Revalidation – it shouldn’t be a scary word or something as nurses we fear. If you keep on top of the requirements and are prepared, revalidation should be a breeze.
In fact, we can even go so far as to say revalidation can be seen as a positive, constructive tool for self-evaluation, reflection and to identifying knowledge gaps and areas for growth. It should also be viewed as a recognition of what you have learnt and achieved over the past 3 years and how you have improved and advanced in your practice.
What is revalidation?
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) introduced revalidation in 2016. Revalidation is the process that all nurses must go through every 3 years to ensure that they meet the requirements to be registered under the NMC in order to practice.
Revalidation is a continuous process that you will engage in throughout your career to ensure safe and effective care. It supports lifelong learning by encouraging you to grow and reflect on your practice and find areas for development. By revalidating, you are demonstrating that you meet the NMC standards of proficiency and have practiced safely and efficiently under the NMC code.
You are responsible for your nursing revalidation and to keep on top of this. It is due every 3 years, on the first day of the month in which your registration expires. If you do not revalidate or pay your NMC fee then your registration will lapse. This means you are unable to practice, unless you apply for readmission.
What are the requirements for NMC nursing revalidation?
In order to revalidate through the NMC. Nurses must be able to meet and demonstrate the following requirements:
1. Practice hours
You need to have completed 450 practice hours over a 3 year period. Proof required includes; the dates of practice, the number of hours, name, address and postcode of where the work took place and a description of the work undertaken. Evidence of this is also required. If you have dual registration, such as you are practicing as a nurse and a midwife, then you must have completed 450 hours of practice in each profession.
2. CPD requirement
Engaging in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is entrenched in the NMC code of conduct and is a requirement for revalidation and continuing to practice. You must ensure that you have completed 35 hours of appropriate CPD activity in the previous 3 years, since your registration was updated or you entered the register.
Out of these 35 hours, 20 of these must be from participatory learning. Participatory learning can include a variety of learning activities from attending a conference, a training event, a workshop or seminar. It doesn’t just have to be face to face training. It can be virtual training, webinars, group supervisions or case discussions. As long as you are interacting with others and are learning from it, it can count towards the hours.
The remaining 15 hours, can be non-participatory hours. This can include self directed learning, such as reading an article, study or journal or completing an online course.
- It is important to keep a record of your training including any certificates or evidence. This should also include the method of CPD, dates, number of hours, an overview of what the topic was and how it relates to your practice.
- When you are attending training courses, write down what you have learnt whilst it is fresh in your mind. Think about how your practice will change as a result of what you have learnt and which section of the NMC code the activity relates to – don’t leave it until your revalidation is due! Get ahead!
- Think about what CPD will be beneficial to you. We all have to take necessary training as a requirement for our professions, but evaluate what additional courses could be most helpful. What will help you expand your abilities, knowledge, and experience, as well as which course you may enjoy the most!
- Download the CPD log template from the NMC website to help keep track of CPD progress. Keep it somewhere safe in your desktop, online, or print it out. Every time you go to do a course or complete an activity complete it on your template. It will save you a lot of time in the long run and won’t feel like a big task at the end. It also is much more helpful and beneficial to complete this whilst it is fresh in your mind. It is also very satisfying seeing those hours tally up!
3. 5 Reflective accounts
One of the guiding principles of the NMC standards is that we reflect regularly on our knowledge, abilities and care and is something that is embedded in you as a nurse from the start.
As part of NMC nursing revalidation, we are required to have completed 5 reflective accounts. These reflections may relate to your continuing professional development (CPD), such as what you learned from attending a training course. They could be from practice-related comments you have received or from a circumstance or experience that occurred at work.
Reflections should be written on the NMC template. This contains headings which should be used as prompts for what information is required. They don’t have to be pages long – or even an essay – but they should include the main aspects of the issue, what you took from it, and how it has changed your practice. It is important to think back to the NMC code when you write your reflections. Consider how each experience related to the code and your professional development.
- If you’re having trouble thinking of a reflection, consider something that happened at work recently. It may have been something that might have been handled better, improved, or modified. How did this effect you, and what did you learn as a result of it?
