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Historic decision boosts professional standards for nurses and midwives

8 October 2015

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has today made the decision to introduce a process of revalidation for all nurses and midwives in the UK, fulfilling a key recommendation from the Francis report into the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. 

The introduction of revalidation is the most significant change to the regulation of nurses and midwives in a generation and will mean that everyone on the NMC’s register will have to demonstrate on a regular basis that they are able to deliver care in a safe, effective and professional way.

To remain on the register, nurses and midwives will have to show they are staying up to date in their professional practice and living the values of their professional Code by seeking feedback from patients and colleagues, and engaging in a regular process of reflection, learning and improvement. For the first time, they will also have to obtain confirmation from another professional that they have met all the requirements before they apply to renew their place on the register every three years.

NMC Chief Executive and Registrar Jackie Smith said:

“The NMC holds one of the largest registers of healthcare professionals in the world, and the introduction of revalidation is the most significant regulatory change in our history.

“We believe that revalidation will give the public confidence that the people who care for them are continuously striving to improve their practice. Indeed, nurses and midwives who piloted the new model told us that they too believe it will deliver real benefits in raising standards and protecting the public.”

After piloting revalidation in 19 sites across the UK, the NMC is confident that it is achievable, effective and realistic and that it is a proportionate way to make sure that nurses and midwives keep their knowledge and skills up to date throughout their career.

Following the NMC’s decision today and confirmation that all four UK countries are ready to implement the new system, revalidation will be introduced from April 2016. All 685,000 nurses and midwives on the NMC’s register will go through the new process as their registration becomes due for renewal over the course of the next three years.

 

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Notes for editors

1.   The Nursing and Midwifery Council exists to protect the public. We do this by ensuring that only those who meet our requirements are allowed to practise as a registered nurse or midwife in the UK. We take action if concerns are raised about whether a registered nurse or midwife is fit to practise.

2.   Research and analysis commissioned by the NMC from KPMG and Ipsos MORI showed that support for revalidation is generally strong, with most organisations and individual nurses and midwives surveyed believing that it will deliver real benefits, including raising standards and protecting the public through improved professional practice.

3.   All the supporting guidance for revalidation is now available on our website  How to revalidate for nurses and midwives, guidance for confirmers and information for employers: www.nmc.org.uk/revalidation

4.   For media enquiries, please contact Hannah Schraer, NMC media team, at media@nmc-uk.org or on 020 7681 5936.