Sally is a registered nurse working at Public Health England as a Better Health Programme Project Manager.
This is an international programme supporting the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to strengthen health systems, with a focus on Non Communicable Disease (NCD) prevention and quality.
While she doesn’t undertake a direct clinical delivery role, she uses her nursing and health visiting qualifications and found she had a lot to draw on for her revalidation.
"When I revalidated for the first time, I worked in a public health commissioning and policy lead role in a Local Authority. I was very clear I used my nursing and health visiting qualification in that role."
However, she says her experience of revalidation was different to that of her friends who worked in direct clinical roles.
"A lot of my friends are still health visitors or clinical managers and it’s very easy for them to identify what they’ve done in relation to the Code and professional development they’ve undertaken.
"Within my public health roles it’s been more about supporting leadership in relation to nursing and health visiting, public health nursing, quality assurance and service redesign."
It helped that she had prepared well in advance.
"I like to look ahead anyway so I completed my reflective discussions and reflective pieces spread over the whole revalidation period, not just in the last six months."
This is especially important if you change roles during the revalidation period.
"I’m approaching my second revalidation and I’ve changed roles. Before I left my Local Authority Public Health role I asked colleagues for reflective accounts to provide evidence of how the work I’d undertaken linked to the Code. These accounts will be key to my revalidation as it’s important to draw on evidence that covers the three year revalidation period."
Ask your employer for support
"When going into a policy role, it’s important to be clear from the outset that you hold a professional registration and would like to be supported to maintain this.
"There’s also the need to make sure your training and development captures your revalidation requirements. Set out clearly with your line manager what support you need to achieve this. Ideally include this in your annual appraisal."
As Sally has always done this, and has had employers who highly value what she brings to her role as a registered nurse, she hasn’t struggled to meet the requirements for continuous professional development.
Maintain links with your professional group
We asked Sally what advice she’d have for others thinking about their revalidation.
"My message to anyone working in a non-traditional nursing role or in an isolated setting is to make sure that you keep your links with your professional group and find colleagues undertaking similar roles."
"Be bold and approach people who you may have had a conversation with in relation to your professional role. When I met someone from the Department of Health and Social Care to discuss their international global health role, one of the things I asked was if I could shadow someone in her team or attend one of the country annual reviews. It’s about being creative and seeking out opportunities to ensure your practice reflects the Code and you can demonstrate professional development."