Standards framework for nursing and midwifery education

Part 1 of Realising professionalism: Standards for education and training

Education frameworkPlease note our new standards may be used 
from 28 January 2019. Helpful FAQs can be found at the bottom of this page but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to email us.

These standards (Cymraeg) apply to all education institutions and their practice learning partners approved to run NMC-approved programmes.

The standards aim to provide flexibility for AEIs and practice learning partners, to develop innovative approaches to all education for nurses and midwives, while being accountable for the local delivery and management of approved programmes.

Our standards framework

  1. Learning culture
    We’ll only approve programmes where the learning culture is ethical, open and honest, and is conducive to safe and effective learning that respects the principles of equality and diversity. Innovation, inter-professional learning and team working should be embedded in the learning culture.
  2. Educational governance and quality
    We expect education providers to comply with all legal and regulatory requirements.
  3. Student empowerment
    We want students to be empowered and provided with the learning opportunities they need to achieve the desired proficiencies and programme outcomes.
  4. Educators and assessors
    We'll seek assurance that those who support, supervise and assess students are suitably qualified, prepared and skilled, and receive the necessary support for their role.
  5. Curricula and assessment
    We set standards for curricula and assessment that enable students to achieve the outcomes required to practise safely and effectively in their chosen area.

This document is available in a print friendly version (Cymraeg).

Using the standards

It's important to read these standards along with the other parts of Realising professionalism: Standards for education and training:

So for nurses that would be Standards for pre-registration nursing programmes and 
Future nurse: Standards of proficiency for registered nurses

Reading them together provides a complete picture of:

  • what nurses and midwives need to know and be able to do, by the time they register with us
  • our expectations of universities and their practice learning partners for delivering NMC-approved programmes for nurses and midwives.

How these standards were developed

For the past two years we have been developing these standards with input from stakeholders across the UK. We put our proposals to consultation in summer 2017 and listened closely to the feedback we received. Find out more about how the standards were developed.

We’re planning to start the approval process for programmes delivering these new standards later this year. From 28 January 2019 all approvals will be made against these new standards.

After 1 September 2020, only programmes approved against these new standards will be able to accept new students and meet our requirements for award and registration.

Students already on programmes will continue under the present standards and will meet the requirements for annotation against their current NMC registration.

Programmes with approvals under the pre-2018 standards (2006 Standards of Proficiency for nurse and midwife prescribers), will continue to meet our registration requirements and can be delivered until the end of August 2020. After the 1 September 2020 only programmes approved against the new standards for prescribing programmes will be able to accept new students and to meet our requirements for registration.

Your chosen approved education institution (AEI) will be able to confirm the standards to which your programme complies.

If you’re starting your new course in September 2018, your programme will be approved against the pre-2018 standards.

From 28 January 2019, we’ll gradually approve new programmes against the new standards.

Your chosen approved education institution (AEI) will be able to confirm the standards to which your programme complies.

Students can start a programme against either standards until the end of August 2020. After that date, new students will only join programmes approved against the new standards.

We have a listing of Approved Programmes.  You may also contact the relevant AEI for the status of approval of their programme.

Approved programmes

All approved education institutions (AEIs) will need to meet the requirements for approval against the new standards. They will need to develop their curriculum in partnership with their practice partners to ensure compliance with all the significant changes, such as student assessment.

The programme will need to be approved against the new standards by the end of August 2020.