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‘Wide variation’ in predicted cost of new competency checks

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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”

Jackie Smith

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.

Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith

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.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Do we really need revalidation? who's idea was all of this? As a nurse of some 15 years I have moved around in different roles and now having held senior posts, I know work in the private sector as an educator. When I look at the articles in the media and the nursing times and nursing standard I see little to be excited about in our profession. So much negativity around nursing currently. There is a great deal of bullying in hospitals and by giving so much power to line managers and employers there will inevitably be a decline in whistle blowing incidences, nurses will not speak out against a manger or employer if it will affect their revalidation and ability to continue to nurse. We all have lives away from nursing, families, dependants and a responsibilities.....our incomes are valuable, and needed.....hence there will be a reluctance to rock the boat from revalidation onwards. I don't see it as a positive move for our profession, as a nurse I feel there are better ways to ensure we remain up to date and safe to practice. We should no longer be made the scape goats for the errors and blinded actions of the wider health service and the managers that govern us......just take a look at the Francis report..... Nursing is a job yes....a vocation's in us, its the people we are, please stop treating us like we are fools.

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