Nurses and midwives are only entitled to practise if they are on our register. For this reason, allegations that a nurse or midwife entered the register incorrectly or by fraud are extremely serious. They also raise public protection concerns. For example, if someone enters the register without the required qualification, they may lack the skills needed to carry out their nursing or midwifery role. This means they pose a risk to patient safety.
It is in the public interest for us to investigate these allegations and take action where needed. Not doing this could affect public confidence in the integrity of the register and the nursing and midwifery professions.
When looking into an allegation that someone was entered on the register incorrectly or through fraud, we examine how the nurse or midwife entered the register, not their fitness to practise.
When we investigate if a person’s entry onto our register was incorrect or fraudulent, we can consider applications for:
- first time registration
- registration renewal
- readmission to the register.
Incorrect entryBack to top
If our decision to register, renew or readmit someone onto the register was based on wrong or inaccurate information about whether the person met the relevant requirements, it is an incorrect entry. For example, if someone wrongly declared that they had carried out the required number of hours of registered practice because they made a mistake when calculating them, their entry in the register is incorrect.
An entry is also incorrect if we made a mistake during the application process. For example, if we entered the wrong person’s name onto the register due to an administrative error.
Fraudulent entryBack to top
An entry on the register is fraudulent if any of the information submitted as part of the registration, readmission or revalidation process was deliberately misleading about whether the person meets the relevant requirements.
For example, if a person provides a false certificate in order to be registered, we will have been deliberately misled. The entry is fraudulent. In this example, it doesn’t matter who falsified the certificate. A nurse or midwife’s entry on the register may be fraudulent even if they were not personally responsible for the fraud or even aware that deliberately misleading information was used.
This means that if the evidence shows it was a third party who deliberately produced false documents or statements, and that the person who is registered with us did not know about it, that person’s entry is still fraudulent, even if they did not behave in a fraudulent or dishonest way themselves.
This is likely to happen only in a small number of cases. Decision makers should focus on whether the entry on our register was gained by fraud. They should not focus on whether the person on our register was directly at fault themselves. In those cases, whoever did produce the document or make the statement deliberately misled us and this makes the entry fraudulent.
For example, if someone steals the identity of another person who was previously registered as a nurse or midwife and makes a false declaration, the entry is fraudulent, even though the former nurse or midwife is not aware of the fraud.
Another example would be if a nurse or midwife doesn’t know whether they meet the requirements for renewing their registration but their employer tells them that they do. The employer then signs to confirm that the nurse or midwife meets the requirements even though they know this is not the case.
It doesn’t matter whether or not the person whose name was entered on the register was able to meet the relevant criteria to be successfully registered or if they are currently able to practise safely. The key issue is whether we made the entry based on deliberately misleading information.
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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