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Revalidation is far from onerous


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

Readers' comments (12)

  • Jenni I respect your view but it sounds like more Stepford Wife rhetoric. There are many moral questions to be answered in regard to realisation and its effect on innocent whiteboards is the biggest. We know people are getting referred and post legal courts are innocent until that is sorted revitalization in my view is even more highly suspect. There are many moral issues that remain unanswered. But anyway I sure many might fear the process but it's not all just about that.

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  • Spellchecker! Realisation or revitalization = revalidation. Whiteboards= whistleblowers.

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  • We suspect why many so called proclaimed leaders are in agreement with revalidation and it is in part to quieten dissent and prevent whistleblowers. I'm sure many of the older nurses retiring early realise this and the assumption it is purely because of extra paperwork is I suspect a lie portrayed to cover up other legitimate reasons. The alternate social media are reporting this and getting ahead of NT.

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  • Revalidation is a completely separate process to referral to fitness to practise. I think you're a bit paranoid, anonymous! I think the point of this piece isn't arguing if revalidation is good or bad. It's saying it is coming, agree with it or not, and the good news is that it's not that hard to do the paperwork. I think that's the only point being made here.

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  • I think the fact youre unwilling to discuss the other points makes you limited in understanding. Attacking someone personally in stating paranoia is a debate of weakness usually used when someone can't gives answers the same trick can be observed by those in authority who can't stand difference opinion. Be objective not limiting

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  • As a whistle blower saying people are paranoid is at best devoid of compassion. It's not separate where based on the Francis Report. Fact is bad stuff is happening at the moment to those who speak truth and its going under reported. I have nonfaith in going to the Dame who comes from the NMC. I would love to tell my story and shame the trust and its CEO but want to minimally live a simple life. The truth is revalidation is seriously flawed and tyrannical where the full concerns are not debated. Going back to rhetoric of how easy it is l, is not the issue.

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  • Change is often hard to get used to. I'd say to all that we try out the revalidation and see how it feels and how it plays out before expressing such strong opinions. Thanks for the article explaining the basics - the ins and outs and highlighting that it doesn't seem too complicated. Whether we like it or not, we'll have to do it, so it's good news it's not too difficult. The implications will be seen later as more go through the process. In the mean time, carry on.

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  • The issue is not change the issue is the better alternatives, but also the lack of democratic decision making to come to this conclusion of revalidation. No there is choice and not only are older people leaving it is younger nurses who are also fed up with dictatorial approaches to nursing from those considered to be the establishment. This isn't simply people leaving who don't keep up skill its people leaving because it's the final straw to an already faulty system. I've known some fantastic quality nurses who in part have recently left due to dictatorial bad management. In my opinion all the NMC have done is give more power to faulty systems. The issue at the heart of it is the basis of pressure that compromises nurses and that basis is often higher up the chain. The truth is the truth no matter how we wish to play it. I am an optimist I believe the NMC has got it wrong and anything is possible and just because they say so doesn't make it so. The statement of 'its happening whether you like it or not' sounds like a mother to a child who doesn't teach a child a proper understanding of the world around it so as a sound decision can be made. People don't put up with that approach. The establishment is arrogant and running scared.

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  • There are threads running through each of the comments with which I agree. I have 7 more years to work until I reach pensionable age (providing it is not raised or lowered in the interim) and am already looking forward to retirement. I work in the private sector for a management structure that engages with staff and tries to improve out lot in life, albeit in small ways. I have no qualms around revalidation because I will have the time and support to do it. That said, I still see little value in it and believe it will become a box ticking exercise. Annual appraisals are designed to show which nurses require additional support, additional training, additional supervision. Revalidation will not alter that and the imposition of a system that is causing frustration to so many must be questioned. Just because an idea is tenacious, it doesn't mean it is worthy.

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  • Kiwipom

    I practice in NZ and complete this process annually, very easy, however I want to maintain my UK registration also so it will become very expensive to provide paper evidence for auditing. Do nursing councils internationally talk to one another so that people in my situation do not have to duplicate their evidence and is overseas evidence acceptable for renewing your UK registration?

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