If you worry that the process of revalidation is going to be complex and time-consuming I have good news.
Last week the Nursing Times team got a look at the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s online process by which you verify that you’ve done everything requested to successfully revalidate, and we can confirm that it’s so straightforward even we could do it.
The user-friendly NMC Online system walks you through each step of the process from entering your PIN through confirming you’ve completed all your revalidation activities and have professional indemnity insurance, and making your health and character declaration to stating your confirmer says you’ve done these things. It really is pretty intuitive and easy to use.
But here is the headline – we now also know how the “request for further information” – or the audit, as I like to call it, will work.
An algorithm has been programmed into the system so it randomly selects registrants immediately after they have submitted their revalidation application online. If you’re one of the “lucky” few selected (we don’t know how many that will be, and the NMC insists we don’t need to – but we bet you’d like to know so you can work out your odds), you’ll see a message on screen informing you. Your confirmer will be contacted automatically by email with a request for further information, then a real human being at the NMC will look at your confirmer’s response and assess whether any further information is needed.
”A real human being at the NMC will look at your confirmer’s response and assess whether any further information is needed”
I guess the key message here is that if you’re selected for audit don’t panic. It doesn’t mean your revalidation evidence isn’t up to scratch or that the regulator is suspicious of you. In the best traditions of research and audit, it’s just random selection.
Revalidation has raised hackles among some nurses and midwives. To them it feels like yet more bureaucracy and paperwork to add to the pile. But revalidation doesn’t actually add huge amounts of new work. All nurses and midwives on the register have been required to undertake 35 hours of CPD and 450 hours of practice in every three-year registration period since the 1990s – and should have been recording these.
”But revalidation doesn’t actually add huge amounts of new work”
The additional requirements will work out as producing, on average, a couple of pieces of feedback and a couple of reflective accounts every year.
That hardly seems onerous – and many people who completed the pilot last year found them enormously helpful. As for having a reflective discussion with another registrant, it’s simply formalising and recording something most of you will do naturally on a regular basis – discussing work-related issues, what you’ve learnt from them and how they will influence your future practice.
But I do understand why many people feel uneasy about new regulations and responsibilities. That’s why employers have a crucial role in making the revalidation process as painless as possible.
Even though individuals are responsible for maintaining their own place on the register, employers should be doing more than simply checking that all their nurses and midwives have met their revalidation requirements. They must offer practical support, and managers should act as role model, showing their teams how easy the process is and how it will benefit patients, the profession, and individual nurses by encouraging reflective practice and continuing development.
”Employers should be doing more than simply checking that all their nurses and midwives have met their revalidation requirements”
If you’re still concerned about the process, more good news! We are running a Revalidation Conference on 9 March in Manchester.
We ran this event in London in November 2015, and 94% of attendees said they felt ready to implement revalidation after attending. The day was described as “energising” “fun” and “informative”, and attendants really valued the opportunity to meet representatives from the pilot sites and discuss their experience, and to speak directly to Jackie Smith, chief executive of the NMC, and her team.
If you want to find out more about the conference, please contact me or my team using the details on the website. We’d love to see you there – and more than that, we’d love to hear what you’re doing to introduce revalidation, and some positive stories about what it’s done for you or the nurses you work for.
- Find out more about revalidation, how it affects you and how your Nursing Times subscription can offer support in our Revalidation Zone