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Revalidation for nurses and midwives launches on 1 April


A major new system to ensure nurses and midwives demonstrate their practice is up-to-date every three years is introduced from today.

Revalidation, being brought in by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, replaces the old post-registration education and practice (PREP) system.

Nurses and midwives will not be able to renew their registration until they complete the series of checks, which features a number of new requirements.

These include compiling five pieces of practice-related feedback and preparing five written reflective accounts relating to the code of conduct.

Registrants will also have to complete a minimum of 35 hours of continuing professional development in the three years prior to registration renewal, with 20 of these hours being participatory.

A reflective discussion with another registrant must also take place, and all requirements must be signed off – or “confirmed” – preferably by a line manager.

Existing requirements of a minimum of at least 450 hours of practice, a health and character declaration and indemnity insurance must also be evidenced.

“Of the thousands of nurses and midwives who have already gone through the system, many have told us they believe it will deliver real benefits in raising standards”

Jackie Smith

Around 16,000 nurses and midwives are due to revalidate this month, when the system is introduced from 1 April.

The regulator said in mid-March that over 60% of nurses and midwives due to revalidate in April had already “either started or completed their applications”.

Concerns have been raised by some that the system will be off-putting for some registrants – especially those close to retirement – and will lead to some leaving the register.

The NMC has said it expects “a number” of nurses and midwives on the register to be unable to complete revalidation, but has not budgeted for a reduction in registrants in the first year of its introduction.

It has produced figures showing a larger number of nurses dropping off the register this month should not automatically be attributed to revalidation, because more people normally leave the register at this time of the year anyway.

NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith described the launch of revalidation today as a “momentous day” and the ”most significant regulatory change in [the NMC’s] history”.

“Of the thousands of nurses and midwives who have already gone through the system, many have told us they believe it will deliver real benefits in raising standards and protecting the public as well as improving their own professional practice,” she said.

Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England, said: “I encourage nurses and midwives to see revalidation as a positive opportunity to consider how they are making continuous improvements in the quality and safety of care, and to support ongoing development.”


“It is important that midwives and nurses engage early with the process and allow themselves the time needed to complete it”


Jean White, chief nursing officer for Wales, described revalidation as an “exciting time” for registrants to reflect on practice and gain opportunities for professional development, while Scotland’s chief nursing officer Fiona McQueen said it was a “positive step” for demonstrating professionalism.

Charlotte McArdle, chief nursing officer for Northern Ireland, said revalidation “marked another step on the journey of graduate professions taking responsibility for the protection of the public and the care that they provide”.

The Royal College of Nursing’s chief executive and general secretary Janet Davies said revalidation was an “important step” towards improving patient care via a clear system.

“Registrants will rightly be nervous because the process is new so employers must help support them”

Gail Adams

“It’s important that all staff who complete the process can get the time and supervision needed to make this vision a reality,” she added.

Also welcoming the launch of revalidation today, Royal College of Midwives director for midwifery Louise Silverton said: “The RCM is pleased that after years in development, revalidation is finally here.

“It is important that midwives and nurses engage early with the process and allow themselves the time needed to complete it,” she said. “For midwives, revalidation is an extension of what they currently already do and is an easy and straightforward process.

“That said, feedback from those midwives currently going through the process is that preparation is vital. All midwives should develop the habit of maintaining records of their continuing professional development, received feedback and reflections on an ongoing basis,” she added.

Unison’s head of nursing Gail Adams said it would be working with the NMC to monitor its implementation. 

“Registrants will rightly be nervous because the process is new so employers must help support them. We firmly believe this is the way forward though and want to ensure it remains an effective public protection tool,” she said.

Jane Beach, professional officer for regulation at Unite, echoed Ms Adams’ comments:“Today is an important day for the professions and we are sure they will as ever rise to the challenge.

“However, this is just the beginning and we will be continuing to work with the NMC, our members and their employers to monitor progress.”


