The Nursing and Midwifery Council is to discuss reducing the number of hours of continuing professional development required by its new system of checks to remain on the register every three years.
The NMC’s draft guidance released earlier this year stipulated registrants would be required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of CPD as part of its new revalidation system – which is due to replace post-registration education and practice (PREP).
But Nursing Times has been told the NMC council will be recommended to reduce the CPD requirement in the final version of the guidance that will be agreed next week.
NMC council members will now be asked to approve a figure of 35 hours of CPD in the three years leading up to registration renewal – the same requirement as the current PREP system.
The expected change in requirement from the draft follows feedback from organisations piloting the new system of checks, according to the NMC.
“We have always said the whole purpose of piloting revalidation was to listen to feedback”
Nursing Times understands there was a suggestion that trusts were concerned about the additional cost involved of increasing CPD from 35 to 40 hours, though the NMC would not confirm this.
NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith told Nursing Times the proposed change was the result of pilot organisations questioning whether there was evidence to show the benefit of raising the minimum number of hours from 35.
She said: “What’s been suggested to us – and I think quite rightly – is the NMC proposed 40 hours of CPD, and what’s the evidence for increasing it?
“That’s a fair challenge. We have always said the whole purpose of piloting revalidation was to listen to feedback,” she added.
“It would seem to be a sensible consideration to ask the council whether the model should stick with the original 35 hours, bearing in mind that is part of PREP anyway,” said Ms Smith.
A key finding from independent analysis of the pilots, as well as other organisations’ preparation for the new system, suggested the highest one-off cost for revalidation was expected to be from providing CPD support.
Findings from the analysis, due to be published in council papers on Thursday, stated that it was “in particular driven by supporting participatory learning”.
“What’s been put to us is: what is the evidence for increasing from 35 hours to 40,” said Ms Smith, when asked by Nursing Times if the recommendation to council not to increase CPD hours was a result of organisations reporting high costs for supporting registrants.
She suggested employers were “losing sight” of the fact that 35 hours was “already expected” under PREP.
“It would be interesting to talk to organisations about the fact registrants are not doing what they should be doing now,” she said.
Meanwhile, a requirement for at least 20 of the 35 CPD hours to comprise participatory learning is expected to remain the same as in the draft version of the NMC’s revalidation guidance.
The NMC council will vote on proposed changes to revalidation next week, when it will also decide whether to launch the new system in April as planned.