Next steps for review of post-registration standards

Published on 17 December 2020

Read our update

Following meetings on 8 and 9 December, our post-registration standards steering group have recommended we seek Council approval to move ahead with a full public consultation on the new draft standards.

This will include three sets of draft post-registration standards, including those for Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN), those for community Specialist Practice Qualification (SPQs) and associated programme standards.

We are grateful to the steering group and the thousands of others who have already contributed to this work so far. A consultation will enable us to widen that discussion to everyone involved in providing and receiving care in the community.

We know there has been a great deal of debate on the draft standards and proposals, in particular in relation to the SPQs, and we hope the consultation will give us opportunities to continue these discussions.

Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Executive and Registrar for the NMC, said:

“Thanks so much to David, the steering group and the NMC team for their hard work and perseverance in this complex area of work during a year like no other.

“That so many people have already shared their views with us during our pre-consultation engagement is fantastic. Their contributions have been vital to help get us to this point.  And while it’s not always been straightforward, we’ve all agreed on the value and importance of this work to establish new post-registration standards supporting the vital work of nursing and midwifery professionals in the community.

“Moving to full consultation next year will give us the opportunity to ensure everyone’s voice is heard which will undoubtedly improve the draft standards we have prepared. Having up-to-date, evidence based standards supporting nursing and midwifery practice in the community will help ensure the public receive the safe, kind and effective care we’d all want.”

Dr David Foster OBE, Independent Chair of the Post Registration Standards Steering Group, said:

“I’m grateful for the time, energy and commitment from the entire steering group and everyone else who has contributed so far, during a year of unprecedented challenges. Their knowledge and expertise has enabled us to work with the NMC to draft a set of proposals and standards that, if the Council approves, we hope can prompt further discussion and refinement through a public consultation.

“What we have achieved during 2020, as we live and work through Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and changing priorities, is something we can all be proud of.”

The steering group has also recommended that the NMC extend the consultation period from 12 weeks to 16 weeks, to give people more time to contribute.

We know that this has and continues to be an exceptionally challenging time for people working in health and care. While we are still considering an appropriate launch date for the consultation, should it receive Council approval, we will listen closely to feedback from our partner organisations to ensure as many people as possible are able to take part.

The proposal for a public consultation will be taken to the Council for approval on 27 January 2021. More information on our post-registration work can be found here.


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