Please visit nmc.org.uk/COVID19 for information about our recent announcements including temporary registration and changes to how we’re operating during this time.

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Returning to the temporary register

For the latest information, check our Covid-19 temporary registration page.

Why have I received an equality and diversity survey?

We’re asking people on the temporary register to complete a diversity survey. Collecting this information helps us to meet our legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010. You can read more about why collect this information in our privacy notice.

You may have received a request from ‘survey@wh.snapsurveys.net’ . This message is authentic and has been sent by the NMC.

Are all nurses and midwives eligible to join the Covid-19 temporary register?

To ensure we build up the Covid-19 temporary register in a safe and measured way, we will be inviting groups of people that we determine to be fit, proper and suitably experienced to join the register in a certain order.

Find out who can join the temporary register on our Covid-19 temporary registration page.

If I am invited to join the Covid-19 temporary register, will I be working under conditions of practice?

If you left the permanent registrant in the last three years, you will not be working under conditions of practice. 

You will be working under conditions of practice if:

  • you left the permanent register more than three years ago but up to five years ago, or
  • you're an overseas candidate who meets the requirements for temporary registration

Find out more about these conditions of practice.

Do I need to pay to join the Covid-19 temporary register?

No, you do not need to pay a registration fee to join the Covid-19 temporary register.

What indemnity cover / insurance do I need to have to work?

Please speak to your employer about what arrangements will be in place for indemnity cover. The government is ensuring that legal protections will be in place for those who take part in work as part of the Covid-19 response.

Do I need to meet any revalidation requirements to join the Covid-19 temporary register?

No. Our normal registration and revalidation requirements will not apply to those joining the Covid-19 temporary register.

Where will I work?

Once you have completed our online temporary registration form, we will check this and let you know when we have added you to the Covid-19 temporary register.

We will then make your details available to those leading the UK’s health and care services who are co-ordinating and planning how best to deploy the emergency workforce.

If they need your support, they’ll contact you directly on the email address that you give us to see if you want to work.

What protection will I have from catching Covid-19 if I go to work?

Please follow the most recent government advice relating to keeping well during this period and discuss this with your employer.

What if I want to join the Covid-19 temporary register, but I'm worried about my own health and well being?

You must give due consideration to your health and well being before opting in to be on the Covid-19 temporary register. Please refer to the most recent government guidance when making your decision. It may be possible that there are support and advice roles that you could be involved in. Please speak with your employer.

Will my previous post-registration / SCPHN qualifications still stand?

No, your previous post-registration qualifications will not stand if you are on the temporary register. This includes any previous prescribing qualification you may have held.

What would happen to me if any questions were raised about my competency or fitness to practise, after I started work?

These would not be dealt with by way of any FtP proceedings, but where there were justifiable concerns the Registrar would have the power to remove you from the temporary register.

Will joining the temporary register affect my pension or benefits?

You can get advice on this from the Department for Work and Pensions.

What would I need to do to return to the permanent register?

At any time during or after your temporary registration, you can apply for readmission to our permanent register in line with our return to practice (RtP) standards and readmission process. You can only do this if you have previously been on our permanent register.

Any hours you have practised on the temporary register will count as practice hours needed for readmission to the register (450 hours over three years or 750 hours over five years).

Find out more

If I am on a Return to Practice (RTP) course, what impact will joining the temporary register have on completing my programme?

If you have been off our permanent register for less than five years, you may opt in to join our temporary register. If you are currently on an RTP course you can defer your course and return at a later date. Your education institution should be able to advise you whether they will grant you Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for the hours you complete in practice while on the temporary register.

Alternatively if the hours you have practised on the temporary register fulfil the criteria for admission (450 hours over three years or 750 hours over five years) then you could apply for readmission.

Find out more

Students on placements

For the latest information, check our Information for students and educators page.

What is happening with a student register?

We've closely monitored the ongoing and future workforce requirements and the progression of the pandemic.

Informed by the views of our partners and our assessment of the current situation, we’ve made the decision not to open up the temporary register to nursing students.

Find out more

What will happen if I don’t want to take part in a clinical placement?

If you don't want to take part in a clinical placement you don't have to. Your education institution will consider your personal circumstances to find a solution for you. You also have the option of deferring your placement during this time. You will need to discuss this with your education institution.

What if I do something wrong or make a mistake whilst on placement?

This will be addressed by your supervisor in practice as part of your learning process and/or as part of your normal university processes, depending on the severity of the circumstances.

If I take up an extended clinical placement, will I get a mentor?

All students will receive support, supervision and assessment in line with the standards for student supervision and assessment (2018) and the level of supervision will depend on your ability and competency.

I can’t complete my placement because it’s closed or I’m unwell. How does this affect my degree?

Your education institution will have processes to support you during any period of sickness or if your institution closes. Depending on the circumstances, your placement may be deferred for a period of time by your education provider. This may extend the time it takes for you to complete your programme once you return.

