Please visit for information about temporary registration and changes to how we’re operating during this time.


Lack of competence

Reference: FTP-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.

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.

Want to download and print whole sections of this FtP library? Visit the downloads page.