Earlier this year the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) announced that it would be introducing ‘revalidation’ – a new process by which working nurses and midwives will demonstrate that they are practising safely.

With plans to implement revalidation from October 2015 and onwards, why have the NMC decided to introduce a scheme now? And what exactly does this new process entail?

When announcing the new revalidation process, the NMC reassured nurses and midwives by saying that:

‘Revalidation is about promoting good practice across the whole population of nurses and midwives. It’s not an assessment of a nurse or midwife’s fitness to practise, and it’s not intended to address bad practice amongst a small number of nurses and midwives.’

However, experienced professionals operating in this area may feel a little bit uncomfortable and confused about the idea of revalidation.

With the huge skills shortage in UK nursing, the NHS and private healthcare institutions are coming under increasing pressure to source new candidates for roles within the industry. The revalidation is the NMC’s tangible answer to providing proof that these new candidates are stringently vetted before they can practice – and are continually assessed throughout their year.

Whilst nurses and midwives will be required to complete revalidation every three years in order to work, luckily the requirements that you will need to fulfil don’t seem to be particularly daunting.

According to the NMC website:

The proposed requirements include:

- practising a minimum number of hours

- undertaking continuing professional development (CPD)

- obtaining feedback about your practice

- reflecting on the Code, CPD and feedback about your practice and discussing these with another NMC registrant

- providing a health and character declaration, and

- having appropriate cover under an indemnity arrangement

Nurses will also have to demonstrate to a third party that they have met the revalidation requirements.

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