The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) announced its proposals for revalidation this autumn, which will have a major impact on the working lives of nurses and midwives in the UK.
The new system comes in the wake of the care scandals of recent years, which have led to concern about nursing standards, and is designed to enhance public protection and confidence in the profession. In his report on Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, published in the spring, Robert Francis QC said that a system of revalidation for nurses, similar to that being rolled out to doctors, would be 'highly desirable'.
The new model will replace the current post-registration education and practice (PREP) standards. The proposal has £4.4 million earmarked for its initial development, and running costs have been estimated at £1 million a year.
The new arrangements aim to assure the public that the UK's nurses and midwives practise safely and effectively. NMC chief executive Jackie Smith believes that the proposed model of revalidation will 'provide a means of checking that those nurses and midwives continue to meet NMC standards of conduct and competence, and that they have continued to keep their skills and knowledge up to date'.