Professional indemnity arrangement

It is a legal requirement for nurses and midwives to hold an indemnity arrangement in order to be registered with us

The UK government introduced a new requirement for all healthcare professionals to hold an appropriate indemnity arrangement.

The revised Code for nurses and midwives reflects this change. It is now mandatory that they have an appropriate indemnity arrangement in place. Having a professional indemnity arrangement in place is also a revalidation requirement.

For more details, read our guidance on professional indemnity arrangements for nurses and midwives.

Information about professional indemnity arrangements

  • The need to have in place an indemnity arrangement is a mandatory requirement of the Code.
  • When applying to join or renew your registration with us, nurses and midwives are required to self-declare that they have in place, or will have in place, an appropriate indemnity arrangement when they practise in the UK.
  • Each nurse and midwife is responsible for making sure they have the appropriate cover for their role and scope of practice. The cover they have in place should be relevant to the risks involved in their practice, so that it is sufficient if a claim is successfully made against them.
  • While the arrangement does not need to be individually held by the nurse or midwife, it is their responsibility to ensure that appropriate cover is in place. It is vitally important to understand, that by signing the self-declaration, nurses and midwives specifically declare that whenever they practise they will have an appropriate indemnity arrangement in place.
  • If it is discovered that a nurse or midwife is practising without an appropriate indemnity arrangement in place, they will be removed from the register. Removal from the register means that they will no longer be able to practise as a nurse or midwife.
  • You must have an appropriate indemnity arrangement in place from July 2014, regardless of the date your declaration was signed. If you practise without cover after this time, you will be breaking the law, even though you may only have to sign the declaration when you renew your registration.
  • You are not required to provide a copy of your documents for your indemnity arrangement when you self-declare, and maintain good records of your indemnity arrangement and the disclosure of your scope of practice. This forms the basis of your arrangement, and is reflected in the Code. We may also undertake compliance checks.

If you work for the NHS

If you work for the NHS, you will already have an appropriate indemnity arrangement. The NHS insures its employees for work carried out on its behalf. This means that you will be covered if a claim is made against you in an NHS role.

For more information, please see the Q&As on professional indemnity insurance from NHS Employers.

If you work in private healthcare

If you are employed in private healthcare (for example, a nursing home or general practice), it is likely that your employer will have an appropriate indemnity arrangement for you.

This will provide appropriate cover for all the relevant risks related to your job.

Arrangements may vary between employers so you should always be sure to confirm.

If you are self-employed

If you are self-employed, work as a consultant or through an agency, you will probably be required to have your own indemnity arrangement in place. Professional bodies may offer professional indemnity insurance, or you can arrange your own cover directly through a commercial provider. It is important that you understand the terms of your insurance policy.

If you have a combination of self-employed and employed work

If you undertake a combination of employed and self-employed work, or work for more than one employer, you must have an appropriate indemnity arrangement in place for each area of your practice. An employer’s arrangement will only cover your work in that employment.

If you work in education

If you are a nurse or midwife and are employed in education it is likely that your employer will have an appropriate indemnity arrangement for you. Arrangements may vary between employers so you should always check with them. You need to make sure that your indemnity arrangement covers all aspects of your role, particularly if your work takes place in the practice setting (for example, practice placement-based teaching or providing support for learning and assessment in practice settings). An indemnity arrangement may normally be provided by your employer, placement provider or through your own arrangements.

The Council of Deans of Health have published information for educators on the new requirements.

If you have a break in practice

If you decide to take a break from practising, you do not need to let us know. As long as you are covered when you practise, you can continue to be registered with us. This includes breaks for maternity leave, travelling or a break in employment.

If you are entering the register for the first time

Newly qualified nurses and midwives and those coming from European Economic Area (EEA) and non-EEA countries who are registering with the NMC for the first time may not yet have secured employment. If this applies to you, you will still be able to register as normal because you will have signed the declaration stating that you will have in place an indemnity arrangement when you practise in the UK.

If you are a midwife

The above guidance applies to midwives, but there is also specific information on indemnity arrangements for midwives as well.

Revalidation: What nurses and midwives need to do

revalidation nurse thumbnail Revalidation