Responses to NMC consultation show overwhelming support for fitness to practise changes

29 March 2017

Responses to the NMC’s consultation on proposed changes to its fitness to practise processes have shown overwhelming support. The consultation, Modernising Fitness to Practise, ran from October to December 2016 and set out a range of proposals which would allow the NMC to resolve some cases in a quicker and more proportionate way.

Under the changes, NMC Case Examiners will be given expanded powers to issue warnings, recommend undertakings and give advice.

132 responses to the consultation were received with the vast majority in favour of the proposed changes. The consultation report showed that 82% of organisations agreed with the proposed approach for recommending undertakings while 74% of individuals agreed with the approach for issuing warnings.

Earlier this month the Government approved changes to the NMC’s legislation meaning these fitness to practise changes can now take place and will be implemented in July 2017.

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar said:

“These long awaited changes will help to ensure public confidence in the nursing and midwifery professions, enabling us to resolve some less contentious matters more simply and quickly, taking only the most serious cases to a full hearing.

“I welcome the support for these proposals from our stakeholders who clearly recognise the real benefits these changes will bring for the NMC and the nurses and midwives on our register.
“We will continue to work closely with our stakeholders to ensure that these much needed changes are successfully implemented.”


Notes for editors

  1. For media enquiries, please contact NMC press office on 020 7681 5649 or email
  2. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the independent professional regulator for nurses and midwives in the UK. We exist to protect the public. We do this by maintaining the register of qualified nurses and midwives and setting standards of education, training, conduct and performance. We make sure that nurses and midwives keep their skills and knowledge up to date through a regular revalidation process. If concerns are raised about the standards of a registered nurse or midwife, we have a duty to investigate and, where necessary, take action to protect the public. 
  3. On 21 April 2016 the Department of Health consulted on proposals to improve certain approaches within our fitness to practise function by providing us with new regulatory powers. The Department of Health published their consultation report on 11 January 2017. The report signalled their intention to move ahead with the proposed changes as consulted upon. The Government then approved the introduction of these changes in March 2017.