Last month the Department of Health confirmed the implementation of revalidation for nurses and midwives from April 2016. This confirmation approved the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s new system for all nurses and midwives – including those in GP practices – to ensure that they regularly demonstrate they are able to deliver care in a safe, effective and professional way.
The introduction of revalidation is the most significant change to regulation in a generation but what is it and what do practice managers need to know about it?
In a nutshell, all nurses and midwives will have to show they are staying up to date in their practice and living the values of the Code, by reflecting on their practice and engaging in discussions with colleagues. For the first time, they will also have to obtain confirmation that they have met all the requirements before they apply to renew their place on the register every three years.
Nearly 16,000 nurses and midwives will be the first to revalidate in April 2016. All 685,000 nurses and midwives on the NMC’s register will go through the new process as their registration becomes due for renewal over the course of the next three years.
Firstly, it’s worth pointing out that revalidation is the responsibility of individual nurses and midwives and they own the revalidation process. The revalidation requirements that nurses and midwives need to meet are as follows:
- A minimum of 450 practice hours (900 hours for those revalidating as both a nurse and midwife (including Nurse/SCPHN and Midwife/SCPHN)).
- 35 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), of which at least 20 hours must be participatory learning
- Five pieces of practice-related feedback
- Five written reflective accounts on their CPD and/or practice-related feedback and/or an event or experience in their practice, and how this relates to the Code
- Reflective discussion with another nurse or midwife
- Health and character declaration
- Professional indemnity arrangement.
These requirements need to have been met during the three years since the nurse or midwife’s registration was last renewed or they joined the register.
The role of employers
You are not obliged to provide specific support to the nurses and midwives you employ. However, as an employer of regulated professionals, good practice requires you to support the nurses and midwives you employ in providing safe and effective care.
As well as offering support, practices could also be asked to act as a confirmer and decide whether a nurse or midwife has met the revalidation requirements. If you are asked to take on this role it’s worth heading to www.nmc.org.uk/confirmation for more information.
You could also be asked to act as a reflective discussion partner. Once again, more information is available on the NMC website.
Preparing your workforce for revalidation
Ahead of the roll-out of revalidation in April, there are a number of questions you can ask to ensure you and your staff are ready. They are:
- Have you seen the new Code which forms the basis of registration and revalidation?
- Do you know when your nurses and midwives need to revalidate and renew their registration? It won’t all be at the same time.
- Have you thought about the resources you will need – administration, financial and process?
- Where appropriate, have you ensured that line managers (or other individuals) are available to act as confirmers and reflective discussion partners?
- Is your register up to date?
- Have you had a conversation with the relevant people to plan incorporating appropriate elements of revalidation within staff appraisal?
- Have you reviewed current arrangements for portfolio development and any good practice?
- Have you considered how revalidation can be linked to supervision – clinical and non-clinical?
- Have you allowed access to feedback where it already exists (including audits, satisfaction surveys, complaints and the nurse or midwife’s individual appraisal)?
- Have you encouraged nursing staff to sign up to NMC Online?
Finally, the NMC has developed some excellent guidance to support employers and staff, including:
- Revalidation for employers, which sets out support you can provide to staff for their preparation.
- How to revalidate with the NMC– this sets out how nurses and midwives can renew their registration every three years.
Both of these documents contain some valuable insight into the new system and are well worth turning to ahead of the first wave of revalidations in April.
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