The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has approved the new model of revalidation in today's Council meeting.
The Council meeting agreed today that the model of revalidation going forward would be the one that has been piloted since May 2015. This means that from April 2016 any nurses that are due for renewal will have to complete 450 practice hours, 35 hours of CPD, five pieces of practice-related feedback, five written reflective accounts, reflective discussion, professional indemnity insurance and character reflection.
Most of the council members agreed that there was no obvious reason as to why the model for revalidation should not be approved today as there was support from all four countries based on the success of the pilots.
One of the key changes to the revalidation model based on evidence from the pilots was that the number of CPD hours was not raised to 40, as was previously suggested. Nursing leaders from England and Scotland questioned the value of raising the hours and the NMC did not have enough robust evidence to support it so decided that the number of CPD hours would remain at 35. All portfolios will be confirmed by someone working with the registrant.
Two GP practices were involved in the pilots that ran from May to June 2015. Ms Kolyva said that the nurses in the GP practices were able to complete all of the revalidation requirements including the 20 hours of participatory learning.
Jackie Smith, the chief executive of the NMC, stressed that this model of revalidation was the 'first phase'. 'It is essential that we evaluate the implementation and will make changes when necessary. We will monitor the first cycle of revalidation so over the next three years and will then make changes based on our findings, in three years time. The evaluation has not been scoped yet.'
Katerina Kolyva, the director of continuing practice at the NMC, spoke about the confusions of the verification process and said that it 'was not there to catch nurses out'. 'Something that nurses have been concerned about is the role of the confimer and the verification process. Confirmers do not have the power to strike people off the NMC register, that power remains with the NMC. However, we encourage all nurses to report any concerns as soon as they face them and not to wait until the registrant is up for renewal.
'The NMC does not have the capacity to check all registrants so this is why we have the verification process which is where we will call the portfolios for some individuals.' Ms Kolyva stated that having a portfolio called for verification did not mean that nurse was at risk but certain individuals may be more likely to have their portfolios called, for example if they work in isolation or do not have a nurse as a confirmer. However, no clear plan for how portfolios will be selected for verification was laid out.
Danny Mortimer, the chief executive of the NHS Employers, said: 'The decision made by the NMC is an important one for nurses, midwives and their employers. Feedback from the pilot organisations has shown there is more work to do in reassuring nurses and midwives who are unsure and unclear what is expected of them.
'It is critical that the preparation work that will now follow before revalidation goes live is focused on engaging with employers to address this. We are keen to work with the NMC and key partners to ensure that everything possible is done to ensure that the implementation of revalidation goes smoothly.'
Janet Davies, the chief executive of the RCN. said that it is 'vitally important for nurses to stay up to date with best practice. This is good for patients, and it is also good for nursing staff. This is recognition of the important, highly complex and ever changing nature of the work that nurses do, which is long overdue.'The NMC has released guidance which can help nurses understand what is required for their portfolios and to complete the process. A separate guidance has been released for confirmers. Ms Smith stressed that any nurses that are due to renew between now and April 2016 will renew under the current PREP system. Any nurses due for renewal from April 2016 will go through the revalidation process.