Revalidation for nurses and midwives is the three-yearly cyclical process that allows them to maintain their registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
It builds on the existing requirements for nurses and midwives and demonstrates their continued ability to practise safely and effectively. It is a continuous process that nurses and midwives will be expected to engage in for the remainder of their career.
Revalidation is not, however, an assessment of a nurse’s or midwife’s fitness to practise or a new way to raise concerns about their fitness to practise. Any concerns will be raised through the existing fitness to practise processes. Unlike medical revalidation, for which there is a Responsible Officer, nursing and midwifery revalidation is the responsibility of each nurse and midwife and they own their own revalidation process.
The aims of nursing and midwifery revalidation are to raise awareness of the NMC Code and professional standards expected of nurses and midwives; to provide them with the opportunity of reflecting upon the Code in their practice and to demonstrate that they are ‘living’ these standards; to encourage nurses and midwives to remain up to date in their professional practice by developing new skills and understanding the changing needs of the public and fellow healthcare professionals; to encourage a culture of sharing, reflection and improvement; to encourage the engagement of professional networks and discussions about their practice; and to strengthen public confidence in the nursing and midwifery profession.
What is medical revalidation?
Revalidation of doctors is a key component of a range of measures designed to improve the quality of care for patients; it is the process by which the General Medical Council will confirm the continuation of doctors’ licences to practise in the UK. The purpose of revalidation is to assure patients and the public, employers and other healthcare professionals that licensed doctors are up to date and fit to practise.
Through a formal link with their organisation, determined usually by employment or contracting arrangements, doctors will relate to a senior doctor in the organisation, the Responsible Officer. The Responsible Officer will make a recommendation about the doctor’s fitness to practise to the General Medical Council (GMC). The recommendation will be based on the outcome of the doctor’s annual appraisals over the course of five years, combined with information drawn from the organisational clinical governance systems. Following the responsible officer’s recommendation, the GMC will decide whether to renew the doctor’s licence.
The Responsible Officer is accountable for the quality assurance of the appraisal and clinical governance systems in their organisation. Improving these systems will support doctors in developing their practice more effectively, which will add to the safety and quality of health care in the UK. It will also enable the early identification of those doctors whose practice needs attention, allowing for more effective intervention. All doctors who wish to retain their GMC licence to practise need to participate in medical revalidation.