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  • 22 June 2021
  • 13 min read

How To Prepare For Successful Revalidation With The NMC

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    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Matt Farrah
    • Richard Gill
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Play video: "Now that I'm qualified, I still hear people dreading an NMC revalidation every three years."

GP Nurse, Claire, explains the NMC revalidation process, with what you need to do, why it’s important and how to keep yourself organised.

Topics covered in this article


What Is The NMC?

What Is Revalidation?

What Do You Have To Do For Your Revalidation?

Reflect On The Positives As Well As The Negatives

Your Health & Character

Don’t Leave It Until The Last Minute

Keep Yourself Organised

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Hi everyone and welcome back.

Today's blog is all about NMC revalidation, and I'm going to be splitting this down into sections.

So the first thing we're going to talk about is what is revalidation, why it was brought in and the process of what you'll do when you're going through your own revalidation.

And hopefully it's going to put you at ease a little bit because I know when I was a Student Nurse and now that I'm qualified, I still hear people dreading an NMC revalidation every three years.

And it's like, oh, I've got so much work to do. And I've got this to do, and it shouldn't be like that.

It should be a safe process, that's going to keep you safe.

It's going to maintain your knowledge and just make you a safe Nurse at the end of the day.

It shouldn't be a process you dread.

So I'm hoping to relieve some of those little worries that you might have.

What Is The NMC?

Firstly, the Nursing Midwifery Council or the NMC, are our regulating body for Nurses, Midwives and Nursing associates across the UK.

They are the people that keep us tiptop, in shape and protects us and make sure that we're practicing safely, protects us as well as patients.

So they are our top dogs.

They are the gods of gods of Nursing.

Well as a Nurse, as a Midwife, as a Nursing associate we have to pay a fee to the NMC every single year to be on the register, to make sure that they're regulating us if that makes sense.

And then we have the revalidation as part of that every three years as well.

And as long as you've completed all of your revalidation stuff, you can continue to register as a Nurse, Midwife or a Nursing associate, I hope that makes sense.

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What Is Revalidation?

Revalidation is a process that happens every single three years for Nurses, Midwives and Nursing associates in England, in the UK.

And this was brought in in 2016 but it helps you as a healthcare professional to practice safely and effectively.

But not only that, it will help to show that you're demonstrating the living standards of the code of conduct, which we all follow from the NMC.

So why do we need to do an NMC revalidation?

Why was this suddenly brought in in 2016?

So if you think about the dates and the timelines, this coincides very, very well with the big, big, big NHS mid-Staffordshire scandal.

If you don't know it, go and look it up, Google it, the Francis report, and you will see the horrific, horrific things that happened within the NHS.

Hundreds and hundreds of needless deaths happened, a lot of maltreatment of patients.

A lot of just really horrific things really happened and it was all uncovered.

And there's a massive report that went out there to show all of the things that happened.

Have a look at the report for all of the details but as a result of that, what came out of it was, something needs to be done to help monitor health care professionals.

So that's why we have revalidation.

Doctors have the revalidation too, they've got the GMC revalidation.

And for us, it's the NMC revalidation.

And the idea behind it is, with all of this, you know, for every three years, you're going to be constantly training.

Constantly doing your CPD hours, constantly making sure you're doing practice hours, getting the right amount of hours in, constantly doing updates to make sure that your knowledge is refreshed.

Making sure that you're up to date with the latest information and following evidence-based practice because the theory behind it is if you're having all of this and your supervisions and things like that, you're going to be a safe Nurse at the end of the day.

However, you know, that's not going to deter someone from committing harm if that's what they're setting out to do, if that makes sense.

But some little things that were missing from the mid-staff scandal was that people weren't trained correctly and there was no supervisions in place to monitor these people.

So these are all things that have been put in place to sort of help reduce anything like that from happening again.

What Do You Have To Do For Your Revalidation?

The first thing you need to do is practice hours.

