Universities have been advised to appoint a senior member of staff to oversee the forthcoming system of checks for nurses and midwives to ensure academics and researchers are able to renew their registration.
Guidance released today by the Council of Deans of Health – which represents all 85 UK universities offering courses for nursing, midwifery and allied health professions – warns that failure by registrant staff to complete the new system of revalidation “may cause disruption for universities as well as consequences for the individual”.
“We recommend senior leaders start working with the revalidation lead now to identify any risks at an early stage”
Council of Deans
It recommends that a senior registrant staff member – such as the head of the school of nursing – takes the lead on preparing their university for revalidation, which will be launched by the Nursing and Midwifery Council next year.
“Given the potential implications for NMC programme approval of staff not revalidating, we also recommend that senior leaders within the organisation start working with the revalidation lead now to identify any risks at an early stage,” added the guidance.
In addition, universities have been urged to provide practical information early on about how registrants who work in non-clinical roles – such as in teaching or research – will be able to complete the minimum number of practice hours required to renew their registration.
Provisional revalidation requirements state that nurses and midwives will continue to have to complete at least 450 hours of practice in the three years prior to renewing their registration.
The provisional standards also state registrants must record a minimum of five written reflections on the code of conduct, continuing professional development and practice-related feedback.
“Staff are also likely to ask about the levels and type of reflection required within the revalidation process,” stated the council of deans’ guidance.
“Clarity over who has the confirmatory conversation is particularly important for certain groups of staff”
Council of Deans
“There is no set standard for this at present, but we would advise universities to start thinking this through now, so that there is consistency across the organisation,” it added.
The NMC’s draft standards have also stated that a third party “confirmer” – usually a line manager – must be able to vouch for the registrant having completed all elements of revalidation.
The Council of Deans warned it was unlikely line managers within universities would be familiar with the concept of confirmation, but said it was “crucial” they understood their role in revalidation.
“Clarity over who has the confirmatory conversation is particularly important for certain groups of staff,” added the guidance.
“These include joint appointments, staff on ‘zero hours’ contracts and those on secondments. Each may require additional preparation and discussion with partner organisations,” it said.
The revalidation system is currently being piloted by a number of organisations across the UK. Final guidance will be issued by the NMC in October following evaluation of the pilots.
Revalidation was originally expected to begin from 31 December, but the NMC has now pushed back the start date by three months.
As a result, the first nurses and midwives to complete the process are those due to renew their registration in April 2016.