In this guide
If the Investigating Committee finds an allegation of fraudulent or incorrect entry proved, it may order the Registrar to remove the entry, amend the entry, or it may take no action.1 The Committee also has the power to impose an interim order at the same time.
The appropriate outcome will depend on the circumstances of the case. The Investigating Committee should consider whether the other options may be appropriate before ordering that the Registrar should remove the entry. They should bear in mind that they are not deciding whether the nurse or midwife would now meet the entry requirements, but deciding what action should be taken following their decision that the entry was fraudulent or incorrect.
The Investigating Committee should consider its purpose carefully in line with our main objective of protecting the public, which includes maintaining public confidence in the professions we regulate.
Making an order that the Registrar remove the entryBack to top
Taking account of our overarching objective, if the Investigating Committee has decided that the person gained or maintained their registration through wrong information about their qualifications, practice history or character, it should assess carefully whether the person’s registration should be removed. In cases of fraudulent entry, the fact that the person's application to gain, maintain or renew their registration was supported by deliberately misleading information is likely to be a strong factor in favour of removing the entry.
This is because our duty to maintain the register is a vital part of our overarching objective, which is the protection of the public. Members of the public who need or rely on the services of nurses and midwives should be able to trust that people registered with us are in fact entitled to practise as registered professionals. Once the Investigating Committee has decided that someone has gained entry to our register because of fraud, their decision on what action to take should assess very carefully whether the person can continue to be registered without undermining the public’s trust in the accuracy of our register.
Removing the entry may also be the appropriate outcome if the entry was incorrectly made and the person concerned did not act dishonestly. If their entry is removed, the person concerned can apply for registration immediately afterwards. If they do this, the Registrar is able to consider the nature and circumstances of the case.
In deciding whether to remove the entry in these circumstances, the Investigating Committee should take account of:
- the Registrar’s specialism in making registration decisions
- whether the panel decided the entry was incorrect because the Registrar didn’t know about information which would have needed a value judgment or balancing exercise.
For example, if the entry was incorrect because the Registrar wasn’t aware of a minor criminal conviction or a health condition, then it is more likely to be appropriate to order that the entry is removed. If the person applies again for registration, the Registrar can make a new registration decision, using their specialism and our health and character guidance to help them carry out the value judgement or balancing exercise.
Where the factor which led us to find the entry incorrect didn’t require a value judgment and was more clear-cut, it may be more appropriate to consider taking no action. Factors that are more clear-cut include whether the person had carried out the required practice hours, continuing professional development or had professional indemnity insurance in place.
Making an order that the Registrar amend the entryBack to top
In certain circumstances, it may be appropriate to order that the Registrar amend the entry in the register. This may apply in situations where an annotation has been made in error and there is no wider concern regarding the integrity of the entry in question.
Taking no actionBack to top
Taking no action may be appropriate if the error or inaccuracy in the application process was trivial or unimportant. It may also be appropriate where the nurse or midwife has corrected the error or inaccuracy, or where the Registrar has since correctly entered the nurse or midwife on the register based on all relevant information.
The Investigating Committee may decide there is no need to make an order removing the entry if:
- the entry was incorrect
- there was no fraud or dishonesty, and
- there is no issue over any of the registration requirements that needs the specialist judgement of the Registrar.
There would then be no need for the person to reapply for registration.
This is only likely to be an appropriate outcome where the entry was incorrect because of a clear-cut issue that the person has shown they have now put right, such as completing the required number of hours of practice or continuing professional development, or having professional indemnity insurance in place.
Action should be taken if the issues in the case need a value judgment or balancing exercise about whether the person would now meet the requirements for registration (such as health or character). This is because these issues should be decided by the Registrar, who is in the best position to make such judgments if the person decides to reapply for registration in the future.
Even if the Investigating Committee has decided that an entry was fraudulent, there may still be exceptional cases where it could decide to take no action. This is only likely to happen when the person concerned was not aware of the fraud as it was carried out by a third party. In such cases, taking no action will only be appropriate if there are no issues with the registration requirements that might need the specialist judgement of the Registrar.
Imposing an interim orderBack to top
If it makes an order, the Investigating Committee should consider whether it is necessary to impose an interim order. In doing so, it should consider whether the fact that its decision will not take effect immediately would present a risk to:
- members of the public
- public confidence in nurses and midwives
- the person whose entry in the register it has been considering.
1 Article 26(7) of the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001 (‘the Order’)
The guidance in our library, needs to be read alongside our NMC Guidance during the Covid-19 emergency period. We have new rules that are in force during the period of the coronavirus emergency that are relevant to how it applies.
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