Raising concerns

Reference: LE5

Last Updated 01/03/2019

All AEIs and practice learning provider organisations must have in place clear processes for raising concerns and should signpost students, and all relevant people, to these.

All AEIs and practice learning provider organisations should also have the capability and processes for managing complaints and concerns that have been raised about students, their learning, and student learning environments.

All individuals involved in the delivery of a learning experience or within a learning environment have a responsibility to raise any concerns about the care of people, the learning environment and student learning. For nurses, midwives and  nursing associates, this should be done in line with the requirements contained in section 16 of the Code and our Raising concerns guidance.

Students should not suffer any harm, detriment, victimization or unwarranted treatment as a result of speaking up and raising genuine concerns they might have about the level of care people are receiving in a practice learning setting or the quality of the practice learning they are receiving.

The NMC also has policies on safeguarding and whistleblowing which it may be useful to refer to in this context.

The NMC can also be contacted via our Education and standards or Education QA teams using the following email addresses: educationandstandards@nmc-uk.org, qateam@nmc-uk.org

These inboxes are regularly monitored, and we should be able to pass on any concerns raised as appropriate promptly.

The education QA team also have a section on our website that contains information if you have a concern or want to make a complaint about an education programme.

Relevant NMC standards for this section

Standards framework for nursing and midwifery education

R1.5: ensure students and educators understand how to raise concerns or complaints and are encouraged and supported to do so in line with local and national policies without fear of adverse consequences

R1.6: ensure any concerns or complaints are investigated and dealt with effectively

R1.7: ensure concerns or complaints affecting the wellbeing of people are addressed immediately and effectively

R1.8: ensure mistakes and incidents are fully investigated and learning reflections and actions are recorded and disseminated

R1.9: ensure students are supported and supervised in being open and honest with people in accordance with the professional duty of candour

R2.1: comply with all relevant legal, regulatory, professional and
educational requirements

R2.9: demonstrate a robust process for recognition of prior learning
and how it has been mapped to the programme learning outcomes
and proficiencies

R2.10: provide students with the information and support they require in all learning environments to enable them to understand and comply with relevant local and national governance processes and policies

R3.18: have opportunities throughout their programme to give feedback
on the quality of all aspects of their support and supervision in both
theory and practice.

R4.8: are expected to respond effectively to concerns and complaints about
public protection and student performance in learning environments
and are supported in doing so

The Code

16: Act without delay if you believe that there is a risk to patient safety or public protection

To achieve this, you must:

16.1: raise and, if necessary, escalate any concerns you may have about patient or public safety, or the level of care people are receiving in your workplace or any other health and care setting and use the channels available to you in line with our guidance and your local working practices

16.2: raise your concerns immediately if you are being asked to practise beyond your role, experience and training

16.3: tell someone in authority at the first reasonable opportunity if you experience problems that may prevent you working within the Code or other national standards, taking prompt action to tackle the causes of concern if you can

16.4: acknowledge and act on all concerns raised to you, investigating, escalating or dealing with those concerns where it is appropriate for you to do so

16.5: not obstruct, intimidate, victimise or in any way hinder a colleague, member of staff, person you care for or member of the public who wants to raise a concern

16.6: protect anyone you have management responsibility for from any harm, detriment, victimisation or unwarranted treatment after a concern is raised