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Revalidation 4: Comparing PREP and revalidation

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The new revalidation process has been designed to build on, rather than replace, the requirements of the PREP system

Citation: Kolyva K (2015) Revalidation 4: Comparing PREP and revalidation. Nursing Times; 111: 46, 21.

Author: Katerina Kolyva is director of continued practice, Nursing and Midwifery Council.


Revalidation is one of the most significant changes to the way in which the Nursing and Midwifery Council renews registrants. The changes are important, both for the nurse or midwife on the ground and for the profession, but they build on, rather than completely replace, the requirements of the PREP system. Crucially, the new elements the NMC has introduced, such as reflective discussion (Kolyva, 2015), are the ones the pilot participants found to be the most rewarding and empowering (NMC, 2015a).

The principal aim of revalidation is to ensure that you capture and demonstrate what you are already doing, and that you have the chance to reflect on your practice with colleagues.

New requirements

The new requirements include:

  • Producing five written reflections on your practice;
  • Having a reflective discussion with a fellow nurse or midwife;
  • Ensuring that another professional – normally your line manager – confirms that you have met all of the requirements for revalidation.

Many of the requirements that you will have already done as part of PREP will remain under revalidation, so the process will, in the main, feel familiar.

Comparison with PREP

Practice and CPD

Your practice and continuing professional development hours remain exactly as under PREP: 35 hours of CPD as well as a minimum of 450 practice hours (900 hours for dual registration). An important change is that, of those 35 hours of CPD, 20 hours must now be participatory learning.

As our guidance, How to Revalidate with the NMC, makes clear, participatory learning includes any learning activity in which you personally interact with other people (NMC, 2015b). This might include, attending a conference, coaching and mentoring, or taking part in a clinical audit.

You will need to keep an accurate record of your CPD and demonstrate how you have used it to reflect on your practice and, where possible, improve the work you do.

Health and character declaration

Another element of revalidation that is familiar from the PREP process is the health and character declaration, which remains unchanged.

Currently, all nurses and midwives make the declaration when they join the register, renew their place, or if they ever need to be readmitted to the register. As part of revalidation, the declaration will be made through your online application, which ensures it is straightforward. This is simple to complete and an important demonstration of your ability to practise safely and work in accordance with the NMC Code.

Indemnity arrangements

A further element of the current PREP process that will stay the same under revalidation is the requirement that all nurses and midwives must have an indemnity arrangement in place.

The UK government has introduced a new requirement stipulating that all health professionals have indemnity insurance in place and the revised Code, launched earlier this year, already takes this into account (NMC, 2015c). You need to tell the NMC whether your indemnity arrangement is through your employer, membership of a professional body or a private insurance arrangement.


At the NMC, we believe that revalidation is an important way for nurses and midwives to take ownership of their own professionalism – it gives them an unprecedented chance to take a step back and reflect on their practice.

The changes are important and there are a few new requirements. Largely, however, for the practising nurse or midwife, revalidation is an evolution, not a revolution.

It is important to read the full guidance, available on the NMC website, and make sure you are up to date, aware of your renewal date and ready for revalidation (NMC, 2015a).

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Kathryn Godfrey

    Without a doubt the revalidation process if carried out properly will be far more meaningful to an individual nurse's practice than PREP was.

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