How many students will be placed in extended clinical placements?

It is not mandatory for students to take up extended clinical placements at this time. It will be up to the student and the education institution to decide whether they would like to offer their services.

Does time spent on an extended clinical placement count towards my practice hours?

Yes. If you are on placement your education institution will make sure that you have met your learning outcome requirements.

If I have deferred my programme and undertake paid clinical work (for example, working as a health care support worker) or voluntary clinical work, can these hours count towards my programme?

No. Hours worked while you’re deferring your programme would not count towards your programme. You will still be expected to achieve all of the learning outcomes specified in our standards. Your university should follow their usual policies and procedures if you’ve chosen to defer for any reason.

If I undertake paid clinical work (for example, working as a health care support worker) or voluntary clinical work alongside my programme, can these hours count towards my programme?

No. Hours worked alongside your programme would not count towards your programme. You will still be expected to achieve all of the learning outcomes specified in our standards

Why isn't the NMC waiving the minimum practice hours requirements for nursing and midwifery students during this emergency?

The minimum practice hours required for nursing and midwifery education programmes as set out in European legislation. As the professional regulator, we have no power to waive these requirements. Any changes to these requirements would be a matter for the European Commission.

What if I decide to go on an extended clinical placement but I have less than six months left on my programme?

You can still finish your programme in clinical practice. Once you’ve successfully completed your training you will be able to apply to register with us in the normal way.

Should I still go on placement?

You should follow the guidance from your education institution about whether placements are going ahead. If they are not going ahead then your university should advise you on what this means for you, and what this means for the rest of your programme with them.

What if my placement is cancelled?

Your university should advise you on what this means for you, and what this means for the rest of your programme with them.

If I am about to qualify and join the register, can I still expect to have a preceptorship year as normal?

Preceptorship is employer led and they will be able to advise you about this when you start working.

Can I step off the programme?

Yes, you will need to discuss this with your education institution and follow their normal processes.

If my academic hours have been reduced during this year, will I be required to make up the lost theory hours? 

We still require all of the learning outcomes to be met and hours to be adjusted following the end of the emergency period in line with our standards.

If I do not complete my practice placements in the first year, will I still need to meet the required 2,300 hours in clinical practice? 

Yes. We require all of the learning outcomes to be met by the end of your programme and practice and theory hours will need to be adjusted following the end of the state of emergency in line with our standards.

If final year students choose to take up an extended placement, do they still need to have their learning outcomes signed off?

Yes, you will still need to demonstrate competence and have your learning outcomes signed off. If you have any concerns speak to your education institution.

I am no longer able to go on placement because I am in a high risk group. How am I going to get my required clinical placement hours?

As you are still required to meet you clinical placement hours you should speak to your education institution about what alternative solutions to clinical placements they have in place.

The university is closed and we are unable to hold the examinations as required in the standards, what should we do?

For any assessments or examinations an alternative mode can be used, as long as the education institution ensures the standards are still met. For example in the case of the SCPHN standards for examinations, where an invigilator is required, the education institution will need to consider whether this can still be met by ensuring the secure conditions of invigilation can be achieved remotely. Any change would need to be reported to us using the Covid-19 exceptional reporting form.

Alternatively examinations may have to be deferred until the emergency period is over.

I am a student undertaking the SPQ district nursing programme, can I contribute to this emergency using my skills as a registered nurse?

We recommend you speak with your education institution and your employer, they will be able to discuss your options and support you to decide what the most appropriate option would be. 

My employer is changing the way health visitor’s work for example we are reducing the amount of visits we make and my supervisor/practice teacher is working from home to make calls. These changes are making it difficult for me to gain experience, what should I do?

During these challenging times, different ways of working are required to keep people safe. You will need to discuss your situation with your education institution who will advise you on the options available. You may need to defer your programme of study at this time and continue once the emergency period is over.

I am currently on a post registration or master’s programme, should I be supporting the workforce through clinical practice and if I do what will happen with my programme?

You should discuss your situation with your employer and your education institution who will advise you on the options available.

If I leave my post-registration course, can I return to it afterwards?

We recommend you speak with your education institution and your employer, they will be able to discuss your options and advise you on how to defer and return to your programme. 

If I decide to join/return to clinical practice will I still need to complete my final assignments for my master's programme?

Yes, you should discuss the options with your education institution, who will advise you on how to defer your programme of study and continue once the emergency period is over.

I am undertaking a SCPHN programme and due to the reduced opportunity to complete 'alternative practice' placements (5 days) and public health 'alternative placement' days (10day) - totally of 15 days. Can these be withdrawn as a requirement for this academic year?

This is a decision for you. If it is not possible to undertake these placements as required in our standards, students may need to defer their placement learning and continue once the emergency period has ended. Any changes made to the programme will need to be exceptionally reported using the Covid-19 exceptional reporting form.

Should nursing associate students on a traditional fee paying route (who are not apprentices or employed) be undertaking theory only in their first year, in line with the emergency standards for nursing and midwifery students?

