New plan to address challenges and improve people’s experience of our work

Published on 24 April 2024

We’ve set out five reprioritised areas of work for the next two years, focusing on the most significant risks to our work.

These are also the areas where improvement will have the biggest positive impact on people’s experiences of our role, whether they’re the professionals on our register, the public we serve, our partners or our colleagues.

The five key areas of work are as follows.

Progressing fitness to practise referrals in a safe and timely way

Our top priority for 2024–2026 is to significantly improve the timeliness and quality of our fitness to practice decision-making. As we announced in March, we’re making the biggest investment in fitness to practise in a decade, ensuring we can deliver quicker decisions that protect the public while also minimising distress for those referred.

Building an inclusive, high-performance learning culture

We want an open, inclusive culture that is free from discrimination, advances equality, celebrates diversity and promotes inclusion. This will include acting on learning from independent investigations into concerns raised about our regulatory decision making and people and culture, including colleagues’ safety to speak up.

Modernising our systems, tools, policies and processes

We will ensure better, safer regulation for the benefit of the public with an improved register that’s easier to use and understand. Our regulatory digital systems will be updated, making it easier for people to connect with us and for NMC colleagues to do their jobs, supporting nursing and midwifery professionals to deliver safe, person-centred care.

Contribute to the workforce strategies and support professionals in the four nations

We will help NMC partners and the wider sector to use our insight to address workforce challenges and so improve care for people. We will also support students by completing our review of practice learning, and we will work with the Welsh Government and the Department of Health and Social Care to regulate nursing associates in Wales.

Strengthening the integrity of the register

We will improve our international registration processes and controls, and build on lessons learnt from past incidents to ensure all internationally educated professionals have the right skills and experience. We will also review and strengthen our education quality assurance, ensuring all programmes meet our standards and students develop the right skills and knowledge.

Our Corporate Plan for 2024–2026 sets out in full the work we’ll do to achieve these five priority outcomes. We will monitor and review our progress against the plan, reporting to our Council.

Andrea Sutcliffe, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said:

“The last 12 months have been a mixed picture for the NMC. Alongside our core work to promote high standards of practice among the 808,488 people on our register, we’ve made strides in our understanding of advanced nursing and midwifery practice and its impact on people. We’ve also worked with education institutions to implement updated education standards that will enable a broader range of students to join our register and provide high quality care.

“But at the same time, we’re still not resolving enough fitness to practise cases swiftly, and concerns have also been raised about our culture. Alongside this, the UK health and social care landscape presents an increasingly complex and challenging environment. Workforce pressures, widespread industrial action and rising demand for health and social care are all impacting the professionals on our register, the public accessing and receiving care and the work of the NMC.

“We take our challenges very seriously, and that’s why we’ve reprioritised our work with a realistic corporate plan that supports the public, the professionals on our register who provide their care, and our colleagues to do the best job possible.”

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