A guide to NMC Revalidation: everything you need to know
What is NMC Revalidation?
Nursing and Midwifery Council Revalidation, NMC is a process that all nurses and midwives based in the UK have to do if they wish to still work in the UK and want to stay registered with the Nursery and Midwife Council (NMC).
So you can continue to grow and develop in your role and learn how to reflect on your work, the NMC require revalidations every 3 years. The main aspect of the revalidation is for you to reflect on ‘The Code’ and for you to be able to demonstrate that you can work up to its high standards.
To help you get the most out of your NMC revalidation, this guide contains everything you need to know about the revalidation process.
NMC Revalidation requirements
To go through the revalidation process, you have to meet several revalidation requirements. This is to prove to the NMC that your skills and knowledge are kept up to date and that you carry out efficient and more importantly safe practice.
These requirements include:
- 450 practice hours (or 900 hours if you wish to renew 2 registrations e.g. for a nurse and a midwife)
- 35 hours of evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
- 20 hours of participatory learning
- 5 pieces of practice-related feedback
- 5 written reflective accounts
- A reflective discussion
- A health and character declaration
- A professional indemnity arrangement
How to submit your application
You now have to submit your revalidation application online. To do this, you have to create an NMC online account.
This account can also tell you when you need to renew your registration to let you know when your revalidation application is due.
This is usually on the 1st of the month when your registration is due to expire.
This account also allows you to set up reminders to be sent to you 60 days before the revalidation application is due, also known as your ‘Registration Renewal Notice’. During the 60 days, you will then be able to submit your renewal application.
In this period, you also need to make sure you meet all the requirements of the application. The recommendation is that you should work towards these requirements during your 3-year registration period.
This will help you be well-prepared when the application is due.
Retaining your registration status also requires you to pay an annual fee.
You can set up a Direct Debit easily, which also allows the fee to be taken even after the revalidation application date.
If you don’t pay your fee on time, your registration lapses and you won’t be able to work until you are readmitted which can take up to 6 weeks.
How to start your NMC Revalidation application
To start your application, there are a few things you need:
- A portfolio of evidence: This is confirmation that you can meet all of the revalidation requirements and have the evidence to prove it
- Contact details: This includes all the names and contact details of your reflective discussion partner and your confirmer
As mentioned before, you also need to pay your annual fee, otherwise, the NMC won’t be able to process the revalidation application. Your application then needs to be confirmed and can take up to 2 days to be confirmed.
Everything you submitted as part of your application should be kept in case you ever have to refer to the details. Some applications may also require further verification if more information is required, so bear this in mind.
Every year the NMC selects a sample of different nurses, midwives and associates for an extra verification stage.
People who have been selected should be notified within 24 hours of applying, giving you plenty of time to prepare. You’ll then be given 21 days to provide the NMC with the further information they asked for.
How to build a portfolio for NMC revalidation
The portfolio is the most important part of your revalidation application. This is how you demonstrate your knowledge and experience of being a midwife, nurse or nursing associate. It’s how the NMC determine the level of experience you have to be revalidated.
Here are some of the key points on how to build your portfolio:
Your practice hours
Your number of practice hours is extremely important to your revalidation application. This means ensuring that you complete the right hours for your practice. All roles require 450 hours of practice.
If you are to be registered for a nurse and midwife position or a nursing associate and nurse then you will need 900 hours in total so you can complete 450 hours of each practice. If you wish to complete a triple registration you will need 1350 hours in total of practice.
One of the best ways to make sure you complete the required hours is by completing a practice hours log. This not only helps you to easily track the hours you complete but also makes it easier to show your confirmer that you meet the requirements.
These hours are a part of your portfolio as they help you to demonstrate your knowledge, skills and experience of being a registered nurse, midwife or nursing associate.
The tasks for these hours can massively vary from caring for patients to managing or helping colleagues.
However, there is something to fall back on if you don’t complete the necessary hours. Instead, you have to complete an approved return to practice programme or you could also complete a Test of Competence before your revalidation date.
Ensuring you have enough training CPD hours for NMC revalidation
Another part of your portfolio is making sure you have completed the 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD).
These hours have to be taken in the 3 years since your last registration renewal or since you joined the register.
Another thing to bear in mind is you also have to complete 20 hours of participatory learning as part of the 35 hours of CPD.
To complete this CPD training, you need to maintain some kind of accurate record of evidence of your CPD. This can include:
- The CPD method you choose
- A description of your topic and how it relates to your practice
- The dates of the activity
- The number of hours you completed for the activity, including participatory learning hours
- The identification of the section of The Code most relevant to your practice
- Any evidence of you undertaking the CPD activity
The good news is that you’re free to choose any type of CPD activity that will be the most useful for your professional development. This gives you a bit of extra flexibility to tailor your professional development.
The only rule to meet the requirement is the activity just needs to involve some form of interaction with another professional.
This could also take place in a physical or even a virtual environment as there’s no rule requiring you to be in the same room as the professionals you are undertaking the activity with.
If you’re stuck for ideas for your CPD activity, some examples include:
- Attending a conference
- Participating in a workshop
- Group meetings outside of daily practice
- Finding a new way of working
- Discussing a specific topic or event
Maximizing your CPD: Leveraging NMC Standards of Proficiency for Effective Planning and Reflection
The Code is a good ‘rulebook’ to follow to plan out your CPD. However, the NMC also has a Standards of Proficiency that can also help to plan your CPD activity.
One of their main standards is to thoroughly consider your scope of practice. For example, what further knowledge or skills could help you as a midwife or nurse?
