Revalidation is required for all UK nurses every three years, in order to keep your NMC registration.
This guide will explain what revalidation is, the requirements, how to fulfil these requirements, and how to complete the process.
We’ll also provide seven awesome tips for preparing for revalidation. Want to see these now? Click here.
What is revalidation?
Introduced in April 2016, Revalidation replaces the NMC’s PREP standards with a more detailed set of needs. Revalidation focuses on:
- Up to date practise
- Reflection on professional standards of practise
- Professional discussions with other registered nurses or midwives
Revalidation’s aim is to encourage continuous professional development. You complete revalidation alongside your annual renewal of registration with the NMC.
To prepare, you’ll need to put together a portfolio that demonstrates you’ve fulfilled revalidation’s requirements (these will be detailed below).
Another registered nurse - usually your line manager - will review your portfolio and provide confirmation that you have fulfilled the requirements.
Why do nurses need to revalidate?
Revalidation encourages nurses to understand and “live by” the NMC Code of Conduct. The Code expects registered nurses to:
- Prioritise people
- Practice effectively
- Preserve safety
- Promote professionalism and trust
As such, revalidation gives you the opportunity to show how you have demonstrated these expectations in your work over the last three years.
What are the benefits of revalidation?
Revalidation encourages you to keep your skills up to date, continually improve your professional development, and maintain your awareness of the public’s needs.
Revalidation gives employers confidence that your practise is effective and up to date, and helps the NMC understand how nurses and midwives develop, as well as helping raise professional standards.
Essentially, also, revalidation gives the public trust and assurance in nurses’ ongoing professionalism.
Requirements for revalidation
You must meet these requirements in order to complete revalidation:
- 450 practice hours, or 900 if renewing as both a nurse and midwife
- 35 hours of CPD including 20 hours of participatory learning
- Five pieces of practice-related feedback
- Five written reflective accounts
- Reflective discussion
- Health and character declaration
- Professional indemnity arrangement
How do I know when I need to revalidate?
You apply for revalidation at the same time as you apply for registration renewal. The NMC will let you know application is due at least 60 days before the due date.
If you are registered with NMC Online you will get this notice by email; if not, you will receive a letter.
How do I submit my application to revalidate?
You’ll need to sign up to NMC Online to submit your application to revalidate, so make sure you are signed up, if not already. You can access your application through NMC Online 60 days before its due date.
You don’t have to fill it out all at once - you can update, save and return to the application as often as you need.
What do I put in my application?
When making your revalidation application online, you will be asked to declare that you have complied with the revalidation requirements, and that this has been demonstrated to your confirmer.
You will need to have had a discussion with your confirmer before this so you can use your portfolio to show them you’ve met the requirements - it’s recommended to do this in the final year before your revalidation is to be renewed.
This applies to all requirements apart from ‘health and character’ and ‘professional indemnity’ arrangements, which you will be asked to declare on submitting your application.
As well as declaring you’ve met the requirements, you’ll provide details about your practise, as well as details and contact information for your confirmer and reflective discussion partner.
Will the NMC check my portfolio?
For the majority of nurses, you won’t be asked to submit your portfolio as part of your application, or provide other evidence of meeting requirements to the NMC.
However, every year a sample of nurses and midwives will be asked to verify the declarations made on their application.
This means you’ll need to submit evidence from your portfolio to support your declarations.
It doesn’t necessarily mean there are concerns about your application, and you can continue to work while the NMC review the evidence submitted.
Find out more about verification in the NMC revalidation booklet (p. 41)
Does it cost anything to revalidate?
You’ll need to pay your annual fee to stay registered with the NMC at the same time as making your revalidation application. Registrations won’t be renewed until payment is received.
The fee is £120 (2019), which is eligible for tax relief.
What happens if I miss the deadline to revalidate?
If you miss the deadline, your registration will lapse, meaning you are not a registered nurse or midwife any more.
It’s an offence to practise when your registration is lapsed, and you’ll need to apply for readmission. This can take up to six weeks.
What if my application is refused?
If you submit in time, but your application is refused due to not fulfilling requirements, you have 28 days to appeal (from the date on your decision letter).
Find our more about how to appeal in the NMC revalidation booklet (p. 46).
7 Tips for preparing for revalidation
Even if your revalidation feels like it’s a long time away, start preparing for it now - planning will give you the time to fulfil the requirements. Follow our tips to help your revalidation go as smoothly as possible.
1. Make sure you have an NMC Online account
Sign up for free - you’ll be able to see your renewal date, and apply online within the 60-day period after you’re told you need to renew.
2. Understand the requirements
Revalidation is based against the professional standards outlined in the NMC code - so it’s important for you to read and understand it, as well as know the specifics of revalidation’s requirements.
For example, knowing the number of CPD hours needed (35), so you can plan for covering this within your work.
3. Start your portfolio
Start collecting evidence of your work towards revalidation now. Add any training certificates, courses or work towards revalidation requirements in a portfolio. Your portfolio can be on paper, stored on your computer or exist online - it’s your choice.
4. Collect your feedback
Keep a record of any feedback you, your team or workplace/organisation receive - you can use this towards the five pieces of practise-related feedback required. Feedback doesn’t need to be positive to be included; negative or mixed feedback can be used for your reflective practise.
5. Plan in reflection time
Revalidation requires five pieces of written reflection to be completed over the three years since you last renewed/joined the register.
Keep this in mind, and try to write your reflective accounts when the experience is fresh.
6. Find your reflective discussion partner
You need to find another NMC-registered person to discuss your five written reflective pieces. This can be the same person as your confirmer, if they are NMC registered.
7. Find your confirmer
Your application for revalidation will need to be confirmed by a person who reviews your portfolio evidence. Identify who your confirmer will be.
Often this will be your line manager, but if you don’t have one you will need to find another NMC-registered person, health care professional or other NMC-approved professional.
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