Nurses and midwives must demonstrate to a confirmer that they have met each of the revalidation requirements before the confirmer can sign a confirmation form
Citation: Kolyva K (2015) Revalidation 6: The role of the confirmer. Nursing Times; 111: 48, 15.
Author: Katerina Kolyva is director of continued practice, Nursing and Midwifery Council.
For every nurse or midwife who passes through the new revalidation process, there will be a number of other people around them who support them in renewing their place on the register. From the colleague who takes part in a reflective discussion, to the group of fellow professionals they interact with in the “participatory learning” element of their continuing professional development, revalidation requires all nurses and midwives to share and learn from the experiences of others. One of the most important roles performed by another person in a registrant’s revalidation journey is that of the confirmer.
Role of the confirmer
The role of the confirmer is to look through the evidence that the nurse or midwife has collected to prove they have met each of the revalidation requirements. Registrants can choose who they want to act as a confirmer; that individual will decide whether the evidence demonstrates the registrant has met the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s requirements. Given the importance of this role, the NMC strongly recommends that nurses and midwives ask their line manager to act as their confirmer, if possible. The manager does not need to be an NMC-registered nurse or midwife.
If you are asked to act as a confirmer for a nurse or midwife, there are a number of things that you need to be aware of. While it might sound obvious, you need to ensure that you carefully examine each of the pieces of evidence the registrant has submitted. As a minimum, you will need to have a discussion, preferably face to face, to discuss both the nurse or midwife’s practice and the evidence itself.
There are five key pieces of evidence that you will be responsible for checking as part of the process:
- Record of CPD activity;
- Proof of completing the minimum number of practice hours;
- Five pieces of practice-related feedback;
- Five written reflective accounts;
- Record of the reflective discussion with another nurse or midwife.
The role is more than just a tick-box exercise. It is about making a decision on whether a registrant has submitted the information required as part of the revalidation process. This does not mean that you are being asked to make a judgement on the quality of the evidence; instead, you are being asked to decide whether they have met the requirements. For example, their CPD must be related to their scope of practice as a professional, and their written reflective accounts from their CPD should demonstrate what they learnt from the activity, how they changed or improved their work as a result, and how it is relevant to the Code.
It is important to remember that, despite the significance of the role of the confirmer, you are not being asked to decide whether a nurse or midwife will remain on the register; that is the role of the NMC. Confirmers must sign an NMC confirmation form once they are satisfied that the requirements have been met, and this must be stored by the registrant as a paper copy only.
Advice for confirmers
If you work in a line-management position, and are responsible for nurses and midwives as part of your role, it is almost certain that you will be asked to act as a confirmer. My advice is to read up on what will be required of you and familiarise yourself with the various elements of the revalidation requirements.
The NMC has provided a useful document, Information for confirmers (NMC, 2015), which details everything you will need to know about the role. The document includes a checklist of the required evidence and provides further information on what you should look for when analysing each of the elements.
Box 1. Key points
- Nurses and midwives can choose their confirmer;
- It is recommended that the confirmer is a line manager;
- The confirmer does not need to be a registered nurse/midwife.
The confirmer needs to:
- Examine the nurse/midwife’s evidence to support revalidation;
- Discuss practice and evidence with the nurse/midwife;
- Confirm that the nurse/midwife has submitted appropriate evidence to meet their revalidation requirements.
The NMC confirmation form must be signed and stored as a paper copy only.
Also in this series
- Revalidation 1: Benefits for the profession and patients
- Revalidation 2: How reflection can raise standards of nursing care
- Revalidation 3: Practice-related feedback
- Revalidation 4: Comparing PREP and revalidation
- Revalidation 5: The benefits of keeping a portfolio
- Revalidation 7: Continuing professional development
- Revalidation 8: Dispelling the myths
Nursing and Midwifery Council (2015) Information for confirmers.