We've made operational changes during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure we continue to regulate nurses, midwives and nursing associates effectively.
Read on for details of these changes, including updates to revalidation and our fitness to practise proceedings.
Our office buildings are closed to visitors until further notice.
We can’t accept fitness to practise referrals while our offices remain closed, so please use our online referral forms instead. For any other correspondence, please contact us by email rather than post.
Our contact centre remains open to answer calls and emails from 08:00–17:45, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).
If you have a question about something related to coronavirus, please read our FAQs before contacting us.
Complaints and information requests
There may be a delay in responding to your complaint or information request during this time. We are sorry for this and will keep you fully updated about revised timeframes for our responses.
Registration and revalidation
Emergency Covid-19 temporary register
The government passed emergency legislation that has allowed us to create an emergency Covid-19 temporary register, separate to our permanent register.
Find out more about the emergency Covid-19 temporary register.
Please see our Covid-19: Revalidation page for more information on revalidation deadlines during this time.
We are continuing as normal with applications to join and re-join the register. Most customers shouldn’t notice any interruption to our services, but with NMC staff working from home, there may be minor delays to our processing, which we will keep to a minimum.
Registration appeals have been postponed for the time being, and we’re keeping in close contact with all appellants whose appeals are affected. Going forward, changes to our rules mean we’ll be able hold hearings remotely during the emergency period. In the meantime, we’ve been able to progress a number of cases where the NMC does not contest the appeal.
We are continuing to process applications from overseas applicants wishing to join our register. In line with the latest advice from the UK Government, all three OSCE test centres will resume tests from Monday 20 July 2020.
Check our Covid-19: Information for overseas candidates page for the latest information.
Test of Competence review
We are reviewing the timetable for the new test of competence, which is likely to be postponed due to the current circumstances. Find out more about the Test of Competence review.
The next report on the data from our register was scheduled for May and has now been postponed until further notice. We will keep responding to individual data requests from key stakeholders as a matter of priority.
For further information about registration and revalidation, please contact UKenquiries@nmc-uk.org.
Fitness to practise
We identified four essential fitness to practise services that we must continue to deliver:
1. Logging and risk assessing any new referrals, and any new information on existing referrals
2. Interim order applications and review hearings
3. Substantive order review hearings
4. High Court or Court of Sessions interim order extension applications.
We made the decision to cancel all other listed hearings until the end of June and committed to only contacting individuals and employers where we felt we needed information to enable us to manage immediate risk to the public.
As long as the current situation doesn't change significantly and the country continues to recover from the pandemic we will shortly resume our casework operations and plan to begin holding hearings in person from September 2020.
We will be working in accordance with government guidelines to ensure attendees at our centres are welcomed into a COVID-secure environment, this may mean our activity levels are lower than normal and arrival times at our centres will have to be staggered meaning we have differing start times for our hearings.
We are mindful that individuals working in health and social care, and the organisations they work for, may be at different stages of readiness to engage with our fitness to practise process. Through our Employer Link Service (ELS) we will be building our understanding of how ready people are to engage and will be mindful of that in our operational planning. Please contact our ELS to let them know if you have any particular challenges in engaging with the fitness to practise process, or if you have any suggestions that would assist us.
If you're the employer of individuals involved in the Fitness to Practise process and you're able to support them in engaging with the process then please encourage your employees to begin contacting their case officers so we can plan the most efficient way to progress their cases.
If you're an individual involved in the Fitness to Practise process and you have information which may enable us to progress your case then please contact your case officer who will take that information from you. If you have trade union representation, or another form of legal representation then you should liaise with your representative in the first instance and they will support you in making contact with us.
If you're involved in a fitness to practise case and would like further clarification, please read our fitness to practice guidance.
In response to questions we have received about the approach we are taking, we have produced new guidance on our approach to reviewing interim and substantive orders in light of the pandemic.
Education and standards
Quality assurance of education
We are continuing our quality assurance of education. This includes approval visits where education institutions have not deferred their visit. These events are being done remotely. We also continue to work with institutions to ensure they continue to meet our standards.
Implementation of our new standards
During this period we are continuing to provide information and develop resources for those education institutions and stakeholders who will be implementing our new standards.
We are continuing to work on the development of our post-registration standards internally. Where appropriate we will liaise with stakeholders remotely, and continue to work on the evidence that underpins this work. When the emergency situation is lifted our engagement with stakeholders will resume to ensure their views are considered fully.
On 25 March, the Council approved our next five-year strategy, which sets out a clear vision and ambition for change. However, the Council recognised that the current extraordinary circumstances mean our strategy may need to be reviewed in the next six to 12 months.
Therefore we have delayed officially launching our strategy until later in the year. In the meantime, teams across the NMC are looking at how the strategy can inform their work in response to Covid-19.
In addition, Council also approved our new values and behaviours framework, and our new organisational structure, which will be in place from 6 April 2020 to improve the way we work together and help us to deliver our new strategy.
We have temporarily suspended all recruitment to the NMC, to help ensure we focus all available resources on delivering our core regulatory work effectively.
All job adverts and interviews are postponed until further notice, and our recruitment team will be in touch with current applicants with more information.