As of April 2016, there are a number of changes being implemented by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) which will affect all nurses and midwives currently registered in the United Kingdom. One of the most important new changes is the introduction of ‘revalidation’. Revalidation is a process already being used by other regulators, such as the General Medical Council, by which practitioners must renew their registration with the NMC every three years.
What will this mean for you?
Revalidation is replacing the ‘Post Registration Education and Practice’ framework which is currently in place. Under the Prep scheme, practitioners must demonstrate they have completed 450 hours of practice in the preceding three years and 35 hours of learning activity (CPD) in the same time. Under the new revalidation process, in addition to these requirements, one must complete 5 pieces of practice related feedback, 5 written reflective accounts, a reflective discussion, a health and character declaration and a professional indemnity arrangement. These are far more stringent conditions than will be in place up until 31 March 2016 and will place a heavier burden on nurses and midwives when renewing their registration.
This new process promotes support, guidance and investment in practitioners and demands individuals to demonstrate that they are ‘living’ the standards set out in the Codes of Practice. The NMC are providing extensive resources to ensure that employers are equipped with all the requisite tools to allow them to suitably support their employees through the process.
What can I do?
It is important to remain proactive in this area, or you risk your registration lapsing and you being unable to practice as a nurse or midwife in the UK. Ahead of the new rules coming in to place, there are a few things which the Royal College of Nursing have suggested people do:
- Create an NMC Online Account (this is needed to apply for revalidation)
- Review the NMC Code
- Start collating your evidence to show you have met the requirements (this portfolio can be electronic or paper based)
This process differs slightly where the registrant is someone who is returning to practice and so cannot evidence the requirements necessary for straight forward revalidation. This may be the case if you have been away from the profession due to maternity, sick leave or a suspension and it is important that you seek the correct advice to help you continue your professional registration. If the registration lapses, the process can take up to six weeks to be restored (provided you meet the requirements).
The professional discipline and regulatory department at Stephensons can provide advice regarding revalidation or other concerns with your registration with the NMC. Please feel free to contact a member of the team to help resolve your registration issues without delay, call us on 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form.
By James Ford, Regulatory Department