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CQC Essentials: Nurse revalidation

CQC inspectors will ask GP practices how they support their nurses to meet the requirements of registration with their professional body. From April 2016, this will include nurse revalidation.

This article relates to the CQC key question: Is your practice well-led? 

All nurses and midwives are currently required to renew their registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) every three years.

Revalidation is the new process by which nurses and midwives demonstrate that they practise safely and builds on the previous requirements. The first nurses will revalidate from April 2016. New requirements will focus on:

  • Up-to-date practice and professional development
  • Reflection on the professional standards of practice and behaviour as set out in the Code, and
  • Engagement in professional discussions with other registrants

GP employers

As employers of nurses, GP should provide support for revalidation as part of quality and assurance systems and to ensure the nurses they employ are competent to provide safe and effective care. As part of our inspections, we will ask GP practices how they support their nurses to meet the requirements of registration with their professional body.

Practices should expect to be asked how they do this and to demonstrate their system for ensuring nurse employees are registered with the NMC both on appointment and throughout their employment.

Regulation 18 (2) (c) of the Health and Social Care Act states that employers should: "make sure that staff are able to meet the requirements of the relevant professional regulator throughout their employment".

GP practices should consider these issues about revalidation for the nurses they employ:

  • Ensure that all nurse employees are on the register (previous requirement)
  • Familiarise yourself with the revalidation requirements and the key differences between the previous system and the new requirements.
  • Liaise with your CCG to find out what support is being planned.
  • Encourage nurse employees to register with NMCOnline to identify their renewal dates and revalidation requirements.
  • Consider whether the professional discussion with another registrant will take place as part of appraisal (if so the appraiser must be an NMC registrant) or whether alternative arrangements need to be put in place.
  • If no other NMC registrant is employed in your organisation, or prepared to take the role, link with neighbouring practices and your CCG lead nurse to consider who your nurse employee can have their professional discussion with.
  • Confirmation is the process by which nurses demonstrate to an appropriate person that they have complied with the revalidation requirements. The NMC strongly recommend that confirmation is provided by the line manager. They do not need to be an NMC registrant(unlike the professional discussion). In many practices this role will be fulfilled by the lead nurse, nurse manager or practice manager. Practices should consider who will take this role and any training they require.
  • Consider how nurses will obtain five pieces of practice-related feedback, for example from patients, students, colleagues or from complaint and significant event reviews or other learning events. In general practice this could be reviewing an immunisation campaign or an aspect of service such as provision of wound care. They should include what was learnt and what changes were implemented as a result.
  • Nurses need to undertake 35 hours of CPD relevant to their scope of practice, 20 hours of which should be participatory learning so consider how you can facilitate this for the nurses you employ. Examples could be attending clinical meetings, local Protected Learning Time events, in-house nurse meetings or nurse forums in the area, study days or conferences.

Elaine Biscoe is national nursing advisor at the CQC

More CQC resources

Picture: iStock

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