The practice feedback and reflection elements of the new system of revalidation are likely to take nurses and midwives many more hours to complete than current checks on competency.
Registrants testing the forthcoming revalidation system have reported that, on average, they spent an extra 18 and a half hours meeting its requirements, compared to the time needed under the existing system.
“The additional bit is [that] we are saying you need to reflect on your practice in relation to the code”
The new system of revalidation being introduced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council is expected to replace post-registration education and practice (PREP) from next year.
Draft guidance on revalidation released by the NMC earlier this year included a number of key requirements to be met every three years for registration renewal, which do not feature in PREP.
Independent analysis of the pilot sites testing revalidation found registrants were spending extra time on certain new elements, such as collecting feedback, and reflecting on and discussing their practice.
The findings, due to be published in council papers on Thursday, also showed that registrants needed more time due to familiarising themselves with the revalidation requirements and also recording their practice hours.
However, it was noted there was a “wide range in the additional amounts of time registrants reported spending”, with some requiring a far higher number of extra hours than others.
While the overall average time spent was 18 and a half hours, this included some extreme examples, which pushed the figure up.
Most people reported the extra time spent – on top of what was already required for PREP – was around 10.5 hours, according to the analysis, which was carried out for the NMC by audit firm KPMG.
When asked by Nursing Times if this was a reasonable amount of extra time for registrants to be expected to spend, NMC chief executive Jackie Smith said: “We’ve built on what was already there.
“The additional bit is [that] we are saying you need to reflect on your practice in relation to the code,” she said. “And the code sets out how nurses and midwives should [already] be upholding the highest possible standards.”
Ms Smith was unable to provide Nursing Times with an average figure for how long nurses were currently spending on PREP.
In contrast to the additional reflective elements, Nursing Times understands the NMC is expected to row-back on plans to increase the number of hours needed for continuing professional development under revalidation from 35 to 40, meaning the CPD requirement will be the same as that for PREP.
The NMC council will next week vote on whether to launch the new system in April as planned.
Ms Smith said all four UK countries had indicated they would be ready to launch in April, but that it was for the council to decide next week.
Previously concerns were raised that England was lagging behind in its preparation.
Ms Smith confirmed the regulator had no plans to stagger the introduction of revalidation across different countries.