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Recovery and emergency programme standards

In response to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, we've developed some recovery and emergency programme standards

At the start of the pandemic, we introduced emergency education standards to allow more flexibility to be applied to the delivery of nursing and midwifery programmes.

Those emergency standards were withdrawn in September 2020 and replaced with recovery standards to support students returning to their normal studies, while still allowing flexibility in the way programmes were delivered.

In recent weeks, health and care services and the workforce have come under increasing and extreme pressure.

We received a request from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, supported by the Chief Executive of the NHS in England, to reintroduce emergency standards in relation to final year nursing students only, so that they can support the response to Covid-19, where they wish to.

Following careful consideration by the NMC and after listening to the views of the UK's Chief Nursing Officers, the Council of Deans of Health, and other partners, we've reviewed the Secretary of State's request and agreed to reintroduce emergency education standards for final year nursing students.

We've also agreed to introduce two additional emergency standards relating to first year nursing and midwifery students and supervision and assessment in practice, following advice from the service and AEIs about some of the difficulties they are facing in supporting student clinical placements.

Download the Current emergency and recovery programme standards (Cymraeg).

Using the standards

The updated emergency education standards:

  • enable first year nursing and midwifery students to focus on academic and online learning rather than participating in clinical placements while the system is under pressure due to the pandemic
  • enable final year nursing students to opt in to undertake paid clinical placements while the emergency standard is in place
  • give education institutions and their practice learning partners more flexibility to ensure students get appropriate support and supervision.

All other undergraduate nursing and midwifery students and post-graduate diploma/masters students will continue to have supernumerary status when on clinical placements. The emergency education standards allowing extended clinical placements will not apply to these programmes, and these students will continue with their studies as planned.

Normal education should continue where it's possible to do so.

All courses must still comply with the minimum training hours' requirements under EU legislation - 4600 programme hours - and a maximum two thirds clinical weighting which we have no legal power to change or waive.

Information for students and educators

Visit our Covid-19: Information for students and educators page for more information on what this means for you.