Revalidation: dispelling the myths

24 February 2016

As part of the NMC’s commitment to supporting nurses and midwives through the revalidation process, we’re explaining the facts behind some of the most common misconceptions about the new process.

MYTH: Revalidation is time consuming and complicated, and you have to upload all your evidence online

FACT: NMC Online is simple to use and you do not need to upload anything to submit your application

Submitting your revalidation application is very straightforward. You will need to log in to NMC Online and confirm that you have met the revalidation requirements, and the system will guide you through this process step-by-step. You will need to show all your evidence to your confirmer, but you will not be required to upload the evidence to the system as part of your application.

MYTH: You need to keep an e-portfolio to revalidate

FACT: Your portfolio does not need to be stored online

Although we do recommend keeping a portfolio as a simple and effective way of storing your evidence that you have met the revalidation requirements, you do not have to keep this portfolio online.

MYTH: Dual registered nurses and midwives will need to revalidate twice

FACT: If you are dual registered, you will need to show evidence of 900 practice hours but all other revalidation requirements only once

If you are registered as both a nurse and a midwife and you want to maintain both registrations, you will need to declare that you have practised a minimum of 450 hours of nursing and 450 hours of midwifery. It’s important to remember that the rest of the requirements are exactly the same as for a single registration.

MYTH: You can’t revalidate if you work in a non-clinical role

FACT: Revalidation has been designed so that all nurses and midwives, including
those in non-clinical roles, can meet the requirements

In order to meet the requirements of revalidation, a nurse or midwife must be able to demonstrate that they are using their nursing or midwifery skills, knowledge and experience.

This includes nurses and midwives who rely on their skills, knowledge and experience working in non-clinical roles or roles where their employment contract does not expressly require them to be registered with the NMC. This may include roles in nursing or midwifery management, commissioning, policy or education. 

MYTH: Doctors and nurses revalidate in the same way

FACT: There are significant differences between the revalidation processes for doctors, and for nurses and midwives 

Revalidation for nurses and midwives is owned by the individual; it is not employer-led. It is for individual nurses and midwives to take responsibility for meeting the requirements and choosing a confirmer. We do, however, hope that good employers will support nurses and midwives through the revalidation process and build revalidation into existing processes such as appraisal.

Medical revalidation makes appraisal mandatory for doctors. Whilst we recommend revalidation for nurses and midwives takes place as part of an appraisal where possible, this is not mandatory.

In medical revalidation, a ‘responsible officer’ makes a recommendation that a doctor is fit to practise and should be revalidated. Revalidation for nurses and midwives is different. A confirmer will check that the nurse or midwife has met the requirements of revalidation, but they will not be making a recommendation that the nurse or midwife is fit to practise. It is the NMC’s role as the regulator to determine whether a nurse or midwife is fit to practise.

Nurses and midwives can access all the information and resources they need to help them through the revalidation process at the NMC’s dedicated microsite:



Notes for editors

1.   For media enquiries, please contact Hannah Schraer on 020 7681 5936 or email

2.   The Nursing and Midwifery Council exists to protect the public through the regulation of 685, 000 nurses and midwives in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. As well as maintaining a register of nurses and midwives allowed to practise in the UK, we also set standards of education, training, conduct and performance so that nurses and midwives can deliver high quality healthcare. We make sure that nurses and midwives keep their skills and knowledge up to date through a regular revalidation process. Nurses and midwives must uphold our professional standards and we have clear and transparent processes to investigate nurses and midwives who fall short of these standards.

3.   For a step-by-step guide to revalidation see our dedicated website.