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Deciding on applications for restoration

Reference: APP-2a

Last Updated 15/02/2018

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Order of proceedings at restoration hearings

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Unless the panel decides otherwise, the order of proceedings at a restoration hearing is:5

  • the case presenter informs the panel of the background to the case and directs the panel to any relevant evidence, including decisions, reasons or if needed, transcripts of previous substantive or restoration hearings
  • the applicant presents evidence to support their application for restoration. If the applicant was struck off the register because their fitness to practise was impaired by their health, they should present any medical evidence they want to rely on, which it is their responsibility to obtain, at this stage. 
  • the panel deliberates in private and announces its decision in public, setting out its reasons.

Is the applicant a fit and proper person?

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In addition to the other requirements for restoration, the applicant must show that they are a fit and proper person to practise as a nurse or midwife. The panel must consider this in the context of a previous decision that the applicant’s conduct (or other fitness to practise concern) was fundamentally incompatible with continuing to be registered as a nurse or midwife. In deciding whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to practise as a nurse or midwife, the Fitness to Practise Committee has a wide discretion.6 The following factors should be considered: 

  • the extent to which the applicant has demonstrated insight and remediation into the concerns which led to the striking-off order (using the guidance on remediation and insight),
  • the period of time since being struck off and any previous restoration application,
  • the applicant’s employment history since they were removed from the register,
  • the efforts the applicant has made to keep up to date with professional practice,
  • taking into account the above factors, whether the applicant would be able to practise safely as a nurse or midwife in the future, and
  • whether, in the context of the concerns that led to the previous striking-off order, public confidence in the nursing or midwifery professions would be undermined if the applicant was restored to the register. There is a spectrum of concerns which lead to a nurse or midwife being struck off the register. At one end, some cases may be just serious enough to end in a striking-off order. At the other, there may be cases which are so serious that it may be difficult to see how the nurse or midwife could ever be restored to the register.7

Other requirements for restoration

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For their application to be successful, as well as showing that they are a fit and proper person to practise as nurse or midwife, the applicant must show that they meet the following additional requirements for restoration, which form part (but not all) of the requirements for applications for first registration.8

  • An approved qualification which was awarded in the last five years, or if their qualification was awarded earlier, have completed a return to practice course.9
  • Capable of safe and effective practice as a nurse or midwife. This includes showing that they meet the required practice standards and can provide evidence of their good health and character. The panel should consider our guidance on this question.
  • The necessary knowledge of English. The applicant will have to show that they meet our English language requirements. This can be through evidence of having undertaken nursing or midwifery training in the UK or having completed a Return to Practice programme in the UK.10 Alternatively, other evidence could be provided, such as language test results which demonstrate the necessary knowledge of English. Guidance on this standard is available.

5. Rule 25 of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (Fitness to Practise) Rules 2004 (FtP Rules)
6. General Medical Council v Chandra [2017] EWHC 2556 (Admin)
7. General Medical Council v Nooh [2017] EWHC 2948 (Admin)
8. Article 9(2)(a), (b) and (ba) of the Order
9. A return to practice course is the additional training we specify in our revalidation and readmission standards, made under article 19(3), which is referred to in article 9(2)(a)(ii) of the Order
10. Successful completion of a return to practice course is listed as sufficient evidence of knowledge of English for readmission to the register in the guidance on registration language requirements.