So you have to physically be working as a Nurse, Midwife or Nurse and associate in clinics or in a hospital setting, wherever you're going to be working.

As long as you're doing clinical hours that count to 450 hours for over the three years, you've ticked that box.

However, if you are a dual trained Nurse so if you are mental health and adult Nurse, you have to make up 900 practice hours.

It's double the load, unfortunately, but that's just the way it is.

So how to keep track of your hours.

You have to have hold of the dates that you have practiced, the number of hours that you undertook, the name and address of where you worked, scope of your practice, the type of work setting that you worked in, a description of the work that you undertook and evidence of those hours should always be recorded.

Next requirement on the list is 35 hours of CPD and 20 hours of this must be like direct participation.

It can't be like online and learning and things like that, 20 hours has to be like you actively participate.

So like in manual handling for example, you would physically be there or your first aid training, for example, and you need to maintain an accurate log of that.

You have to write down your CPD method, so what method did you use?

Was it online learning, was itself directed?

Was it lecturing, was it online course?

Those sorts of things.

A brief description of the topic that you were learning and how it influences your practice, dates of the CPD of course.

The number of hours that each one took.

So one might be one hour, one might be a whole day, seven hour session and you have to link your CPD with the code.

Which part of the code does that fall into?

So if it was live support, it could be like safety of patients and make sure you've recorded it on the CPD log.

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Reflect On The Positives As Well As The Negatives

The NMC have all of these different logs that you can download and document everything on.

So for example, this is my CPD log.

I'm going to put my example here just to show you what I've done, how I fill mine out.

And that'll just give you a rough idea of the things that you need to log and keep over three years.

Then you need to complete five pieces of reflective feedback.

So say you had a patient and it went really awful or something happened and they got sepsis maybe or something.

I'm just using an example.

You would just write a little reflection piece, how that could have improved, anything that you could have done differently.

Or the same, it doesn't have to be a bad reflection.

If you've done something really, really well and you think, I'm actually really proud of that.

I'm going to add this, put that in there and explain how you're going to continue to keep up that really good practice.

People always think about reflection as a negative thing but actually, we can reflect on the positives as well and how to strive to be that good again.

Just make sure when you're doing these things obviously confidentiality, don't mention patients' names, don't have any data or anything like that on there.

When you do your reflections you have to sit down with someone from your workplace, to sit and discuss the reflection as well.

So when you have your supervisions, for example, you will discuss your reflections.

And that is one of the tick boxes that the NMC wants you to do.

You have to sit and talk about it to somebody.

And I think that's a really good way because we all do it anyway.

We sort of debrief at the end of a day sometimes.

And we go to our colleagues and say, oh, I really had this tricky thing.

And you're doing it all the time.

It's just putting it into words.

So you will have your five written accounts.

These will be a CPD activity maybe, it's going to be from feedback or an event that happens, something positive that happened, how it's relevant to the code again and what significance to that and your practice.

And NMC again have a reflective form that you can use as well.

I'm going to put it here so you can see the layout and what it looks like.

It's literally, it's like 200 words or something that you need to write, it's nothing major.

It's just a quick little thing just to get your juices flowing, get you reflecting in practice and how you can improve and do things better or differently or stay the same and improve and get even better.

Your Health & Character

Next up is health and character.

So you have to make sure that you are of good health and character to do the job.

By signing your registration, by saying that you're going to Nurse, you're saying that you're in good health, that nothing is going to stop you from being a good Nurse and that you are a good character.

You're not going to do anything crazy out there to patients.

And then you have to make sure, this is quite a new thing.

You have to have professional indemnity arrangement or insurance.

So you have to be covered.

The Royal College of Nursing or the RCN Union for example, they will include as part of their package a professional indemnity insurance through that, but just check all of the details and the conditions before you sign up to something like that to make sure that you are fully covered as a Nurse.

I know I have mine through the RCN, but also my employer as well as a GP practice, they have their own that covers me as well.

