The Nursing and Midwifery Council has admitted that it has “weaknesses” in its current system of checking if nurses should stay on the register and says that the revalidation process is an opportunity for it to improve.
Speaking at a fringe event at the Royal College of Nursing’s annual congress in Liverpool, the NMC’s director of practice Katerina Kolyva conceded that the regulator had not “been clear” or “articulated” particularly well what they expected from registrants.
Ms Kolyva said “from what we have perceived ourselves” – and “received feedback on” from registrants – it was evident the NMC had not “specified” what types of practice, content and continuous professional development it considered “good” for nurses to do.
Challenged by staff nurse Nikki Williams about how effective they would be at running a new process of revalidation when they weren’t even managing the current “spot-checking” of portfolios, Ms Kolyva conceded the number of portfolios the regulator checked each year was “statistically insignificant”.
Ms Williams said: “I don’t know a single person who has had their portfolio checked ever. How can you run this new system of revalidation when you can’t even manage that?”
The NMC is publicly committed to rolling out revalidation from December 2015.
Under current proposals for revalidation, every three years at the point of re-registration, nurses and midwives will have to declare they have practised for 450 hours and followed CPD requirements.
Ms Kolyva told delegates that the NMC had calculated that the “development of revalidation would be within its current financial envelope”, when asked whether the process would cost registrants more.
Over 100 nurses attended the packed lunchtime meeting. Although a few said they agreed with the idea of revalidation in principle, many said they had a lack of confidence in the current process and in the NMC’s ability to deliver it.
Ms Kolyva said that the NMC was trying to learn from the issues that doctors have had with revalidation by the General Medical Council, and was keen to involve registrants and RCN members in “getting it right”.
Earlier in the day, RCN members had debated the issue of revalidation in the main conference hall.
A resolution submitted by the RCN’s UK Stewards’ Committee, asked whether the NMC “will be able to deliver an effective and fair revalidation process”.