Last week the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) published the initial findings from 19 revalidation pilot sites across the UK. It seems that the response has been positive - the majority of the nurses and midwives who responded felt that they would be able to achieve the requirements for revalidation.

The NMC will make a decision about revalidation in October 2015 and, if this goes ahead, the first nurses and midwives to revalidate will be those whose registration is up for renewal in April 2016.

The General Medical Council (GMC) has already introduced a requirement for doctors to revalidate and therefore it is not surprising that the NMC is following suit.

Nurses and midwives are currently required to renew their registration every three years. The proposed revalidation model will add to this by requiring NMC registrants to evidence that they have:

  • completed the required minimum hours of practice and continuing professional development (CPD) over the 3 year period
  • obtained a minimum of five pieces of feedback over the 3 year period from a range of sources
  • recorded at least five reflections on this feedback, the Code and/or learning activities undertaken, and had a professional development discussion with another NMC registrant, covering these reflections
  • obtained confirmation from an appropriate third party that they have met the requirements for revalidation. 

Given the positive response, it seems likely that the NMC will introduce revalidation this October. To stay ahead of the game, nurses and midwives should open an NMC online account via the NMC’s website, find out their renewal date and ensure they are familiar with the Code. 

The NMC states that revalidation will provide nurses and midwives with “the opportunity to reflect on their practice against the standards in the Code and demonstrate that they are ‘living’ these standards”. The requirements should help to ensure that nurses and midwives keep up to date and address any deficiencies in their performance or understanding before a mistake is made. 

Prevention is of course better than cure, and if revalidation improves patient care and leads to fewer NMC referrals because issues with a registrant’s performance are spotted and addressed as part of a continuous revalidation process, this can only be a good thing.