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Revalidation 8: Dispelling the myths

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Some aspects of revalidation have caused confusion. This article dispels some common myths and misunderstandings such as the role of confirmers

Citation: Kolyva K (2015) Revalidation 8: Dispelling the myths. Nursing Times; 111: 51/51, 16.

Author: Katerina Kolyva is director of continued practice, Nursing and Midwifery Council.


Any new process that involves more than 680,000 people and the co-operation of their organisations and colleagues is bound to generate some myths and misunderstandings, and revalidation is no exception.

In the months leading up to the introduction of revalidation, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) refined the process and made alterations to its guidance (NMC, 2015) based on valuable feedback from nurses and midwives who went through the pilot process. Through our ongoing engagement across the four countries in the UK, the NMC noticed there are some aspects of revalidation that are causing confusion.

This article addresses some of the myths surrounding revalidation. More information can be found in How to revalidate with the NMC (NMC, 2015), which everyone on our register must read before they come to revalidate.

You do not have to keep an e-portfolio to revalidate

While the nursing and midwifery council strongly recommends that you keep a portfolio as a simple and effective way to save your evidence you have met the revalidation requirements, this portfolio does not need to be stored online. Maintaining a paper portfolio is acceptable, and in fact some people might prefer this method as some elements of revalidation need to be kept in a paper-only format; namely the reflective discussion form and the confirmation form. You will not be required to upload any material to us as part of the revalidation process.

Confirmers are not there to check your fitness to practise, but to make sure you have met the requirements

The aim of revalidation is not to catch people out or remove people from the register; on the contrary, its aim is to improve standards and support nurses and midwives to deliver safe and effective care across the UK. Revalidation is not a new way to raise fitness to practise concerns.

If you are dual registered, you will need to show evidence of 900 practice hours but all other revalidation requirements only once

If you are registered as both a nurse and a midwife and you want to maintain both registrations, you will need to declare that you have practised a minimum of 450 hours of nursing and 450 hours of midwifery. The rest of the requirements are exactly the same as for a single registration. For example, as a dual registrant you would only need to show you had undertaken 35 hours of CPD.

The NMC regulates professions rather than duties or tasks, so if you are dual registered but practise solely as a nurse or as a midwife, you do not need to maintain both your registrations. Allowing one of your registrations to lapse does not mean you are giving up your qualification; you can apply for readmission if you want to use this qualification again in the future.

Revalidation is not a “pass/fail” test

The role played by the confirmer in the revalidation process is to check that your evidence shows you have met the requirements, rather than to “pass” or “fail” you. If you provide evidence that you have met all of the revalidation requirements, your confirmer will sign this off and you will submit your online application declaring your evidence has been checked by a confirmer.

If you have not met all the requirements by the time you come to have your confirmation discussion, your confirmer will give you the opportunity to fully complete them before your application is due. We recommend that you have your confirmation discussion during the final 12 months of the three-year registration cycle. It is important not to leave this until the last minute so that you have ample chance to complete the process.

Verification does not necessarily mean the NMC has concerns about your application

Each year the NMC will select a sample of nurses and midwives to provide further information to verify their application. If you are selected for verification, you will need to complete an online form where you will be asked to provide further information. You won’t be required to upload your portfolio. The verification process will be completed within three months of your renewal date, and you will remain on the register while the process is taking place.

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