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Revalidation model 'inadequate for significant number of nurses'


The proposed revalidation system for nurses and midwives is currently “inadequate” for a “significant portion” of registrants that do not have the same levels of employer support as others, according to nurses.

Registrants in smaller and non-NHS organisations risk being “unfairly disadvantaged,” because they may receive little or no help from bosses when carrying out the new competency checks that will allow them to renew their registration every three years, they said.

“For the significant portion of registrants who are outside [a particular set of circumstances] the model and guidance… are inadequate”

RCN briefing

The concerns were raised following a Royal College of Nursing survey of 375 registrants, who trialled the new system, and in response to ongoing consultation.

Pilot participants said there was also confusion about the link between revalidation and fitness to practise procedures and also around the purpose of the “confirmer”, who signs off the registrant once they have met all the competency requirements.

They said it was unclear whether the person confirming a registrant was just stating they had seen evidence of meeting the revalidation requirements, or whether they were required to use their professional judgement to ensure it reached a certain standard.

Meanwhile, some employers taking part in the revalidation pilot claimed they were being handed the responsibility for revalidation – due to the confirmer signing off the registrant – when it should lie with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, which is introducing the system.

A lack of access to and confidence in using IT among some registrants has caused them “serious anxieties” due to current proposals requiring revalidation documents to be processed online, noted the union.

“[Organisations allocating confirmers to registrants] undermines the principle of registrants taking control of their own revalidation”

RCN briefing

Interference from some employers was also highlighted, after it was found that some pilot organisations allocated confirmers to nurses.

“This undermines the principle of registrants taking control of their own revalidation which runs through the NMC’s draft guidance…. organisations should not manage registrants’ revalidation,” said the RCN in its response to the NMC revalidation evaluation.

In addition, the survey found there was confusion about provisional NMC guidance and what level of detail is required by registrants in their written reflective accounts and feedback.

This echoed the findings of Nursing Times’ own research into the pilots, which revealed nurses required clearer guidance from the NMC on how to complete a range of standards as part of revalidation.

In its briefing document, the RCN said: “The proposed revalidation model and draft supporting guidance is well suited to registrants who fit a particular set of circumstances, including individuals who work in a team within an NHS setting in clinical role, have a supportive and engaged line manager and employer, have regular good quality appraisals, and have online access and are IT literate.

“We are particularly pleased that members overwhelmingly found going through revalidation to be a positive experience”

NMC spokeswoman

“However, for the significant portion of registrants who are outside these circumstances the model and guidance as they currently stand are inadequate,” it said.

The union said it supported the principle of revalidation – to help protect the public and sustain a culture of professionalism among nurses – and was committed to helping the NMC develop an “effective and proportionate” system.

An NMC spokeswoman said it welcomed the RCN’s input on the pilots and, along with its own ongoing analysis, would review the revalidation guidance.

“We are particularly pleased that members overwhelmingly found going through revalidation to be a positive experience, and valued the opportunity to have a professional development discussion with another registrant,” she added.

Pilot organisations across the UK completed testing of the system by the end of May. The NMC will finalise standards and guidance in October, following evaluation of the pilots.


Readers' comments (34)

  • Throwing stones in glass houses?

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  • 13 July 2015

    Why would anybody make it more difficult for a registrant to renew their professional registration to practice nursing and midwifery?

    If its about accountability for your actions to practice your profession. Like checks and balances between Congress which is the legislative branch; the Office of the President which is the Executive branch and the Supreme Court which is the Judicial branch of the Presidential form of government.

    Checks and Balances should be the sole responsibility of the NMC. Not the employer.

    Revalidation Activities: Completion of 40 hours of CPD, Collating Feedback and Documenting and Discussing your Reflections with another registrant. This is tedious. Its good if you have a lot of freetime.

    Lets say you are working full time, a band five staff nurse, have a family, have a mortgage, a salary that could only make both ends meet, has to pay an annual registration fee of GBP 120.00 to the NMC. This will make your family work life more difficult and miserable. To add insult. You need to do your revalidation activity in your OWN Freetime.

    The NMC had failed to anticipate this scenario among the majority of the registrants. Can we comply with revalidation?

    Expect the professional registration fee to increase in the future. Because NMC is paying a huge sum of fee to the PSA - a quasi independent body that regulates professional bodies like the GMC, NMC, HPC.

    Please NMC make my work life easy. The living cost is rising every year. I have no freetime to do this revalidation activity. My employer is Not keen in supporting this revalidation process.

    NMC's intention of weeding out malpractice among the registrant is good in protecting the public. If somebody is really determine to do harm among the public. You cannot stop them. The only thing that you can do is damage control.

    NMC if you are open to suggestion. Please listen to this: Continuing Education or CPD should be done online or if you do not have access to IT. Subscription to a professional journal that offers continuing educational units that would update the knowledge and skills of the registrant. Small Private sector employers do not have the resources for participative learning. Stop collating feedback because this is not achievable. Reflection can only be done on the registrants freetime which is not adequate. It would be best to make the confirmer your work colleague or any other professional registrant.

    Please NMC revise your Revalidation Activity. So majority of the full time registrants can comply.
    Consider the busy family working life, small private employers, rise of living cost and limited resource of registrants.

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  • They should stop meddling and leave things as they are now. Waste of time and money.

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  • totally agree with anon 9-59am-

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  • So do I

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  • Me too. Plus, disband NMC & give nursing oversight to HCPC.

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  • As a midwife I already have a proven process of maintaining my professional registration through Supervision. Why have the NMC chosen to end this successful process to replace it with one that appears to already be failing ?

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  • I totally agree with Anon 2.26am and 9.59am

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  • All this nonsense has made me decide to pack it in, after 40 years nursing I can't be bothered any more! Sadly I feel that my experience counts for nothing. Goodbye nursing hello teaching IT.

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  • Revalidation shouldn't be difficult. The most important part is preparation and organisation. Gathering evidence as you go along and putting it in a file. It is true nurses have busy lives but revalidation is also about raising standards and aspiring to be a better nurse it is an opportunity to reflect on your practice and plan for your future. Revalidation should be a positive experience.

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