New standards for readmission to the Nursing and Midwifery Council register have been proposed to stop registrants from taking advantage of a loophole that could enable them to avoid revalidation.
If approved, the new rule will mean registrants trying to re-enter the register within six months of their registration expiring will still be required to complete revalidation.
Revalidation is the new system of competency checks required to renew registration every three years.
It will replace PREP and is expected to be introduced from April, if it is approved by the NMC council next week.
In papers due be discussed by the NMC council on 8 October, the regulator said the new rule would “deter any registrants from seeking to avoid the revalidation requirements by lapsing their registration and then immediately seeking readmission”.
“If a nurse or midwife does not revalidate and then applies for readmission within six months of their registration expiring, they will be required to meet the same revalidation requirements as were in place at the time their renewal was due, unless they are able to demonstrate that exceptional circumstances apply,” added the papers.
The proposed rule change comes after the NMC announced it would also be altering other readmission requirements.
From November, those who allow their registration to lapse will no longer be able to take advantage of a grace period, in which they can pay their fee or submit documentation up to three months late but still be authorised to work again within a couple of days.
Instead, from next month they will be removed from the register immediately and will have to go through a formal process of readmission, which takes up to six weeks to complete.
The NMC council will meet next week to decide whether to approve the launch of revalidation from April as planned.