How to Revalidate with the NMC
Posted on 15th September 2021
If you want to continue working as a nurse in the UK, there's one thing you legally have to do; and that is remain on the NMC's register. The NMC (Nursing & Midwifery Council) are the only register in the UK for nurses & midwives, if you're not on the register, you can not legally practice.
Every three years the NMC are asking people to revalidate, but what does this actually mean?
In this article, we cover all you need to know including (click the sentence to head straight there):
Lets get straight to it!
Why Do Nurses Need To Revalidate?
First lets start be looking at what revalidate actually means and this in turn will tell us why we need to do it.
Revalidate means providing evidence, or proving, that you are still capable of doing your job as a nurse. Doctors, pharmacists and physiotherapists have been revalidating long before nurses ever needed too. As a way to try and increase the reputation and standards of nursing, the NMC decided that nurses should also have to prove themselves as well.
This is why the revalidation system started, to help nurses improve their practice and therefore their standards of nursing. Its the hope that through this process, the UK standards of nursing will automatically start to increase.
There are personal reasons why nurses enjoy the process of revalidating and carry out this on a more regularly.
By reflecting on incidents, accidents or good practice, it helps you identify where you are working well and areas where you can improve.
It allows you to learn from others during the reflective account.
Often it brings home just how important your job role is, your level of responsibility and your level of skill.
Nurses usually increase their level of confidence, looking back at all they have achieved.
It can also make nurses feel proud of the work they do
Does It Cost?
Currently the revalidate process is free! You will still be required to pay the £120 for the years' registration fee, however there is no extra cost to complete the revalidation process. There is a 'hidden' cost however. As a nurse, you are required to be insured by a provider, this is normally the RCN (Royal College of Nursing) or Unison. This is usually around £200 per year and payable each year along with your NMC registration fees.
What Is Required To Revalidate?
The NMC require you to do:
450 practice hours, or 900 hours if renewing two registrations (for example, as both a nurse and midwife)
35 hours of CPD including 20 hours of participatory learning
Five pieces of practice-related feedback
Five written reflective accounts
Health and character declaration
Professional indemnity arrangement
But what does each element mean and whats involved?
You'll need to work as a nurse for 450 hours over the course of 3 years. This is employed work, not voluntary.
You'll need to attend a minimum of 55 hours of training for your nursing job role. However, 35 hours of this must be from a CPD (Continual Professional Development) training provider. You'll normally see the CPD logo on your certificate and the amount of CPD hours for each training session/course you've done. Any training which is relevant to your role counts, from moving & handling, to syringe driver training to basic life support training.
You'll need to have five pieces of feedback, these can been written in thank you cards, official statements, verbal feedback, feedback during supervisions, elements of a report or survey.
You'll need to have five reflective accounts, which means five instances where you have reflected (thought about) a situation which occurred which relate to the NMC code of practice. For example this could be where you worked as a multi-disciplinary team to support a complex case, where you learnt something new which improved your practice, where something when wrong. These are all example, but there are more on the NMC website.
The reflective discussion is where you need to speak with another person on the NMC register; ultimately another nurse. Ideally they are also your confirmer, or line manager, however it can be a colleague if needed. During the reflective discussion, you'll need to talk about your five reflect accounts, how this has improved your practice, what you've learnt and how this relates to the NMC code of practice. You can also create a plan of action for you to complete in the future to help improve your practice further.
The health and character declaration is where you tick a confirmation box when completing your online NMC revalidation. You're confirming you are of suitable health and character to meant the NMC code of practice requirements.
The professional indemnity arrangements is your insurance as a nurse. This is usually with the RCN or Unison and is paid either by direct debt or annually to them. As a nurse you are required to have private insurance in order to practice. Most people pay for this themselves, however some work places may offer to pay this for you.
Finally! It's confirmation time! This where you find an appropriate confirmer and sign everything off to say you've provided enough evidence to revalidate. More on this directly below.
