Council to consider modernisation of education programme standards

Published on 22 September 2021

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Our Council will discuss ways to modernise pre-registration education programme standards at its next meeting on 29 September.

Council will consider changes that the NMC has proposed following the UK’s departure from the EU. These proposed changes are informed by independent research carried out earlier this year, including a survey which received more than 6,000 responses.

Having heard these views from people and partners across health and social care, we’re proposing a small number of changes that we think will make a positive difference. They include:

  • Giving approved education institutions more flexibility to determine their own course entry requirements. This will help them become more accessible and inclusive to potential students.
  • For nursing only, increasing flexibility around the use of simulated learning.
  • Removing EU requirements for knowledge and skills from our nursing and midwifery programme standards. This will avoid duplication with our standards of proficiency.

There are further next steps that we’re recommending to Council.

  • We want to talk to our stakeholders about modernising standards on placement settings for nursing and midwifery students.
  • We want to work with stakeholders to find out whether they would be open to more radical change in some areas. For example, areas where there isn’t currently a clear consensus about the best approach.

Professor Geraldine Walters, Executive Director of Professional Practice, said:

"We want to innovate and improve on our existing programme standards. That’s because the standards need to enable our approved education institutions to modernise their courses. Modernisation matters because it would allow educators to offer more flexible courses to more potential students.

“We’ve heard from many of our stakeholders during our research so far. Many are cautious about change, while some would like to see radical proposals. Importantly, nothing will change without a full consultation first. In the meantime we’ll keep talking to our partners to gain consensus around the right approach for everyone.”



More information about the research, links to the findings reports, and next steps can be found on our website.

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