Nurse managers have been urged to start preparing for revalidation now in order to avoid staff being refused renewal of their registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council in 2016.
It is expected that a “small number” of nurses and midwives across the UK will fail to meet the regulator’s proposed new requirements that will determine whether they can continue to practise or not every three years.
This new revalidation process – which replaces the post-registration education and practice (PREP) system – comes into effect from 31 December 2015.
“Now is the time for organisations and employers to be ready. Don’t wait until the end of next year”
However, NMC chief executive Jackie Smith said at the CNO summit in Manchester yesterday that health organisations should begin to plan for the changes immediately.
Speaking to an audience of senior nursing leaders, she said: “Now is the time for organisations and employers to be ready. Don’t wait until the end of next year – do it now.
“Think about who you’ve got coming up for renewal, the process, appraisals, the code, and feedback,” she added.
Eileen Sills, chief nurse at Guys and St Thomas ‘s NHS Foundation Trust – one of the organisations that has been selected to test the new system of revalidation checks – spoke as part of the same session, adding that it was important to identify early on those workers who may not meet the new requirements.
“You will probably have some staff who will not get through revalidation…so can you potentially identify those early on?”
“In the end, you will probably have some staff who will not get through revalidation and there’s an expectation across the profession that a small number may not, so can you potentially identify those early on?,” she said.
The proposed system of revalidation will mean nurses and midwives have to continue to demonstrate 450 hours of relevant practice and completion of a certain amount of continual professional development.
However, they will also have to show they have adhered to the NMC code of conduct and must receive confirmation from a third party that they are still fit to practise.
Ms Sills added that within her trust, there would be annual appraisals to collate revalidation evidence over a number of years – rather than having a “mass scramble” every three.
Responding to concerns that some nursing staff – particularly in care homes – were not receiving appraisals under the current system and how this would change under revalidation, Ms Smith said: “About the consistency of appraisals – we know it’s not 100% and it certainly isn’t in some of the smaller settings, but it is not a reason not to do revalidation.
“It is a reason to do it – because we need to drive up compliance,” she told delegates.