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England lagging behind rest of UK on revalidation readiness

  • 8 Comments

The introduction of a major new system of nurse competency checks risks being staggered across the UK, because England is lagging behind in its preparation.  

Concerns have been raised by leading members of the Nursing and Midwifery Council that revalidation preparation in England is falling behind other UK countries.

At an NMC council meeting last week, council member Stephen Thornton said he was “alarmed” that there was now a high risk the four countries would not be ready to implement revalidation at the same time.

“I’m quite alarmed by the shift from amber to red in terms of system readiness”

Stephen Thornton

NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith acknowledged that preparing for revalidation in England was a “challenge” due to its “size and complexity”.

She said the NMC council would be updated in July on each country’s progress towards being able to introduce the new system of checks. A final decision would be taken in October on whether to give the green light or not.

Ms Smith suggested that the NMC would not automatically delay revalidation for all countries if some were ready before others.

Speaking at the meeting last Thursday, Mr Thornton said: “I’m quite alarmed by the shift from amber to red in terms of system readiness.

“Perhaps we ought to distinguish between the different countries and their stage of readiness,” he said. “Because we could be in a position where we get everything absolutely right and the system still doesn’t deliver. That would be unfortunate.”

He added: “Maybe in our contingency planning for the ‘what ifs’ we might reach a point where we say: ‘Scotland is ready to go’, so we go with Scotland and we’re not in a position to go with England.”

Mr Thornton suggested that the threat of staggered introduction might even encourage progress south of the border.

“Maybe if we start to say that [Scotland should go first] – that might in itself contribute to England getting their act together,” he told the meeting.

Speaking to Nursing Times after the meeting, Ms Smith admitted there were issues in England over engaging with registrants across different settings and organisations about the new system.

However, she said she was not able to comment on whether it was currently expected to delay the introduction of revalidation.

“The issues around England are to do with its size, complexity and the fact it is impossible to get all the key players in one room at one time,” she told Nursing Times.

“The issues around England are to do with its size and complexity”

Jackie Smith

The launch date for the new system of checks – which replaces PREP (post-registration education and practice) – has already been pushed back by three months to April 2016.

It was originally due to come into effect at the end of December. However, last month the NMC changed information on its website to reveal that the first people to revalidate would now be in April.

The regulator told Nursing Times this was to ensure nurses and midwives had enough time to prepare.

Meanwhile, council papers detailing the latest update on revalidation reveal around a third more people are taking part in the revalidation pilots than was originally expected.

There are just over 2,700 participants across the pilot organisations, up from the 2,000 the NMC expected to recruit.

The latest figures show 930 people have completed the process so far. The NMC’s goal is to reach at least 1,000 by the end of May.

Meanwhile, around 37% of the NMC’s 680,000 registrants have signed up to the regulator’s online system – NMC Online – which will allow people to revalidate.

Ms Smith said the rate of registrants signing up was “faster than we thought it might at this point”. The regulator has set itself a goal of 65% of nurses and midwives being registered for the service by December.

  • 8 Comments

Readers' comments (8)

  • I'm a nurse with 35years experience have taken early retirement and work 2 shifts a week on a bank basis and am at a loss of how to begin this process.
    I subscribe to NT and NStandard in attempt to keep in the loop but fear I will struggle providing reflection from colleagues due to nature of bank work.
    What happens if you default? Is registration withheld? Worried!!!

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  • You will be fine,
    you need to have done 450 hours practice over 3 year period, so 2 shifts will be ok
    20 hours learning with others again over 3 years
    20 hours learning alone, join nursing times learning, each module equals 2 hours, again 10 over 3 years
    Finally getting testimonials from patients/relatives,peers,
    You will be fine, use Gibbs reflection cycle to reflect on testimonials and learning, your be fine
    Oh finally ensure you are getting an appraisal that is when your revalidation takes place

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  • Of course if the NMC had actually been implementing PREP properly over the last thirty years they'd have some infrastructure already in place.

    Apart from people returning to practice, who has been asked for evidence of CPD when re-registering? My guess is no one, and this is the resultant chicken coming home to roost.

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  • I would cross reference this article to the roy lilley blog yesterday. This is a time consuming and flawed system that has received lots of national feedback via the roadshows to tell the NMC that.
    there must be an easier way to enable nurse to validate their practice as "live" and relevent?
    Every nurse having supervisio which is meaningful and looks at the way they record keep and work with patinets and relatives would be a start.
    with appraisal and supervision firmly in place all that data could be used for validation.
    it feels like we are duplicating effort again and nurses will carry the burden.

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  • The Roy Lily article said it all. I have just had my 39th anniversary of beginning nurse training and am now on a four year countdown to retirement. I will probably have to revalidate twice, assuming the NMC gets its act together. I feel ready for it but do not believe in it; it will not stop poor practice. Nurse training needs a radical overhaul; it has become so obsessed with being a graduate only profession and a lot of good nurses are being lost along the way( I speak as a nurse with a degree, so not sour grapes). I haven't quite forgiven the NMC for down grading a lot of formerly recordable qualifications because they hadn't 'set the standard' I'm talking about qualifications gained before their incarnation. I'll get off my soap box now....

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  • Anonymous | 27-May-2015 8:56 am

    I'm a nurse with 35years experience have taken early retirement and work 2 shifts a week on a bank basis and am at a loss of how to begin this process.
    I subscribe to NT and NStandard in attempt to keep in the loop but fear I will struggle providing reflection from colleagues due to nature of bank work.
    What happens if you default? Is registration withheld? Worried!!!
    Unsuitable or offensive?
    Anonymous | 27-May-2015 2:46 pm

    You will be fine,
    you need to have done 450 hours practice over 3 year period, so 2 shifts will be ok
    20 hours learning with others again over 3 years
    20 hours learning alone, join nursing times learning, each module equals 2 hours, again 10 over 3 years
    Finally getting testimonials from patients/relatives,peers,
    You will be fine, use Gibbs reflection cycle to reflect on testimonials and learning, your be fine
    Oh finally ensure you are getting an appraisal that is when your revalidation takes place

    I am in exactly the same position as the nurse making the first comment apart from not yet having retired.
    As bank nurses we give our experience for pay that is lower than that of agency nurses.

    We generally have very little support in appraising our work. To say that everything is going to be "fine" as the second comment states is incredibly wide of the mark. It is going to be hard enough for regular staff to jump through the hoops that this new revalidation will require as Roy Lilleys comments expose.

    What is most alarming is that this is advocated by those who have no clue what it is like to nurse in a busy ward with the already copious demands placed upon or time and the ever increasing burden of unnecessary paperwork that takes us away from the the patient.

    Please, somebody with influence get a grip.

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  • I haven't even looked at Revalidation. Where is the info pack? where are the support groups? Between the actual work, supervising other staff, going to mandatory training and other training, I don't have time to do 20 hours of learning alone! My spare time is spent a. recovering from the long shifts, b. with my family. c. doing housework, household paperwork etc etc

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