Fraudulent or incorrect entry to the register

Reference: FTP-2g

Last Updated 06/09/2021

Nurses, midwives and nursing associates are only entitled to practise if they are on our register. For this reason, allegations that a nurse, midwife or nursing associate 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, midwife or nursing associate 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 entry

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Someone's entry onto the register might be incorrect if our decision to register, renew or readmit them onto the register was based on wrong or inaccurate information about them meeting the relevant requirements.

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 will be incorrect. The entry won’t be incorrect if the error or inaccuracy doesn’t make a significant difference to the registration decision or has subsequently been put right.

An entry could also be incorrect if we made a mistake during the application process. For example, if we entered the wrong person’s name onto the register because of an administrative error.

If an entry was incorrectly made, it doesn’t mean that there was any dishonesty involved. An incorrect entry may have come about because of a simple mistake by a nurse, midwife or nursing associate, by the NMC or another third party.

Where we consider an entry has been made incorrectly, we’ll usually investigate whether there was any dishonesty involved, in other words, if the entry was fraudulently procured.

Fraudulent entry

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An entry on the register is fraudulently procured if:

  • any of the information submitted as part of the registration, readmission or revalidation process was submitted with the deliberate intention to mislead the NMC or an approved education institution or
  • information provided to the NMC as part of an application was obtained or created by fraud.

An allegation that an entry has been fraudulently procured will always involve an element of dishonesty, either by the nurse, midwife or nursing associate, or a third party,

For example, if a person provides a falsified certificate to be registered, we’ll have been deliberately misled. In this example, it doesn’t matter who falsified the certificate. A nurse, midwife or nursing associate’s entry on the register might be fraudulent even if they weren’t aware that the information used was deliberately misleading.

This means the entry is still fraudulent, even though the evidence shows it was a third party who deliberately produced false documents or statements, and the person who registered with us didn’t know or behave fraudulently or dishonestly.

This situation is likely to happen only in a small number of cases.

Decision makers should consider if the entry on our register was gained by fraud with  the deliberate intention to mislead the NMC or another organisation. They shouldn’t focus on whether the person on our register was directly at fault themselves.

For example, suppose someone steals another person’s identity who was registered as a nurse, midwife or nursing associate and makes a false declaration. In this case, the entry is fraudulent, even though the former nurse, midwife or nursing associate is not aware of the fraud.

Another example would be if a nurse, midwife or nursing associate 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, midwife or nursing associate 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 could meet the relevant criteria to be successfully registered or if they’re currently able to practise safely. The key issue is if we made the entry based on information that was either submitted with the deliberate intention to mislead the NMC or was fraudulently obtained or created. However, whether the professional on our register had any knowledge or involvement in the fraud can be taken into account by the Investigating Committee when deciding what regulatory action, if any, needs to be taken.

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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