All registered nurses should be aware that, starting in April 2016, you must revalidate with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to renew your professional registration and to allow you to continue to practice as a registered nurse. The new process of revalidation replaces the Prep (Post Registration Education and Practice) requirements and requires to be undertaken every three years.
Revalidation introduces new requirements that focus on up-to-date practice and professional development, reflection on the professional standards of practice and behaviour as set out in the Code and engagement in professional discussion with other registered nurses.
Revalidation aims to: raise awareness of the Code; encourage a culture of sharing, reflection and improvement amongst the profession; promote good practice and strengthen public confidence in the profession.
In order to revalidate the following requirements must have been met over the three year period since you last renewed your registration or since you joined the register:
Practice hours – 450 practice hours (or 900 if renewing as both a nurse and midwife);
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – 35 Hours of CPD which includes 20 hours of participatory learning. This CPD must be relevant to your scope of practice as a nurse;
Practice Related Feedback – 5 pieces of practice related feedback;
Reflective Accounts – 5 written reflective accounts, recorded on the approved form, which refer to what you have learned from your CPD, your practice related feedback or an event in your practice and how they relate to the Code;
Reflective Discussion – A reflective discussion with another NMC Registrant about your written reflective accounts. This discussion should be recorded on the approved form;
Health and Character – A health and character declaration which includes a requirement to declare any cautions, convictions or fitness to practise determinations;
Professional Indemnity Arrangement – A declaration that you have, or will have when practicing, appropriate cover under an indemnity arrangement; and
Confirmation – Demonstration to an appropriate person that you have met the revalidation requirements. This should be obtained in the final year of the three year renewal period and must be recorded on the form provided by the NMC.
The NMC suggests that you keep your evidence of how you have met the revalidation requirements in a portfolio. It is important that you keep a record of your evidence as you may be selected to provide it to the NMC as part of the verification process whereby, each year, the NMC will request to see further evidence from a small sample of Registrants that they have met the requirements of revalidation.
Preparing for revalidation
To prepare for revalidation you should:
Join NMC online – Applications for revalidation require to be submitted online therefore it is important to ensure you have an NMC online account setup before April 2016;
Make sure you know when your renewal date is – You can find out your renewal date via NMC online;
Ensure the NMC has your up to date contact details- The NMC will notify you at least 60 days before your application for revalidation is due and you will then have 60 days to login to your NMC online account and complete the revalidation application. It is therefore important that the NMC have your most up to date contact details;
Make sure you are familiar with the Code – Revalidation encourages you to incorporate the Code into your practice and personal development. You should therefore ensure that you are familiar with the Code;
Read the NMC Guidance ‘How to revalidate with the NMC’ – nurses must confirm that they have read this guidance in order to revalidate;
Annual Retention Fee – Remember that although the revalidation process takes place every three years, you must still pay your annual retention fee to the NMC every year in order to maintain your registration.
Revalidation and CQC Inspections
Although compliance with the Revalidation requirements is not something that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are specifically required to check at inspections, it may be relevant to demonstrating compliance with Regulation 18 (2) (c) of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations, which deals with staffing. The guidance relative to this regulation provides that: “Where registration with a professional body is a requirement of the role, providers must make sure that staff are able to meet the requirements of the relevant professional regulator throughout their employment”. As such, the CQC encourage providers of adult social care that employ nurses to support their staff with the new revalidation requirements coming into force.
For full details about the requirements of revalidation, including the guidance and relevant forms, nurses and employers should consult the NMC’s website.
By Laura Paton, Solicitor (Qualified in Scotland), Ridouts LLP