Standards for prescribing programmes

Part 3 of Realising professionalism: Standards for education and training

Prescribing programmes

Our Standards for prescribing programmes (Cymraeg) came into effect 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.

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

These standards set out what's required for our approval and consist of the following:

  • legal requirements
  • entry requirements
  • availability of recognition of prior learning
  • methods of assessment
  • information on the level of award

Why these standards matter

Educational institutions must comply with these standards in order to run any NMC-approved programme.

Student nurse and midwife prescribers in the UK must successfully complete an NMC-approved, post-registration prescribing programme in order for an annotation to be made on the NMC register.

As part of our commitment to inter-professional learning, from January 2019, all NMC-approved prescribing programmes must deliver outcomes which meet the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) Competency Framework for all Prescribers.

Using the standards

It's important to read these standards along with the Standards framework for nursing and midwifery educationStandards for student supervision and assessment and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) A Competency Framework for Prescribers.

Reading them together provides a complete picture of:

  • what nurses, midwives and nursing associates need to know and be able to do, by the time they register their prescribing qualification with us, and
  • Our expectations of approved education institutions and their practice placement partners for delivering NMC-approved programmes for nurses, midwives and nursing associates.

The student journey

Selection, admission and progression
Standards about an applicant’s suitability and continued participation in a prescribing nursing programme

Standards for the content, delivery and evaluation of prescribing programmes

Practice learning
Standards specific to learning for student prescribers that takes place in practice settings

Supervision and assessment
Standards for safe and effective supervision and assessment for prescribing programmes

Qualification to be awarded
Standards which state the award and information for annotation onto the NMC register

Answering your questions

Read our page on becoming a prescriber to find out more about the entry requirements of prescribing programmes under our new standards.

From 28 January 2019, we’re approving all prescribing programmes against the new Standards for prescribing programmes.

Students already on programmes being delivered under the Standards of proficiency for nurse and midwife prescribers (2006) will continue on their programme under the 2006 standards and will meet the requirements for annotation against their current NMC registration on successful completion of the programme.

Programmes with approvals under the 2006 standards will continue to meet our registration requirements and can be delivered until the 31 August 2020. From 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 which standards your programme complies with.

It depends on your chosen approved education institution (AEI). Students can undertake a programme approved against either standards until 31 August 2020. From 1 September, the only approved prescribing programmes will be those approved against the new standards.

You should speak with your education provider to find out which standards your programme is being delivered against and which requirements are in place as a result.

All approved education institutions (AEIs) will need to meet the requirements for approval against these new standards by 1 September 2020.

They’ll need to develop their curriculum in partnership with their practice partners to ensure compliance with all the significant changes in the framework for education of nurses and midwives (for example, student assessment).

The programme will need to be approved against the new standards by 31 August 2020. After 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.