Ensuring your decisions to refer are fair and unbiased

Last Updated 02/02/2021

We want to support you to only make appropriate referrals. Our data shows that nurses and midwives from ethnic minority groups and male nurses are disproportionately referred to fitness to practise processes.

Our study, Ambitious for Change, published in October 2020, found that nurses and midwives from a Black and minority ethnic background are more likely to be referred to us by employers, while White professionals are more likely to be referred by the public.

The study also examined NMC processes - including education, overseas registration, revalidation and fitness to practise - and identified disparities in people’s experience and outcomes, depending on who they are.

Data reported in our 2018–2019 annual equality, diversity and inclusion report also showed that men are disproportionately referred to us: overall, 24 percent of concerns were for men, compared with being 11 percent of the register.

Your decision to refer needs to be free from bias and discrimination (as defined in the Equality Act 2010 and other relevant legislation). If we find evidence of bias or discrimination in a referral it would be a very serious concern which we’d need to look into.

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