- Consider a recent training course you attended, an article or study you have read, a new process or policy that was implemented. What did you learn from this? How will you put this into action in your practice?
4. 5 pieces of practice related feedback
You need to show evidence of 5 pieces of practice related feedback. Feedback can come in a variety of forms, such as verbal or written. It can be from your manager, colleagues, patients or service users. It can be formal or informal and in the form of an appraisal, an audit, supervision, training, an email, a thank you card or from an online review. Because of the variety of this it should not be difficult to gather as feedback is something that we encounter on a daily basis.
- Keep a note on what the feedback was, this should also include how you used the feedback and how you applied this to your practice.
- If you are struggling to gather feedback for your revalidation, book in a 121 or your appraisal if you are due one soon. Ask a colleague to give you feedback. Build up rapport with your patients. If someone says something nice, ask them if they are happy and consent for using their feedback for your revalidation.
- When providing feedback it important not to include any information which may identify another person.
5. Reflective discussion
Once you have completed your reflections, you should arrange to have a reflective discussion. This is helpful to talk through your reflections and discuss and how they have altered your practice. The person you have this discussion with doesn’t have to be your manager, they could be a colleague or a trusted individual, as long as they are registered with the NMC. Their name and NMC pin must be recorded on your revalidation and they should consent to be contacted by the NMC if they need to verify any further information.
6. Final confirmation
The last step is to confirm with another registrant that you have met all the requirements set out for revalidation with the NMC. The confirmer can be the same person who completed your reflective discussions, although it doesn’t have to be. It could also be a trusted colleague or your manager. During the meeting, you must show your evidence and this person must look through all your revalidation documentation to determine that you have met the requirements using the NMC confirmation form. The confirmer must be happy to be contacted by the NMC if further information needs to be verified.
Are there any other requirements for NMC nursing revalidation?
Part of the NMC nursing revalidation is that you must also show that you have professional indemnity cover. Indemnity insurance is a legal requirement to have in place when practicing and is an individuals responsibility. Failure to have this can result in being removed from the NMC register and banned from practising.
Individuals must also demonstrate that they meet the requirements for health and character. This includes information about any relevant health conditions or character issues, such as charges, cautions or convictions.
TOP TIPS: completing your NMC nursing revalidation
- Preparation is key – try not to leave it all to the last minute. In fact you have 3 years to prepare! Being prepared will help to reduce the pressure and stress and make it a much simpler and easier experience.
- Read up on the NMC nursing revalidation requirements. Ensure you are away of what is required and make a plan of when you will complete these by. You don’t want to have to complete all your courses and CPD in the last few months – try to space them out over the 3 years. If you think about it 5 pieces of feedback and 5 reflections, that’s less than 2 of each a year!
- Keep records of your training events, certificates, documents, reflections, feedback in a folder, on your computer or online.
- Get a meeting with your manager – ahead of your revalidation. They can help to identify areas of improvement and can discuss learning needs or suitable training courses or events you may wish to attend that you can use towards your CPD.
- Chat to colleagues or peers who have revalidated recently. Find out about their experiences, discuss relevant training events, articles they have read or join an online forum relating to your practice.
- If you haven’t already make sure you sign up to NMC online and make a free account. You get notified 60 days prior to remind you when your revalidation is due. Your application can even be submitted 60 days prior to the revalidation date. You can plan ahead and get in early.
- Don’t get caught out with dates. Your revalidation is due on the first day of the month in which you registered not the date your registration renews. This occurs every 3 years.
Don’t forget the code!
Read up on the NMC code of conduct and familiarise yourself with it and the NMC standards. When writing your reflections, when considering your CPD and your feedback – always think back to the NMC code – how does it relate to this.
Revalidation may often seem overwhelming and time consuming at first. However if you are prepared and keep evidence as you go, it should be an easy and simple process!
At Health Academy, we offer a variety of online, virtual and face-to-face courses that can be used towards CPD hours for revalidation for both participatory and non-participatory learning. All of our courses come with a certificate which can be used as evidence to support your revalidation.