Q: Why is revalidation being introduced?
Revalidation is being introduced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in April 2016 to build further confidence and improve protection with the public, employers, and fellow professionals by ensuring that nurses and midwives are up-to-date with their professional practice.
Q: What do I have to do to revalidate?
- 450 practice hours – Over the three years prior to the renewal of your registration.
- 35 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – Must be relevant to your practice as a nurse and over the three years prior to the renewal of your registration. 20 hours must be through participatory learning.
- Five pieces of practice-related feedback (at least) – Feedback can be informal / formal, written or verbal and from a number of sources including patients, service users, students and colleagues.
- Five written reflections and one discussion – On the Code, your CPD and practice related feedback. You must discuss these reflections with another NMC-registered nurse.
- Health and character declaration – You must declare if you have been convicted of any criminal offence or issued with a formal caution.
- Professional Indemnity Arrangement Confirmation from a third party – An appropriate third party confirmer is your line manager or an NMC registrant which you work with.
You will also be contacted by the NMC 60 days before your revalidation application is due. Your revalidation date will be the first day of the month in which your registration expires and as part of that you will need to submit the online application before that date. We recommend at least 2 weeks prior in case you come across any unforeseen delays.
Q: What can I count as continuing professional development (CPD)?
It needs to be relevant to your practice. Mandatory training can be counted but the NMC are ideally looking for something that fits close to what you specialize in.
You can often get CPD points / hours online, at events, conferences and workshops so take a look at what’s local to you – some of which could be free! Remember, 20 out of the 35 hours need to be participatory which means that you need to be in a group setting.
Q: Where can I get feedback from?
You can collect feedback verbally, written, in a formal or informal format. It could also relate to you as an individual or through the team you’re in. To support you in obtaining feedback, Medical Station timesheets have been specifically designed for you to collect individual feedback.
If you look to collect feedback from a patient, do remember to get their consent first and do not provide personal details which could identify the patient.
Q: How do I write a reflective account?
You need to follow the NMC guidelines and complete each section they propose. You can either download the NMC form, the RCNi Portfolio account. The questions which you have to answer include:
- What was the nature of the CPD activity/ practice-related feedback?
- What did you learn from the CPD activity and/or feedback?
- How did you change or improve your work as a result?
- How is this relevant to the Code?
Q: What can I write a reflective account on?
Training (CPD), an event or experience in practice and feedback that you have collected about yourself or the team you are part of (verbal, written, formal or informal).
Q: What is a reflective discussion?
Throughout the three years leading up to your revalidation date, you should be completing reflective pieces (at least five) to evidence as part of the process.
The reflective discussion follows on from your written reflections and requires you to have a face-to-face conversation with another Nursing and Midwifery (NMC) registrant to discuss your written reflective accounts in detail.
You do not need to work with the person on a daily basis and they do not need to be within the same specialism as you, but you will need to complete the reflective discussion form and obtain a signature from the other NMC registration to evidence that you do not practice in professional isolation.
Q: Do I need to keep a portfolio?
It is strongly recommended you do so. You portfolio can be paper based or online (e-portfolio) either way it need to hold you evidence of each requirement ready to be discussed in your confirmation meeting. It is also needed as future reference should you be asked to provide your portfolio as part of the NMC’s random sample of verification.
Q: Will I have to send off my entire portfolio?
No. You will only complete the online revalidation application form confirming that you have met all of the requirements. You need to keep you portfolio as evidence for the three years and we recommend you keep a copy of it for future reference. The NMC will be selecting a random sample of nurses to send through their portfolio to verify their declarations as part of their revalidation application. If you are selected it does not necessarily mean there are any concerns about your application, and you can continue to practise while the NMC reviews the information you provide.
Q: What is the purpose of a confirmation meeting?
The confirmation meeting is the final step before you submit your revalidation application. Its purpose is to review all evidence collected over the last three years as part of the renewal process.
