you have a concern or complaint about an education programme
This guidance tells you what to do if you have a concern or complaint about an NMC approved education programme – this could be about your university or college, or where you’re on placement.
Where you have concerns about education and training, where issues affect your education institution or practice learning environment, patient safety, or meeting our education standards, we have a role in investigating. Specifically, we can speak directly to education providers to ensure they’re following approved processes.
We’ll also make sure that concerns and complaints are dealt with in a fair and consistent manner.
If your concern is about an individual nurse, midwife or nursing associate, you’ll need to raise this through our Fitness to Practise process.
Before you contact us
We would encourage you to seek a resolution to your concerns, through your university or college’s formal complaints process. All of our approved education providers have a complaints process in place. You should do this before contacting us.
We expect students on an approved programme and academic staff delivering these programmes to act openly and responsibly when raising or handling a concern or complaint.
As a student there are other ways you can get support, for example from your students’ union. Your university or college should have this information available on their website or your student portal.
We can’t consider complaints about the academic judgement of staff, including the outcome of assessments on your programme.
Contact us with your complaint or concern
To raise a concern or make a complaint about an education provider, placement provider or an approved programme you should email email@example.com.
Please provide us with as much information as possible to help us to look into your concern or complaint.
If you choose to make an anonymous complaint, we may not be able to take any further action as we cannot ask for more information.
What happens after you contact us
If we have your name and contact details, we'll acknowledge your complaint or concern within two working days. We’ll provide you with a named contact, who’s responsible for handling your concern or complaint. We may need to ask you some questions to ensure we fully understand your concern or complaint and the steps you have taken before you contacted us.
We'll contact the education provider so that they have the opportunity to respond to the concern or complaint.
We’ll keep you updated and then give you feedback on how we’ve handled the complaint within 20 working days. Sometimes a concern or complaint leads to an investigation within the education provider, and this may take longer to get you a response. You can contact us again if you are worried or have additional information to add about the concern or complaint.
Please read our case study below showing how we have responded to a student’s concern about their placement.
Student concern management case study
MJ, a second-year midwifery student, contacted the NMC via email to raise a concern about the level of supervision they were receiving on placement. MJ was not sure who they should be working with when on shift and told us they frequently didn’t have an allocated practice supervisor.
MJ had previously raised their concerns with their personal tutor at the university, who spoke to the practice education facilitator (PEF) at the Trust. A meeting was held, but MJ felt nothing changed as a result of the meeting.
We met with MJ to discuss their concerns and to gather more information. MJ gave us written permission to share their concern with the university.
We contacted the Lead Midwife for Education (LME) at MJ’s university and met with the LME and other staff members to discuss the concerns raised by MJ. The LME was aware of the concerns but thought they had been resolved. We asked the university about their processes for handling student concerns and the steps they took to ensure the concerns had been dealt with.
As a result of our meeting, the LME held a series of meetings with the PEF at the Trust. They agreed to jointly provide additional training for all the practice supervisors, to ensure they were all aware of their responsibilities in supporting students. It was agreed that all students must be allocated a practice supervisor during handover for the shift. The Trust’s Head of Midwifery also set up a weekly drop-in session for students, to ensure all students felt able to discuss any concerns or worries they had.
We informed MJ of the actions that were being taken by the university in partnership with the Trust. We asked MJ to tell us if the situation continued, but MJ responded telling us the changes were going well and that they felt safe and supported in their practice placement.