How To Get Signed Off
Most nurses tend to be employed, either in a hospital, hospice, care home or G.P practice. If this is you, your practice manager or registered care manager can sign you off as completed.
Please be aware that the NMC expect a nurse to do the reflective discussion with another nurse in order to revalidate. If you are their line manager, but not on the NMC register, you can ask someone who is to complete the reflective discussion before completing the sign off process.
However, please be aware that only a regulated healthcare professional or other professional can revalidate a nurse. These include doctors, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, dentists, psychologists and more. There are over 20 different professionals who can revalidate a nurse. There are some other professionals such as chemists, barristers, police officers or fire service officials who can also revalidate a nurse. This is because nurses work in such a wide range of services that other professionals maybe involved.
Once you have chosen a person to sign you off, 'a confirmer', you can complete the process. Ideally, you meet face to face with them as you'll need to go through all the evidence required by the NMC with your confirmer. The confirmer's job is to check all the evidence to see whether you have meet the above NMC requirements. They will also need to discuss you reflective accounts, see where you have learnt and improved your practice.
When your confirmer has checked and agreed that everything is true, accurate and meets the NMC requirements; they will sign the confirmer sheet to acknowledge this. They will also need to enter their details, including either their PIN number, registration identification number or registration reference number as well.
Once everything has been signed off, you now need to go on to your NMC account and revalidate yourself.
What is Verification?
The whole revalidation process is build on trust. Trust that you are completing the requirements, that your confirmer is suitable and they actually completed the sign off process. The NMC also trust that you are insured and fit to practice. None of this is actually checked at the point when you revalidate on your online account with them.
This is why the verification system has been developed. This system means the NMC can request all the information from you to demonstrate you have completed the revalidation process in full and properly.
The NMC will let you know (normally via email) within 24 hours of revalidation as to whether or not you have been selected for the verification process. You'll have 21 days to complete their online form in order to pass the processes. The NMC will be checking that you have fulfilled the requirements as mentioned above, and that your confirmer as been appropriate and the sign completed properly. The NMC will contact your confirmer to gain some more information about the sign off process you did with them.
If the NMC feel you haven't provided enough evidence for revalidation, they will request more. If you fail the process and are no longer registered, you have an opportunity to appeal.
Where Can You Revalidate?
Currently, the only place you can revalidate is on the NMC website. You'll need to have an online account with them which is both free and easy to setup. Once you're logged in, you can revalidate.
Some Useful Tips
We've added some useful tips for a seamless and simple revalidation.
Do complete all the requirements and actually complete the process with an appropriate confirmer.
Do complete the revalidation process before the deadline.
Do have a digital copy of the evidence to email/upload to the NMC in case you're selected for verification.
Do ask for a copy of any written feedback or compliments from colleagues, patients/clients/service users, families or other professionals. You can start collecting this prior to your revalidation year.
Do the requirements for your revalidation throughout the 3 years up to your due date. This way when it comes time to revalidate, you already have everything you need.
Put a date in your digital calender (on your phone) so each year you'll get a reminder when your NMC fees, insurance fees are due and every three years when your revalidation is due.
What Happens If My Registration Expires?
Your PIN will expire if you do one of the following:
Don't pay the annual NMC registration fee on time,
Don't revalidate on time,
If either of these happen, your PIN number will be automatically be removed from the register and you'll instantly not be able to practice anymore. If this happens, you'll need to contact the 'readmission' department of the NMC to re-register yourself. This process can take up to six weeks and during this time you are not allowed to practice as a registered nurse.
You can request an extension from the NMC to allow you more time to revalidate. They can extend the time but only in certain circumstances (for example, a sudden serious illness or recent bereavement) for a maximum of up to eight weeks from your revalidation application due date.
You can request an extension from the NMC by logging on and clicking on the 'extension' button on the revalidation page.
We hope this has been useful for you and answered any queries or concerns you've had about the revalidation process.
Free feel to check out our other blogs for more information about a whole range of topics.
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