Employers are not obliged to provide specific revalidation support for nurses and midwives, according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, but the regulator has suggested ways that trusts can offer assistance to registrants.
The regulator has issued a guide for employers that covers two different levels of support they could choose to provide – either the “minimum” or that which could be “reasonably expected”.
It has reiterated that revalidation – the new system of competency checks that will allow nurses and midwives to renew their registration every three years – is a requirement of individual registrants.
But the NMC noted that “good employment practice” required employers to have support in place so their nurses and midwives were competent to provide safe and effective care.
“This guide sets out the type of support employers could provide to help their nurses and midwives revalidate”
The regulator’s guide covers four areas in which employers could provide assistance – awareness and culture, resources, systems and processes, and guidance, tools and support.
As a minimum, employers could raise awareness about revalidation among registrants, ensure there are no “significant” organisational obstacles to the process, check all nurse and midwives are on the NMC register, and know where to obtain further information on the process.
Among its suggestions for employers that want to provide more support, the NMC has recommended organisations ensure line managers are made available to “confirm” nurses and midwives – a revalidation requirement which means they are expected to sign off the registrant’s portfolio.
It also suggested that space and time be provided for nurses and midwives to hold their professional development and confirmation discussions, if these take place outside of an appraisal.
This higher level of support could also include employers allowing nurses and midwives to access existing feedback, such as audits, satisfaction surveys and complaints, stated the guidance.
As part of revalidation, registrants will have to gain feedback on their practice and then reflect on it in relation to the NMC code of conduct.
Employers are also encouraged to provide information to nurses and midwives about whom in the organisation can “confirm” them, as well as sharing examples of what a written reflection or piece of feedback looks like.
Another suggestion is for organisations to review their systems for team activities that would count as “participatory” continuing professional development. Provisional revalidation guidance state registrants must complete half of their required 40 hours of CPD by interacting with others.
In its latest round-up on progress around revalidation, the NMC said: “Supporting revalidation in the workplace will help make sure that nurses and midwives can practise safely and effectively.
“This guide sets out the type of support employers could provide to help their nurses and midwives revalidate,” it added.