We’re changing how we maintain the temporary register

Published on 15 February 2023

In September 2022, the Government asked us to keep the Covid-19 emergency temporary register open for a further two years. We’re bringing in changes to ensure we maintain this register safely so that people continue to receive the high-quality care they have a right to expect.

Why are we making changes to the temporary register? 

When we opened the temporary register in 2020, thousands of nursing and midwifery professionals answered our call to support the national response to the pandemic. This included people who had recently left our permanent register, and internationally educated professionals who had started applications to join our permanent register.  

People on our temporary register have made vital contributions to the UK’s response to Covid-19. However, many have not held permanent registration for some time, so will not have been subject to our usual regulatory processes. We also know that many professionals on the temporary register are not practising. That’s why we’re making some carefully considered changes. 

Professionals can stay on the temporary register and continue practising if: 

  • they left the permanent register less than three years ago (initially, those who left after 21 March 2020).  

Professionals can stay on the temporary register with conditions of practice* if: 

  • they’re practising and left the permanent register more than three years ago (initially, before 21 March 2020) 
  • they were internationally educated and are progressing their application to join the permanent register. 

We’ll remove professionals from the temporary register if: 

  • they left the permanent register more than three years ago (initially, before 21 March 2020) and have not been practising while on the temporary register 
  • they were internationally educated and are not progressing their application to join the permanent register. 

We’ll update the temporary register in this way monthly. This means professionals will have additional conditions of practice applied on an ongoing basis depending on when they left the permanent register. 

We also need to ensure that the people on our temporary register are keeping their knowledge and skills up to date. That’s why we’re applying the following condition of practice to everyone who remains on our temporary register:   

  • All professionals on the temporary register will need to undertake training and continuing professional development to practise safely and effectively in their role.  

Next steps and implementation 

We’re writing to everyone on the temporary register to explain the changes we’re making and what this means for them. As part of this, we’ll ask those who have been off the permanent register for more than three years to tell us whether they are practising using their temporary registration. We will then implement the changes outlined above from 21 March 2023.  

Andrea Sutcliffe, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said: 

“We’re extremely grateful to all those who joined our temporary register to support health and social care services during the pandemic. We’ve carefully considered how this register can continue operating safely and fairly over the next two years. Our changes will ensure professionals keep their skills and knowledge up to date, and maintain public confidence that these nurses and midwives can provide the safe, effective and kind care people have a right to expect.  

“We’ll keep everyone on our temporary register and our partners informed over the coming weeks as we implement these changes. We’re also supporting eligible professionals to move on to our permanent register, if they wish to do so.” 

Further information: 

  • *Conditions of practice for professionals on the temporary register who left the permanent register more than three years ago, or were internationally educated and are progressing their application to join the permanent register are: 
    • You must work as a registered nurse or midwife in an employed capacity for a health or social care employer. 
    • You should always work under the direction of an NMC registered nurse, midwife or other registered healthcare professional who is not on a temporary register. 
  • Professionals who would like to move to our permanent register can find out more about this on our website 
  • Professionals who wish to apply to re-join the permanent register find more information about this on our website 

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