Modern slavery statement

Our purpose

We are the independent regulator for nurses, midwives and nursing associates. We hold a register of the 690,000 nurses, midwives and nursing associates who can practise in the UK.

Better and safer care for people is at the heart of what we do, supporting the healthcare professionals on our register to deliver the highest standards of care.

We make sure nurses, midwives and nursing associates have the skills they need to care for people safely, with integrity, expertise, respect and compassion, from the moment they step into their first job.

Learning does not stop the day nurses, midwives and nursing associates qualify. To promote safety and public trust, we require professionals to demonstrate throughout their career that they are committed to learning and developing to keep their skills up to date and improve as practitioners.

We want to encourage openness and learning among healthcare professions to improve care and keep the public safe. On the occasions when something goes wrong and people are at risk, we can step in to investigate and take action, giving the public, patients and families a voice as we do so.

Our supply chains

In order to run our organisation and deliver our objectives, we engage a number of external suppliers. The goods, works and services they provide include hosting services for our IT systems and data, software licencing and support, office cleaning, and legal support with case preparation, amongst many others.

Our position on modern slavery

We believe modern slavery has no place in society and we are committed to ensuring
that there are no modern slavery offences existing within our supply chain.
We require our suppliers to comply with all law and regulation, and expect them to
maintain the highest ethical standards in all areas of their business operations.
If we discover one of our suppliers is allowing modern slavery offences in either their
own business or their wider supply chain, we will terminate the contract and notify the
relevant authorities.

Our due diligence processes, including training

We aim to buy most of our services through well-established public sector framework
agreements. The suppliers on framework agreements have been subject to rigorous
due diligence by organisations such as Crown Commercial Services and other
contracting authorities.

We have implemented a number of improvements to our own business practices and processes:

  • All our employees are made aware of our whistleblowing policy and how to raise concerns. Our managers are trained how to handle concerns raised with them.
  • The procurement team and other key employees have taken part in modern slavery training.
  •  We have put in place new procurement processes and templates that prompt us to consider modern slavery at different points in our tenders.
  • We have updated our standard contract terms and conditions to include modern slavery requirements.
  • We have begun a process of monitoring our main suppliers to determine whether they have modern slavery statements in place. As of February 2019, we had reviewed our top 50 suppliers by spend. This equates to around 10% of our supplier base, but covers nearly 80% of our total annual expenditure. 33 of those suppliers have modern slavery statements in place. Of the remaining 17 suppliers, we believe all have turnover below the £36m threshold set in the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and so are not required to publish a modern slavery statement.

In the coming year we will:

  •  implement an online tool for supplier assurance, which includes Modern Slavery Act compliance
  •  include modern slavery awareness within the training our procurement team delivers to colleagues
  • continue the process of monitoring our suppliers to confirm whether or not they have published statements, aiming to reach coverage of our suppliers with whom we spend 90% of our total annual spend. We will also encourage those of our suppliers that do not have modern slavery statements to publish statements.

Risk areas

Due to the nature of our business and the services we require, we believe the risk of
modern slavery or human trafficking occurring within our supply chains is generally low.

The services we use that we consider may be at relatively greater risk of modern
slavery offences include hotels and cleaning. We mitigate against the risk by working
closely with our suppliers to ensure they understand our position and that they have
adequate processes in place.

Measuring effectiveness

In the past year we have had no reported instances of any offences as defined by the
Modern Slavery Act 2015.

This statement was approved by our Executive Board on 12 February 2019.

Download the signed statement from our Chief Executive Andrea Sutcliffe

Download our previous statement on modern slavery