The new system of revalidation introduced this month will in the future “go further” to raise professional practice, the head of the Nursing and Midwifery Council has said.
Jackie Smith, chief executive and registrar of the NMC, said the system of checks – which must be completed every three years by nurses to renew their registration and allow them to practice – was only in its first phase and would be developed again.
“[Revalidation] is about quality and learning and reflecting”
This would happen in three years’ time after all nurses on the register had gone through the system once, she told an audience of senior nurses at Nursing Times Deputies’ Congress event earlier this week.
By that time, the NMC would have been able to demonstrate the benefits it had brought to the profession, she said.
However, she noted the regulator had “already started thinking” about how to improve revalidation and that future developments were likely to be around the requirements for reflecting on practice.
Revalidation replaced the previous post-registration education and practice (PREP) system on 1 April.
It features a number of new requirements from the old system, including compiling five pieces of practice-related feedback and preparing five written reflective accounts that relate to the nursing 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.
“[Reflection] is the area where I think we need to develop revalidation”
A reflective discussion with another registrant must also take place, and all requirements must be signed off – or “confirmed” – preferably by a line manager.
“It [revalidation] was never about counting numbers, it’s never about whether you’ve done 35 hours or 40 hours [of CPD]. It’s about quality and learning and reflecting,” Ms Smith told the audience of deputy chief nurses.
When challenged by a delegate about whether the revalidation system would be enough to improve the competence of nurses, she said it was designed to raise the standards of professional practice, which should in turn improve safety.
Revalidation will ‘go further’ in future to up standards
Source: Andy Paraskos
But Ms Smith said she was “absolutely with you on going further, because this is just the start”.
“What we’ve done is work within a framework that you and your colleagues are used to, and that used to be called PREP,” she said.
“Revalidation is not a whole lot different,” she said. “The bit that makes a difference to you as individuals is you reflecting on your practice. That’s the area where I think we need to develop revalidation.”