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Launch of revalidation delayed by regulator until spring 2016


The new system for checking nurse’s competencies every three years is to be launched several months later than planned in order to provide more preparation time for the first wave of nurses going through the process.

Revalidation was originally due to come into effect from 31 December 2015, but the Nursing and Midwifery Council has confirmed that the first people to use the system will now be nurses due to renew their registration in April 2016.

The change in date has not been widely announced by the regulator. Instead, Nursing Times discovered it on the NMC’s website contained within a section providing information for registrants on the new system.

It states: “We are proposing that the first nurses and midwives to revalidate will be those with a renewal date in April 2016.”

“It’s important that the first people to revalidate have enough time to prepare”


Explaining the change in timetable, an NMC spokesman said: “Because it’s important that the first people to revalidate have enough time to prepare, the first people revalidating will do so in April.

“The most important milestone for nurses and midwives will be when the NMC council decides our final standards and guidance in October,” she told Nursing Times.

The Royal College of Nursing’s head of policy Howard Catton said it was “helpful” for nurses to have the revalidation launch delayed as this meant they would now have six months to prepare following the release of the final guidance.

He warned the timetable for introducing revalidation could be pushed pack even further, due to issues that could arise from the pilots and different parts of the UK being ready to introduce the system at different times.

Mr Catton said that following the election next month he expected the incoming health secretary would also want to review the revalidation process to ensure it was “proportionate, affordable and doesn’t have any unintended consequences,” which may also result in the launch date being further delayed.

“The priority must be to get the model right. If that means the timetable has to change again, then the timetable should change. The timetable should be the servant of the model rather than the other way round,” he said.

The NMC released its draft guidance and standards for revalidation in January, which are currently being used by a series of organisations that are piloting the new system.

Revalidation replaces the current process of post registration education and practice (PREP), and includes additional requirements for registration renewal.

Nurses and midwives will from now have to gain feedback on their practice, reflect upon the code of conduct, and obtain confirmation from a third party that they have met all requirements.

NMC chief executive Jackie Smith said earlier this year that revalidation would raise the standards of the profession.

She said it was not about “catching bad people,” but that it would ensure “individuals [are] taking responsibility as professionals”.

The pilot organisations – including employers, a school of nursing and a trade union – are testing the system now and following an evaluation this summer, final guidance and standards for revalidation will be agreed in October.


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Readers' comments (19)

  • More inadequate planning from the NMC. I can't wait to leave nursing forever.

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  • The NMC are making it harder for nurses to be motivated to re register. The raise in fees every year. Now they want more time spent with this revalidation system. Another idea that sounded good in a meeting but has alienated a huge amount of registered nurses yet again.

    I thought the NMC was also to support and motivate nurses not to demotivate and have us leaving in droves!

    Also for nurses working abroad, it is not possible for another NMC registered person to sign validation forms.

    This is another waste of nurses valuable time and also our registration fees.

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  • I have kept my registration abroad and given up NMC. I won't ever work in the UK again!

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  • I wish I was in a position like the other contributer to allow my registration to lapse and continue working outside the UK.
    I would then be in a position to put as much physical and professional distance as possible between me and the NMC.

    By mandating a 3rd party (!!) to decide whether or not a registrant has met the standards the NMC has placed that 3rd party in an enormous position of power in relation to the registrant.

    The NMC has effectively abrogated responsibility for determining whether any registrant should be able to remain on the register and practice - the core responsibility of any registration authority of any profession.

    God help us.

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  • This process does nothing to enhance nursing care that nurses give. Regularly working 50+hours a week including all the stuff I have to do at home as three just isn't time at work, having to write up reflection achieves what precisely? Thinking and reflecting does not require an essay to demonstrate to you what you have achieved, need to do.

    Working independently,myself employed, give me a clue how I get 3rd party validation? Who does my appraisal - me?

    The model might suit those in acute settings and NHS - but really no consideration in depth for those outside the NHS.

    Yet again, the NMC continue to ask for more money without any demonstrable accountability/value return. I will not be retaining my registration next year when this comes in and many more who might be coming up for considering retiring might think along the same lines.

    Then I will take the line of taking on HCA work for which I will not need to pay fees and remove the hassle. That will give me patient contact which I love without the bureaucracy!

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  • Of course if the NMC had really been running checks on CPD all these years this would have been easy. The truth is that they haven't - despite the fact that most people think that they have been. In truth they probably only check people returning to practice.

    Does anyone actually know someone whose CPD has been checked by the NMC at any time?

    NMC a by word for half-truths and incompetence.

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  • In an ideal world the "third party" bit could be tied to appraisal/JDR. However, as that process is often not at all what it was designed to be I doubt that would work.

    Given that nurses do not have anything like protected or guaranteed time for training, there are constant battles with managers for funding and time for any training (assuming anything relevant to one's work is available), could the NMC please suggest how this can be achieved?

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  • no wonder nurses are leaving

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  • I have to renew my registration every April, meaning that I always cop for the increase in fees and now I will have to jump through hoops just to renew my registration next April; all so that I can carry on giving extra hours for free to the NHS! I cannot wait to retire!

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  • why don't more nurses and midwives go self-employed and open up their own community services practices as is the case in Europe?

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