Readers' comments (12)

  • Haven't you got the April fools stories mixed up? Not the greatest of days to start revitalization - tiz a sign lol.

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  • Being one of the first to retaliate in NHS Dumfries and Galloway today although initially I thought what and how to complete etc I completed it in advance at the end of February no problem encountered

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  • Yay. Revalidation.

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  • Again, I would like to say it's not about the difficulty but the principle! Why do this at a time when nurses are feeling more pressure, more people are leaving, less people are starting andmore people are more disillusioned with nursing. Surely you must realise that all you are going to do is get even more people to quit putting more pressure on nurses that stay which will in turn cause more people to question their career and create even more nursing shortages. I for one could not, with good conscience, say that nursing would be a good career choice now. I can not think of another job where it is expected that you come to work to be racially, sexually and verbally abused and a daily even hourly basis with absoltuely no course of action to stop it. GP's, teachers, police and pretty much all other jobs I can think of (of course there are exceptions) have various courses of action to take but as a psychiatric nurse on a ward with degenerative brain disorders, we have to put up with it. Yert you still want me to justify my existence as a nurse?
    I am sorry but I don't want to anymore, by the time my revaildation comes round will not be a nurse anymore! I feel that is a real shame it has come to this, I was a social worker for 15 years and have been a nurse for 16 years but that's it, I'm done!

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  • (Please excuse a few typos, there isn't an edit button!) - Sorry!

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  • Retired from NHS and work part time as agency nurse.I have got better things to do than produce nonsense to keep a bunch of paper shufflers happy. Will leave nursing when my revalidation arises

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  • Jon what you mention is one of those ULTRA GREAT BIG ELEPHANTS in the psychiatric room within mental health services. We know the greater percentage of individuals with mental health experiences are not aggressive but there is a feeling that services use propaganda to almost hide where the risk of aggression is posed as higher within inpatient services. There is the point that care is not always linear when it comes to situations of aggression and violence, but time and time again it presents as if aggression and violence is ignored when it comes to assaults on staff. There are questions at times that psychiatrists are a part of the problem and won't assert appropriate responsibility on patients, as in part it might defeat their individual premise as caring professionals (and suspected its more common than we think). Also mental health education being taught by those whose ideals don't match reality. But also the police are not necessarily engaging and acting upon those assaulted and too easily listen to those not on the frontline. Whether reality or not it feels more like funny public service handshake corruption at times. Your right Jon when the stakes are high, there's no staff and management hide from the frontline how can revalidation be seen as credible? The answer is where staff are not supported and can't depend on support then revitalization will only be seen as another behavioural whip to psychologically abuse staff.

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  • How is one suppose to provide evidence when practising overseas especially in relation to mentor response? Does it mean we can't maintain our uk registration when overseas? One way to lose more nurses who like myself might consider to re enter the NHS without having to go through the processes again!

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  • Yes well done NMC for your April Fools joke- I submitted my revalidation on 24th March, but no email /written /telephone confirmation that it had been submitted so I rang NMC on 31st March to check and was reassured I would receive the confirmation email only after they'd had my money in April (after my deadline). I complained about this and apparently I'm not the only one. The NMC took my direct debit on the 1st April- then at 1.30am on Saturday 2nd April I had an email from NMC to advise that I had failed to submit before the deadline, bla bla and that I would be prosecuted if I continued to practice as a registered nurse, 6 weeks to reapply etc. I was mortified. No-one of course at the NMC on the weekend to speak to. Then lo and behold- another email 5.50pm Saturday evening- to apologise for the error. I heard today the NMC has 'tweeted' an apology to everyone on 'twitter' for the error. What is that all about? Bunch of numpties.

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  • I worked abroad and have maintained my registration there and lapsed the NMC. I have no intention of further practice in the UK despite previously being proud of holding my name on the NMC register until I realised how poorly the organisation is run and the equally poor employment prospects in the UK. I just wonder how many nurses will leave when the find for a variety of reasons they are unable to meet these new criteria?

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