Employers of nurses and midwives have reported a “wide variation” in how much they expect it to cost them to support registrants in completing the forthcoming process of revalidation.
As part of its preparation for the new system, the Nursing and Midwifery Council commissioned an independent cost benefit analysis of revalidation by audit firm KPMG.
It looked at 119 organisations, including those that piloted the proposed new system and those that did not.
“We would not be proposing a model which we thought organisations weren’t able to deliver, bearing in mind what is already expected of them”
The analysis found a “considerable difference” between pilot and non-pilot organisations in the estimated average cost of revalidation per registrant.
Non-pilot organisations on average predicted the upfront cost of introducing revalidation would be around £240 per registrant. Then, annual costs to support a nurse or midwife in the first three years were estimated to be around £300.
Those organisations that tested the new process said the initial cost would be on average £170 per registrant and that annual investment for the first three-year cycle would be around £240 per person.
Ongoing annual costs thereafter were estimated to be around £280 per registrant by non pilot organisations and just over £85 by organisations that tested the system.
However, the regulator said it was not possible to estimate a figure on the cost of revalidation per registrant for the entire UK.
The NMC said it did not hold enough information about where registrants worked or the size of organisations to be able to accurately produce the figure.
But it noted that organisations which had tested the system estimated “considerably lower costs” for “most elements of revalidation” than the non-pilot organisations.
The KPMG report, due to be published in council papers later this week and seen by Nursing Times, said there could be a number of factors affecting the estimations and, therefore, the wide variation should be “interpreted with caution”.
It noted some organisations had planned “little or no” preparation for revalidation, while others had “highly supportive” measures that the NMC did not expect organisations to provide, such as employing additional staff to manage the revalidation process or training for confirmers.
NMC chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith said it was not a responsible use of registrants’ money for the regulator to calculate an estimated cost of revalidation to organisations per registrant.
“It is simply not possible, given the diversity of the register, to come up with that figure. A figure which, by the way registrants and organisations should be supporting now,” she said.
“We would not be proposing a model which we thought organisations weren’t able to deliver, bearing in mind what is already expected of them,” she added.
The NMC council will meet next week to decide whether to launch revalidation as planned in April.
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 would not be staggering the introduction of revalidation across different countries.