Lack of competence

Reference: GUI-2b

Last Updated 28/07/2017


We recognise that nurses and midwives sometimes make mistakes or errors of judgement. Unless it was exceptionally serious, a single clinical incident would not indicate a general lack of competence on the part of a nurse or midwife.

Substandard care that calls into question a nurse or midwife’s competence would usually involve an unacceptably low standard of professional performance, judged on a fair sample of the nurse or midwife’s work, which could put patients at risk, . For instance when a nurse or midwife demonstrates a lack of knowledge, skill or judgement showing they are incapable of safe and effective practice.