At the start of the pandemic in 2020, the UK Government introduced emergency legislation which allowed nursing and midwifery professionals to support the response to the Covid-19 pandemic by joining a temporary register.
We have had an overwhelming response from healthcare professionals offering their skills and services to help with this unprecedented challenge. However, following the Government’s “Living with Covid” plan, we stopped accepting new applicants onto the Covid-19 temporary register in March 2022.
We have now received confirmation from the UK Government that our temporary register will close at the end of March 2024.
Supporting registrants on the Covid-19 temporary register
Individuals who are on the Covid-19 temporary register did not go through our usual application process and didn't need to meet the usual requirements to join or remain on our permanent NMC register.
They did not need to pay a registration fee or meet our usual revalidation requirements.
However, everyone on the temporary register must comply with the Code and work within their scope of practice.
Individuals on the temporary register will be listed as registered nurses and midwives for the purposes of the Covid-19 emergency response and recovery.
Any former registrants who joined the temporary register will not have their previous post-registration qualifications, such as prescribing and SCPHN qualifications, annotated on the temporary register.
There is no automatic right to transfer onto the permanent NMC register at the end of the emergency period. Any professionals who wish to continue practising after temporary registration ends in March 2024 will need to apply to re-join our permanent register. Find out more about more about moving from the temporary register to full registration.
Any former registrants who joined the temporary register will be able to count the practice hours that they complete whilst on the temporary register towards the NMC’s readmission requirements if they wish to re-join the permanent register in the future.
Deploying members of our Covid-19 temporary register
The deployment of nurses and midwives on the temporary register is the responsibility of NHS England and the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The NMC is not responsible for the deployment of nurses and midwives on the temporary register.
Each of the four nations have developed guidance on how those on the temporary register will be deployed. You can find that guidance here:
Employers should be informed by risk assessments when making decisions about deployment for Covid-19. The Public Health England review shows that people from ethnic minority groups are more likely to die from Covid-19. Your risk assessments should consider ethnicity as well other relevant characteristics such as pregnancy, underlying health conditions and living with a person with serious health conditions.
We support professionals on our register to use evidence to speak up if their organisations are not doing robust risk assessments for people working in high risk areas.
For further information about risk assessments, see the below organisations:
- NHS Employers | Risk assessments for staff
- NHS England | Supporting our BAME NHS people and communities during and beyond COVID-19
- RCN | Position on Employer Responsibilities for BAME staff
- RCM | Equality essentials: Appropriate risk assessment during the current pandemic
Your responsibilities as an employer of a Covid-19 temporary registrant
As the employer of a nursing or midwifery professional on our Covid-19 temporary register, it is your responsibility to:
- check their name is on our Covid-19 temporary register
- undertake any identity and DBS checks that might be necessary
- agree their salary and terms of employment
- have an appropriate indemnity arrangement in place
- check they have the right knowledge, skills, experience and competence for their role and the tasks they are asked to carry out, including in relation to their English language skills
- provide induction training for their specific role and any further training they need to carry out their responsibilities in accordance with the Code
- supply them with the right information, equipment (including personal protective equipment) and guidance to make sure they can do the duties you've allocated them safely and effectively.
The nursing and midwifery professionals on the temporary register will need your support to make sure they're deployed carefully and their skills and experience are taken into account.
Some of the people on the temporary register will have specific conditions of practice which they have to comply with. Details of the conditions which apply to any individual’s registration will be shown on the temporary register.
You'll need to support them with the appropriate supervision by your experienced staff to make sure they can do the duties you've allocated to them.
Find out more about conditions of practice for Covid-19 temporary registrants.
People on our temporary register will still be required to hold a suitable indemnity arrangement when they practise so please work with those who you employ to ensure that this requirement is met.
The government is taking steps to make sure that all those working in health and care services to support the response to Covid-19 will have an indemnity arrangement provided by their employer.
Raising concerns about a person on the Covid-19 temporary register
Temporary registrants must still comply with the Code, but our normal fitness to practise processes do not apply to people on the temporary register.
Instead, if any concerns are raised about the fitness to practise of someone on the temporary register, the Registrar of the NMC has the power to remove them from the temporary register immediately or to apply conditions to their registration.
We have set up a new emergency removal process for addressing any concerns that are raised about those on our temporary register in line with these emergency powers.
We recognise the valuable contribution that people make by joining the temporary register and any decision to remove someone will be taken on a risk-based approach, taking into account the unprecedented nature of the Covid-19 emergency.
Supporting registrants on the permanent register
Fitness to practise and registration processes
We've made some operational changes to the way we work during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure we continue to regulate nurses, midwives and nursing associates effectively and proportionately.
Find out more about these operational changes, including updates to our registration, revalidation and fitness to practise processes.
Returning to clinical practice
If someone is on our register but not practising, or practising in a non-clinical role, we’re currently encouraging them to consider coming into clinical practice during this time if it’s appropriate for them to do so.
If any of your employees are in this position, the Departments of Health in each country are coordinating this, and your employees can follow the links below for more information.
If a member of your team is on maternity leave and wants to return to work, this is up to your discretion. However, you should be acting within the latest government guidance
Supporting students in clinical placements
Some may choose to spend their final six months in a clinical placement. If you're currently supporting a student in their clinical placement you don't need to do anything differently.
However, you should still be following your normal processes that are in line with our education programme standards and emergency programme standards.
Answering your questions
Please contact the case officer immediately if this is the case, or encourage the registrant to do so. We will be able to arrange an interim order review hearing. At the hearing, a panel will be able to consider whether it is appropriate to change any of the conditions in place.
Thank you for letting us know. We appreciate that many nurses and midwives are being asked to assist other areas of work to support the frontline response to Covid-19. We want to help make sure that as many people who can practise safely remain able to do so during this time. If it’s at all possible, please do try to help the person you’ve been supervising to make alternative arrangements for supervision, or encourage them to take this forward themselves. If you are able to, please let our case officer know about the change in circumstances, providing as much detail as you’re able to give, or encourage the person you’ve been supervising to contact us as soon as possible. We may be able to ask a panel to do an early review of the conditions to see if they can be varied to help support the nurse or midwife or nursing associate to continue working.