NMC seeking views on education programme standards

Published on 30 March 2021

Take part in our survey by 11 May 2021

We are seeking the views and input of public groups, professionals and our partners around the UK about our current education programme standards and whether they should be changed.

Our programme standards set out how courses should be delivered to ensure students get the right education - such as the number and ratio of theory/practice hours, entry requirements, length of programme, methods of assessment, and the level of award.

Our survey, which we are launching today, will be open for feedback over a period of six weeks and will close on Tuesday 11 May 2021. It comes as the UK is no longer required to follow EU law on requirements for nursing and midwifery education programmes following the end of the EU exit transition period.

Our standards reflect EU law and will remain the same unless we propose, consult and agree on any changes. The survey is part of independent research we've commissioned to help us decide whether we should make changes to the standards now that EU Law no longer applies.

The research will help us to understand whether:

  • all the requirements of EU law remain necessary to enable students to achieve the knowledge and skills requirements to join our register
  • any changes to our programme standards could help support workforce development and growth
  • the requirements of EU law have any influence on areas such as public protection, quality of care, or the quality and availability of education programmes, and;
  • alternative approaches to education programme standards that could better support students to achieve our standards of proficiency.

Matthew McClelland, our Director of Strategy and Insight, said:

"With nearly 725,000 nurses, midwives and nursing associates on our permanent register, we have a vital role in upholding high standards in nursing and midwifery practice and keeping people safe.

"That starts from the training our students receive and that is why we want to hear from the public, professionals and our UK partners, to ensure this research provides us with up-to-date evidence about parts of our pre-registration programme standards.

"We encourage anyone who wants to contribute to respond to our survey and we plan to report back on our findings later this year. Any proposed changes will be subject to a full public consultation and further engagement with our stakeholders."

Respond to the survey


Notes to editors:

As part of this research, Harlow Consulting will carry out a desk-based evidence review and Traverse will carry out qualitative stakeholder engagement across the four nations of the UK, including this survey.

Further information about the research is available on our website

We planned to launch the survey earlier in the year but the pressures on the frontline during the pandemic meant that we needed to wait until people had the time and capacity to properly respond.

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