Q: Who can act as my confirmer?
Whilst it’s recommended that the confirmer is an NMC registrant, it’s not a must. They should however, be considered to be your line manager and If that’s not possible, you can seek confirmation from another UK registered healthcare professional that you work with e.g. doctor, dentist or pharmacist.
If you work with Medical Station on a full time or regular basis, you will be given access to a Medical Station Confirmer for your third party confirmation.
Q: Is revalidation a test?
No. Revalidation will not be an assessment on fitness to practice, but it will be used to promote good practice across the whole population of nurses and midwives. The NMC have also confirmed that this is not intended to address bad practice amongst a select few nurses and midwives.
Q: How do I find out my revalidation date?
Sign up or log-in to the NMC Online to find out your revalidation and renewal date. Be sure to keep all of your contact information up to date so that they can send important reminders. You will receive notification from the NMC at least 60 days prior to your application renewal.
Q: What is my revalidation date?
It’s the first day of the month in which your registration expiries. So if you know your registration expires on the 12 June 2016, your revalidation date will be the 1 June 2016.
Q: How do I submit my revalidation application?
You will need to submit your application to revalidate through NMC Online. If you haven’t registered with NMC Online you can do so here: http://www.nmc.org.uk/Registration/NMC-Online/
Q: What happens if I don’t complete my revalidation?
If you don’t submit your revalidation application in time your registration will lapse which means that it will be illegal for you to practice as a nurse. To return onto the register you will have to apply for readmission which could take up to six weeks. If you submit your revalidation application in time but it is refused because you have failed to meet your revalidation requirements, you can appeal this decision within 28 days of the date on your decision letter.
Q: Are there any arrangements for exceptional circumstances if I cannot meet revalidation requirements?
The NMC have special arrangements in place for nurses and midwives who cannot meet the revalidation requirements as a result of exceptional circumstances. By exceptional circumstances they mean that you have not been in practice for sufficient time between October 2015 when the revalidation guidance was published and your revalidation application date(for example, if you have been on maternity leave or sick leave) to meet the additional requirements, or you cannot meet one or more of the requirements at any time because a protected characteristic under the Equality Act may apply.
If you are able to establish that exceptional circumstances apply in your case, you will still need to meet the Prep requirements for renewal. Please see NMC guidance sheet on exceptional circumstances for further information at: www.nmc.org.uk/standards/revalidation/revalidation-guidance-and-resources.
Q: Can I Request an extension to submit my revalidation application?
The NMC have said they will not usually consider any requests for extensions to submit a revalidation application. You should have met the requirements during the three years prior to the renewal of your registration. However, if you believe that you have a good reason why you cannot submit your revalidation application by the specified date, you must contact the NMC as far in advance of your revalidation application date as possible to discuss your situation.
The NMC state in their guidance that they are only able to grant an extension prior to the date your registration is due to lapse. Any extensions will only be granted for a period of up to six weeks. In granting an extension, the NMC will take into account:
- whether you have contacted the NMC in advance of the date your revalidation application is due;
- the reason why you cannot submit your revalidation application by the specified date;
- whether you are capable of completing the outstanding revalidation requirements and submitting your application within the additional period of time;
- whether there are any concerns about your fitness to practice, and
- Whether the annual fee has been or will be paid by the required date. Any extension the NMC agree in relation to your revalidation application would not include an extension to the date on which your annual fee is due to be paid.
Q: What happens after I have sent off my revalidation application?
After you have submitted the application and have paid your renewal fee’s you will have the option of printing off confirmation of your submitted application. Once your application has been successfully processed and your payment has been received, the NMC will send you an email confirming that your registration has been renewed. We recommended that you check the register on the NMC online to double check that it’s completed and approved.
Q: What happens if I go onto maternity leave?
You will still be required to revalidate and evidence the requirements. If you have any concerns, contact the NMC and raise the question with them to get clarification.