Your step-by-step guide to nurse revalidation
If you’re practising as a nurse or midwife in the UK, you’ll know about nursing revalidation. Also known as NMC revalidation, it is the requirement set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
At Pulse, we provide you with a full revalidation service when we are your main employer, which includes the completion of your reflective discussion and confirmation. For nurses cleared to work with us but where we are not your main employer, we can also provide you with valuable advice and information relating to the practice hours and CPD you have undertaken with Pulse for your revalidation period.
In this guide, we’ve outlined everything you’ll need to know about revalidation, including the stages of the process and its requirements, along with answers to the most frequently asked questions.
What is revalidation?
NMC revalidation is a mandatory UK process that maintains your registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. It helps to ensure good practice among nurses, upholding high standards and assuring the public of a commitment to quality within the nursing profession. All registrants are required to revalidate every three years.
Revalidation in nursing also gives you the chance to devote time to considering how you might like to develop, either within your current role or into a new area of practice. NMC revalidation isn’t an assessment of your ability to practise nursing or progress in your role. Rather, it helps you to be mindful of your purpose and think about how your work matters to your patients. It also encourages active discussion and knowledge sharing with fellow professionals.
Finally, revalidation with the NMC helps you to keep The Code of Professional Conduct in the forefront of your mind, bring it to life and apply it to your everyday practice. It can grow your confidence and faith in knowing you are abiding by professional standards, as well as seeing in real-world terms why those standards are important.
NMC nursing revalidation requirements
There are formal requirements for revalidation, which we have detailed below.
450 practice hours over three years
Every three years, nursing revalidation will require you to have undertaken a minimum of 450 practice hours since your last revalidation or since you joined the register. These hours will need to relate to your current scope of practice and could include caring for patients, managing teams, helping to run services, or training and education.
You can use a practice hours log template to record your hours and provide the necessary evidence. When maintaining a record of the practice hours you have completed, it’s important to include:
- Dates of practice
- The number of hours you undertook
- Name, address and postcode of the organisation you were working in
- The scope of practice
- The work setting
- A description of the work you undertook
- Evidence of your practice hours, which could include timesheets, role profiles or job specifications
If you are revalidating as a nurse and midwife, you will have to undertake 900 hours of practice, 450 hours for each registration.
35 CPD hours
In between each revalidation, you are also required to have completed at least 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD), relevant to your practice. 20 of these hours need to be participatory learning.
The purpose of undertaking and logging CPD hours includes:
- To keep your professional skills and knowledge up to date
- To maintain safe and effective practice
- To develop new skills
- To respond to changes and advances in the nursing profession
- To challenge professional isolation
- To encourage engagement and communication with others
Keeping detailed CPD records will serve as your evidence of completing the 35 hours. We recommend using the NMC CPD log template to do so. An accurate and verifiable record of your CPD activities will include:
- The methods of learning you undertook
- A brief description of the topics and how they relate to your practice
- The dates you carried out the CPD activities
- The number of hours and participatory hours that you completed
- The element of The Code each CPD activity is most relevant to
- Evidence that you undertook the CPD activities
Read more about CPD and its requirements along with information about how Pulse can provide evidence of any CPD hours that you have undertaken with us.
Five pieces of practice-related feedback
The five pieces of practice-related feedback needed for revalidation can be used to assess and make improvements to your practice. You will need to collect five pieces of feedback from a variety of areas during each revalidation period. The types of feedback that can be used include:
- Formal or informal feedback
- Written or verbal feedback
- Positive or constructive feedback
- Feedback about you or about your team, where it is clear you had a direct impact
- Incidents and complaints
These can come from sources such as service users, students or colleagues; as verbal feedback or in a survey, report, letter or card. The NMC’s practice-related feedback log can be used to record the information.
Five written reflective accounts
You are required to write five reflective accounts. This is to encourage a culture of sharing, reflection and improvement among nurses. Your accounts could be around the following:
- One of your CPD areas
- Your practice-related feedback
- An event or experience in practice
- An incident or complaint
You aren’t required to submit a copy of your reflective accounts to the NMC. But you will need to retain these as a record to inform your reflective discussion and show your confirmer. The NMC reflective accounts form is a Mandatory Form and must be used.
When Pulse is your main employer, we can review your reflective accounts and provide you with any support that you need before your reflective discussion.
In your reflective discussion, you will discuss the link between The Code and your written accounts, feedback or practice experience. Here is the NMC’s reflective discussion form that you can use for your revalidation. This is also a Mandatory Document.
To meet the requirements, you need to:
- Ensure that the discussion is face-to-face or over a video conference call if face-to-face isn’t possible
- Carry out the discussion with an NMC registrant who is currently on the register with no restriction on their practice. This can be a colleague or line manager.
If you are working with Pulse, we can undertake your reflective discussion with you.
Health and character declaration
The NMC revalidation documents include signed health and character declarations. You are declaring this for yourself and it does not need validating by another person. You need to declare whether you’ve ever had a criminal charge, conviction, discharge or caution.
Professional indemnity arrangement
You will need to have a professional indemnity arrangement to gain your revalidation in nursing. You must state whether your indemnity is through an employer, membership of a professional body or private insurance arrangements.
If you’re practicing in more than one place, you will first supply information concerning your main practice setting and then add other arrangements to cover all your practice settings.
Someone will need to look at all your information and related evidence, and act as a confirmer to verify that you have met all the requirements. You must provide their details to gain your NMC revalidation. This is on a Confirmation Form, which is also a Mandatory Document.
For nurses who work primarily through Pulse, we will be able to act as your confirmer.
NMC revalidation – frequently asked questions
How often do nurses revalidate?
Nurses have to revalidate every three years. You can check your revalidation renewal date by logging into your NMC online account.
What counts as participatory hours for the NMC?
Many different events count as participatory learning, so you have various options for fulfilling this part of your nursing revalidation. Some activities count as both individual and participatory learning. Examples of participatory hours include:
- Structured learning
- Education or training at an accredited college or university
- Learning events e.g., workshops and conferences
- Peer review activities
- Coaching or mentoring in a certain skill (either as the coach or the mentee)
- Structured professional clinical supervision
- Developing skills via short supervised practice
- Group or practice meetings outside usual practice
- Clinical audits
- Practice visits
- Job rotation, secondment training or shadowing
- Expert witnessing
How early can I submit my NMC revalidation?
Your online application for revalidation opens 60 days before your due date, so you can submit it at any time after this.
What happens if I miss my revalidation deadline?
Your registration with the NMC will lapse if you miss the deadline, so you will no longer be a registered nurse and won’t be able to practise until it is renewed. In this case, you can reapply to practise, which may take up to six weeks.
The most common reason for a lapsed registration is nurses forgetting to update their contact details with the NMC. We recommend logging in and checking that your personal information is accurate.
How much does it cost to revalidate?
There is no cost for revalidating with the NMC; the annual fee of £120 covers your ongoing registration and all other services.
Does mandatory training count towards revalidation?
Yes, mandatory training can form part of your required quota for revalidation in nursing, if it relates to your practice and you link it back to a relevant part of The Code.
How Pulse can support with nurse revalidation?
If Pulse is your main employer, we can provide a full revalidation service, which includes the completion of your reflective discussion and confirmation. And for nurses who work with us, but where we aren’t your main employer, we can provide you with advice and information on practice hours and CPD that you have carried out with Pulse for your revalidation period.
By helping to make the process as smooth as possible, you can focus on staying inspired to do your best work and take your career to the next level.
If you are interested in joining Pulse, browse the nursing job vacancies currently available online or register your interest in working with us and a member of our team will be in touch.
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