These standards set out the entry and practice learning requirements, curriculum, length of programme, methods of assessment and the level of award for NMC-approved nursing programmes. They have been designed to so that students can get the most out of their education and learn the skills they need to become safe, effective and kind professionals. 

Our standards for return to practice programmes have been in effect since 20 May 2019. We updated the standards for return to practice programmes in April 2023 following the change of the simulation standard and definition within all programme standards.

If you want to print the standards without using too much ink and paper, we have printer friendly versions available below:

Our pre-2023 standards for prescribing programmes can still be used until January 2025. However, we encourage AEIs to make relevant changes to their programmes in line with our updated standards as soon as they can.

Find our pre-2023 standards for education and training here.

If you can't find what you're looking for, feel free to email

Why our standards are important

Our education and training standards help nursing, midwifery and nursing associate students achieve the NMC standards of proficiency and programme outcomes.

All nursing and midwifery professionals must practise in line with the requirements of the Code, the professional standards of practice and behaviour that nurses, midwives and nursing associates are expected to uphold.

The standards for education and training includes the Standards framework for nursing and midwifery education, Standards for student supervision and assessment, and programme standards specific to each approved programme.

Our Standards for education and training are set out in three parts:

Our standards framework

Our standards for return to practice programmes follow the student journey and are grouped under the following five headings:

  • Selection, admission and progression 
    Standards about an applicant’s suitability and continued participation in a pre-registration nursing associate programme
  • Curriculum 
    Standards for the content, delivery and evaluation of the pre-registration nursing associate education programme
  • Practice learning 
    Standards specific to pre-registration learning for nursing associates that takes place in practice settings
  • Supervision and assessment 
    Standards for safe and effective supervision and assessment of students on pre-registration nursing associate education programmes
  • Qualification to be awarded 
    Standards which state the award and information for registering the student’s award with us

How these standards were developed

Since 2016 we have been developing our standards with input from stakeholders across the UK.

Find out more about how the standards were developed. 

Our pre-2019 return to practice standards no longer apply to return to practice programmes but are available for information purposes.