Revalidation and what it means

Kate Khair writes…

For several years now, the NMC has been talking about its commitment to implementing an effective system of revalidation for nurses and midwives in the UK.

Revalidation, of course, is the process by which registered nurses and midwives demonstrate to the NMC that they remain fit to practise.

Last year the NMC Council accepted a model for launching revalidation setting out the new requirements that nurses and midwives must meet when they renew their registration every 3 years.

Under the proposed system, nurses and midwives will have to take ownership of, and be held accountable for, their own revalidation. Every three years at the point of renewal of registration, nurses and midwives will need to demonstrate to the NMC that they remain fit to practise in order to remain on the register. Each of us will be required to declare we have practised for 450 hours during the last 3 years (that’s the easy bit) and that we have completed the required amount of continuing professional development (CPD).

Each of us will also be required to obtain confirmation from a third party on our continuing fitness to practise. This will need to be from someone well placed to comment our practice based on the requirements of the Code.

We will also need to show how well we are using practice-related feedback from ‘service users’, patients, relatives, colleagues and others to improve the standards of care we provide.

The proposed revalidation model will replace the existing 3-year notification of practice form. It is currently being pilot tested before being launched for all in December 2015, at which point ALL nurses and midwives across the UK will start revalidating as we renew our registration. This means that by December 2018, all nurses on the register will have undergone revalidation.

So how will this affect haemophilia nurses in practice? Put simply, failure to comply with the NMC programme will nulify your registration and will mean you are unable to work as a registered nurse.

The NMC is now consulting on revising CPD requirements and what constitutes suitable CPD activities. The HNA Committee are watching this consultation very carefully as for most haemophilia nurses the principal, and independent, means of achieving CPD requirements is through attending the annual HNA meeting. Those of us on the HNA Committee will need to work harder to ensure that the content of every meeting that we plan is geared towards satisfying CPD requirements. It may also be that we will need to rethink the current format of the meeting.

And of course, it makes it more important than ever that all haemophilia nurses engage with the HNA AGM, making every attempt to attend. We will be discussing the implications of revalidation with the UKHCDO in order to ensure that all centre directors see the value of nurses attending the annual meeting. If you have any thought on how we can change the AGM and or help you revalidate vis CPD points please do let us know. This is our ONE opportunity to implement a change – miss it at your peril! 

Dr Kate Khair is Nurse Consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London. She is a trustee of the Haemophilia Society and sits on the Haemophilia CRG