No, nursing associate students should be following their programme of study, including placements, where it is safe and possible for them to do so. If this is not possible they may need to defer their programme until the emergency period is over and then resume their studies. 

I am undertaking an extended placement and I am concerned that I am being asked to undertake skills that I am unprepared for, what supervision should I receive?

As a students on an extended placement you are first and foremost a student and should not be undertaking any care activities that you would not normally undertake as part of your programme. Any care activities you do undertake should be under supervision and this includes the administration of medicines. If you have any concerns then you should raise them with your education provider.

Where students have undertaken more practice learning hours in their second year whilst on extended placements, will these extra hours count towards the final number of practice hours in their third year?

For all those second and third year students in their first six months who undertake additional practice learning hours on extended placements, all these hours can count towards the students overall programme achievement, as long as all the programme requirements are met and this will include any rebalance of hours to meet the 50:50 split of theory and practice.

Can we use on-line simulation activities to replace practice learning hours for those students who are short on hours or unable to go into practice at this time?

Practice learning may be undertaken through simulated learning up to 300 hours (pre-registration nursing education, 2010) or in a proportionate way (standards for pre-registration nursing programmes, 2018). Approved education institutions must ensure that simulated experiences involve direct contact with a healthy or sick individual and/or community for adult nursing to comply with Article 31(5) of Directive 2005/36/EC. Any change to the programme by way of using simulated learning as you describe and how this meets the standards for practice learning can be articulated using the Covide-19 exception reporting form.

Where we have adapted our programmes by moving students into theory/practice during the emergency, do they need to meet the 50:50 split in theory and practice across their programme?

Yes, students progressing on their programme will need to rebalance their hours across the rest of the programme. The only difference is for those third year students who have undertaken extended placements in their final 6 months and have successfully met the programme learning outcomes with an increase in practice learning hours.

Professionals on our register

For the latest information, check our Information for nurses, midwives and nursing associates page.

What about my revalidation deadline?

Please see our Covid-19: Revalidation page for more information on revalidation deadlines during this time.

Can I refuse to care for someone who may be infected if I feel I may be at risk?

We know that nurses, midwives and nursing associates are experienced in dealing with challenging health issues, including infected patients, on a daily basis.

As part of planning preparations, it’s our job to make sure you’re aware that the Code continues to apply. Section 1 explains what you should do to make sure people’s individual needs are recognised, assessed and responded to without undue delay.

It’s also important that you’re supported to take account of your own safety and wellbeing. Your employer is there to help by managing resources effectively and dealing with risk so that that the quality of care or service you provide for people can be maintained.

If you have any concerns that you believe puts you or those you are caring for at increased risk in your workplace, please share these with your manager as soon as possible so they can make sure you’re able to practise safely.

I’m worried that my PIN is at risk if I need to act outside my normal job. What should I do?

As mentioned in our recent joint statement, we recognise that in highly challenging circumstances you may need to depart from established procedures in order to care for patients and people using health and social care services.

Our regulatory standards are designed to be flexible and to provide a framework for decision-making in a wide range of situations.

In-line with the Code, use your professional judgment, working with other colleagues across all disciplines to assess risk, find the best way to provide care for people while recognising and working within the limits of your competence.

I am a registrant involved in running a business. Can I reopen or return to work?

Rules around which businesses and ventures are allowed to operate during this pandemic are issued by the government in each of the countries. The NMC has no decision making powers in relation to this. This means we can neither advise you on the reopening of businesses, nor can we grant you permission to do so. 

Our concern as a professional regulator is whether an individual nurse, midwife or nursing associate on our register has applied the principles of the NMC Code to their practice. This includes ensuring they follow the laws and policies in the countries where they practice, having appropriate indemnity and make decisions (including risk assessments) in line with The Code.

Further information may be available from the relevant system regulator or trading standards body, where appropriate:

For registrants managing or working in businesses in the aesthetic and cosmetic industries, you may find it helpful to refer to the guidance of the Professional Standards Authority accredited voluntary registers run by the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners and Save Face, as well as the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses.

What does the Code tell me to do in this type of emergency situation?

Some professional standards and behaviours, as set out in the Code, that may be particularly helpful to bear in mind at this time include:

  • Acting in the best interests of people at all times within the limits of your knowledge and competence.
  • Keeping to and promoting recommended practice and guidance in relation to controlling and preventing infection.
  • As well as your own safety, taking account of the safety of others and the availability of other options for providing care.
How can I return to clinical practice?

We’re encouraging those who are currently on the NMC register, but not working in clinical care, to consider coming into clinical practice during this time where it’s appropriate to do so.

The Department of Health in your country will be coordinating this. Follow the links below for more information:

I'm on maternity leave. Should I go back to work?

This decision is for your employer who should be acting within the latest government guidance. Please contact them directly.

Overseas candidates

For the latest information, check our Information for overseas candidates page.