So just have a look when you apply for a job or wherever you're working, and if they require it, see if there's something that they can include as part of your job role, if they can include it into that so you don't have to pay separately for it.

Don't Leave It Until The Last Minute

And very, very lastly, you have to have your confirmation at the end.

So once everything has been checked by someone at your workplace, which will also be another Nurse or Midwife or Nursing associate for example.

They will sit down and go through everything with you and they will just sign you off to say, yes, this person is competent, or they've met all of the standards needed for the NMC revalidation.

And they'll just tick that box off for you.

Sign the loaf away, and Bob's your uncle.

The process of NMC revalidation, so as I've discussed already, you will do all of these things over the three years.

So you'll just pick it up little by little and this has the best way to do it.

Don't leave it till the last minute at the end and you're rushing to get loads of things, just make sure you pick little bits up here and there.

And by the end of the three years, you'll be there.

You'll be ready, it's all together in a folder.

You'll be so organized.

Fingers crossed, stay organized guys.

And it won't be such a problem but it's because people leave it and leave it and they don't think about it.

And then last minute, they're rushing around.

They're trying to get feedback from patients, they're trying to get feedback from their colleagues.

They're trying to write reflections.

No, no, no, just, you know, do it bit by bit.

Keep your logs, keep doing it as you go.

And it'll be so, so much easier and smoother.

And you just won't even notice that you're doing it.

And towards the end of the three years, so at least 60 days before your revalidation is due, the NMC will send you an email to remind you to say it's going to be due in this amount of time.

Keep Yourself Organised

So make sure you've got everything together.

They'll send you a checklist to make sure you've done everything.

And that will be your process to start thinking, okay, I need to start getting on the ball with this now.

nd then once you've had that notification as well from the NMC, they'll send you a link that you follow and you will go online and you will apply for your revalidation online.

You have to submit all of the proof and documents and things to say that you are safe and you're healthy.

And you've met all the requirements that needed to be signed off as competent and safe to practice still.

And then you will just submit it all.

And then once it's submitted, sometimes the NMC will select different people just at complete random, to check over all of their revalidation stuff and make sure that everything is correct.

That's completely normal, they do at unis as well.

You know, they do moderation and things like that, just to make sure that all these standards are being met and nothing's been missed, that's perfectly safe.

So that is my video all about an NMC revalidation.

I hope I've reassured you in some way that this is going to be okay in this process isn't as bad.

But my just top tip is just stay organized.

Keep a folder, keep everything in it.

Keep your certificates, everything you can.

If the patient gives you a card, a thank you card.

If your colleagues write something nice.

If you get an email sent round saying what a great team, keep everything in a folder together.

The end of the three years, you're going to be like, here it all is, done.

It'll be just so smooth and it will just make the process so much better.

So keep on top of it guys, keep going, keep being amazing, you've got this.

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About the author

I am a Registered Nurse with over 12 years healthcare experience including: elderly care, orthopaedics, sexual health / family planning, qualified GP nurse, transgender healthcare and now in my new role as an assistant lecturer (as of Nov 2022). I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs to help anyone considering their nursing career and to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.

    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Laura Bosworth
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    • Richard Gill
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    • Tracie Mckelvie 2 years ago
      Tracie Mckelvie
    • Tracie Mckelvie
      2 years ago

      Hi Claire Thanks for this; your share some really great tips for keeping ourselves up to date over the course of ... read more

      • “ Revalidation is the process that all nurses and midwives in the UK and nursing associates in England need to follow to maintain their registration with the NMC”)NMC, 2021) All nurses and midwives ac... read more

        “ Revalidation is the process that all nurses and midwives in the UK and nursing associates in England need to follow to maintain their registration with the NMC”)NMC, 2021) All nurses and midwives across the uk. Some countries may be different in what they do. I hope this helps :)
        read less

        Replied by: Claire Carmichael

        Thanks for clarifying.

        Replied by: Tracie Mckelvie