Sanctions, professional standards, and our statutory purpose

Reference: SAN-2

Last Updated 28/07/2017


Our overarching objective is the protection of the public. Our sanctions guidance is vital to how we pursue that objective because it gives members of the Fitness to Practise Committee guidance on the action to take when a nurse or midwife has failed to comply with the standards of good practice, conduct and performance we have established under the Code.

The Code makes clear that “…while you can interpret the values and principles set out in the Code in a range of different practice settings, they are not negotiable or discretionary,” and that the we “…can take action if registered nurses or midwives fail to uphold the Code. In serious cases, this can include removing them from the register.”

The guidance assists in providing consistency and transparency in decision making and ensures that all parties, including the nurse or midwife and the public, are aware of the approach that Fitness to Practise Committee panels will take when considering what sanction, if any, to impose on a nurse or midwife whose fitness to practise is impaired. Fitness to Practise Committee panels use this guidance as a way of ensuring that their decisions fit with our overarching objective of protecting the public. Nothing in this guidance fetters a panel’s discretion in any particular case. If panel members in a particular case consider they should depart from the guidance, they should always explain clearly why they need to do so when they give reasons for their decision.