The nursing regulator has started recruiting for a permanent chief executive and chair.
Both positions are currently held by interims. Jackie Smith has been interim chief executive since the resignation of Dickon Weir-Hughes in January. She was formerly NMC director of fitness to practise.
Meanwhile, Judith Ellis took over as interim chair in March when Tony Hazell stood down.
As revealed by Nursing Times, Professor Weir-Hughes’ departure sparked a strategic review of the regulator by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence due to continuing problems dealing with its fitness to practise caseload.
Both Professor Weir Hughes and Professor Hazell joined the NMC in 2009, following a previous review of the regulator’s performance and structure.
The job advert for the chief executive and registrar states that the post holder will need to be able to “drive change and optimise operational and financial performance”.
“Candidates need to have held a senior executive post at board level in a national organisation. Experience of regulatory business is critical as is some experience in the health care sector,” it says.
“The post holder requires strong management and operational skills (including financial understanding), a proven ability to implement strategy together with effective inter personal, influencing, communication and relationship skills.”
The advert for chair states that the NMC is looking for “candidates of good standing, personal authority and a record of success”.
“They will also be able to work effectively with the chief executive, holding them to account whilst at the same time providing support and guidance.
“They will also be able to demonstrate strategic vision, an understanding of professional regulation and political adeptness, together with strong intellectual and analytical skills and highly effective interpersonal, diplomatic and communication skills.”
The closing date for applicants to the chair post is 6 June, and for the chief executive and registrar post it is 20 June. No detail of pay is included in the adverts.
Concerns have been raised by some members of the profession that both positions could end up being held by someone without a nursing background, creating a “vacuum” of nurse leadership at the regulator.
CHRE chief executive Harry Cayton, however, has said he does not think it necessary for the roles to be held by a nurse, citing that senior roles at other regulators such as the General Medical Council are not held by members of the professions they regulate.