How we develop our standards

We want to make sure that nurses, midwives and nursing associates are equipped with the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to deliver safe care now and in the future. That’s why we review our standards routinely.

When developing standards, we work collaboratively with nursing and midwifery professionals, representatives from the wider health and social care community, advocacy groups and members of the public.

All these people have a valuable contribution to make and help us to develop standards that reflect best evidence which support our professionals in delivering safe and compassionate care.

Reviewing our standards

We began a major review of all our education standards and our quality assurance processes in 2016.

Since then, we have:

  • introduced a new framework for education which includes a new approach for student supervision and assessment
  • redefined our pre-registration standards of proficiency for both nursing and midwifery
  • created new standards for prescribers
  • introduced the new nursing associate role in England and welcomed the first nursing associates to our register
  • launched new return to practice standards which help people remain on, and re-join, our register
  • launched new post-registration standards which will make sure our professionals have the additional knowledge and skills they need to deliver high quality care.

We have most recently developed our post-registration standards as well as updated our pre-registration programme standards and standards framework following our exit from the EU.

Recent updates to our standards 

Pre-registration standards and standards framework

April 2023

Post-registration standards

July 2022

Midwifery standards

November 2019

Return to practice standards

March 2019

Nursing associate standards

October 2018

Standards for education and training

May 2018

Nursing standards

May 2018

Prescribing standards

May 2018

We withdrew our standards for medicines management.