These standards also allow you to reflect on your practice and help you identify any gaps for your further learning. This includes helping you to identify ways you can improve your knowledge and skill set. You can undergo some self-reflection with help from your line manager and your colleagues.
Use the Standards of Proficiency to think of any other areas where you could benefit from some improvement.
One of the most important factors to bear in mind is to plan your CPD well in advance so you can get the most out of your professional development plan.
The NMC also recommend that you complete your CPD hours during the 3-year revalidation period. This assures you are well prepared for your application due date. You should also make a record of the CPD hours you complete. This is important so you can easily show your confirmer that you meet the required hours.
Your practice-related feedback
Another part of the portfolio is ensuring you receive 5 pieces of practice-related feedback. You must also receive these pieces of feedback during the 3 years since your last revalidation or when you joined the register.
You’ll most likely receive plenty of feedback as a nurse, midwife or nursing associate. These pieces of feedback can come from any source. It can be in a variety of forms, including written and verbal feedback. They can also be formal or informal pieces.
For example, you could receive feedback from:
- A patient
- Service users
- Other colleagues
- Team performance reports
The best way to collect feedback is to keep a record of the content of the feedback in some form of a log. You should also make a note of how you will use these pieces of feedback to improve your practice.
In this log, you shouldn’t include any information that could identify the person providing you with the feedback.
Written reflective accounts
Like with the practice-related feedback, you also need 5 written reflective accounts all from the 3 years since your last renewal or since you joined the register.
Each written reflective account has to be recorded on a pre-approved form. The accounts require certain details, which include:
- The instance of your CPD
- A piece of practice-related feedback
- Evidence of an event or experience in your professional practice
- How all of these factors relate to The Code
This section of the portfolio is also to encourage all nurses and midwives to reflect on their practice. These accounts also help you to identify any gaps for improvement or any changes they might need to make to their practice.
Each reflection can include different aspects of your practice as listed above or even a combination of all of those factors.
The NMC recommend that you think about The Code when writing these reflective accounts for your practice and your professional development.
To record all of these reflections, they need to be recorded on a reflective accounts form.
They just need to be brief accounts of what you have learnt. Also, how these accounts helped you improve your practice and how the accounts related to The Code in any way.
They can also be recorded online or on paper. As with the feedback, you can’t include any information that may identify others.
Your reflective discussion
Another section of the portfolio involves a reflective discussion with another NMC registrant. This discussion has to include:
- Your 5 written reflective accounts about your CPD,
- Your practice-related feedback and any events or
- Experience from your practice and how all of this relates to The Code.
The NMC registrant has to sign a pre-approved form that includes their name, NMC pin, email, their professional address, postcode and the date of the discussion.
To most registrants, this part of the portfolio is known as the most enjoyable and rewarding part of the entire revalidation process.
You could choose another registered nurse, midwife or nursing associate to discuss with. This could also be a regular colleague or someone entirely different.
The main requirements the NMC have for this discussion are that it is in-person and that the discussion doesn’t involve identifying anyone else.
The other main requirement is that if your confirmer is registered with the NMC, then the reflective discussion can be a part of your confirmation discussion. If the confirmer isn’t registered with the NMC, you need to have your reflective discussion before your confirmation discussion.
To record the reflective discussion, you have to fill out the reflective discussion form. You don’t have to formally submit this form however it’s beneficial for you to keep a record of the discussion as part of the rest of your records to refer back to.
You are obliged to keep the confidentiality and data protection of your discussion partner’s details. In addition, you also have to ensure your partner’s NMC pin is entered correctly for your application to be processed.
Your health and character
For another part of the portfolio, you have to include a health and character declaration. This includes declaring whether you have ever been charged or convicted of any criminal offence or if you have ever been issued a formal caution.
You also have to declare if you have ever experienced adverse determination if your fitness for practice has been affected by some form of a regulatory body.
This includes the regulation and licensing of a health and social care job. You only need to make this declaration once.
The reason why you have to make a declaration of this nature is because it’s an essential part of The Code. It helps the NMC to know that you can carry out your practices safely.
You won’t need to collect any evidence for this part of the portfolio however you do need to complete all the necessary declarations when you make your application.
Your professional indemnity arrangement
This part of the portfolio is another declaration but this time it’s for declaring you will have the appropriate cover for practising under an indemnity arrangement.
This is a legal requirement for all nurses, midwives or nursing associates for you to be able to practice. Most employers will be able to provide you with the right cover for your indemnity arrangement however you should confirm this with your employer.
If you are self-employed, you have to arrange your professional indemnity cover.
Again, you don’t need to provide physical evidence of this cover, you just need to confirm that you have the right cover when you make your application.
The final confirmation
The final part of your revalidation portfolio is a final declaration that you have demonstrated to your confirmer that you have met all the revalidation requirements. As part of this declaration, you have to include the following details of your confirmer:
- Their name
- NMC pin or another professional identification number
- Email address
- Professional address
The role of the confirmer is arguably the most important part of your whole application. The confirmer’s role is to look through your entire application, all the evidence you have collected and that you have met all of your revalidation requirements. You have to speak to your confirmer in person to discuss with them how you have met all of the requirements for revalidation.
The NMC prepare a checklist for confirmers so they can make sure your application is up to their standards. Your confirmation has to take place in the final year of the 3-year renewal period so that it’s as close to your official revalidation date as possible.
To choose a confirmer, ideally, it should be your line manager and they don’t have to be registered by the NMC. If you don’t have a line manager, it should be an NMC-registered nurse, midwife or nursing associate.
Any family members or close friends cannot be your confirmer as that is classed as a conflict of interest. You don’t need to submit this confirmation but should keep a record of it with the confirmation form.
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