Revalidation for nurses and midwives

Nurse checking baby

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) introduced revalidation in April 2015, to strengthen the three-yearly registration renewal process and increase professionalism.  

While revalidation is the responsibility of the nurse or midwife, employers have a key role in helping to provide supportive environments and resources to ensure staff successfully revalidate and are registered to work in settings.  

Read through the sections below to find out what this means for you and your staff.

What is revalidation

Revalidation exists to improve public protection by ensuring individuals continue to remain fit to practice inline with the requirements of professional registration, throughout their career.

Built on existing employment arrangements, revalidation with the NMC adds requirements that encourage individuals to seek regular feedback from service users and colleagues, reflect on the code and seek confirmation from a third party that the necessary requirements have been met.

NHS Employers' role

NHS Employers is working with the NMC to raise awareness of the revalidation process with employers, helping to ensure this new model works effectively. To help employers provide supporting environments, the NMC has produced a guide Enabling professionalism in nursing and midwifery practice

Key points to communicate to your workforce:

  • nurses and midwives must use the NMC templates
  • applications must be submitted by the first of the allocated revalidation month
  • applications cannot be processed until the payment is made.

Supporting your workforce

While nurses and midwives are responsible for maintaining professional registration (and revalidation when implemented) there are steps employers can take to help raise awareness and prepare staff for revalidation as they reach their renewal date. 

These steps include:

  • understand the changes to current requirements and how revalidation will impact registered nurses and midwives who have yet to revalidate in your organisation
  • communicate the changes and requirements to your nurses and midwives
  • put in place basic plans to support revalidation and present these to your organisation’s senior leadership team
  • assess what is needed to support revalidation in your organisation, including the level of support staff may require, along with plans to address this
  • where appropriate, make sure line managers (or other individuals) are available to act as confirmers and reflective discussion partners
  • provide space and time for your nurses and midwives to hold their reflective discussions and confirmation discussions (if separate from an appraisal process)
  • identify revalidation application and renewal dates for all of your nurses and midwives
  • encourage nurses and midwives to register for NMC Online
  • where appropriate, put plans in place for nurses and midwives to receive confirmation as part of their appraisal process, or an alternative process
  • allow access to feedback where it already exists (including audits, satisfaction surveys, complaints and the nurse or midwife’s individual appraisal)
  • ensure all staff have access to the necessary IT equipment
  • provide further information about who in your organisation can act as a confirmer and/or reflective discussion partner as detailed in the NMC's requirements
  • review whether informal organisational systems could be implemented to allow for participatory continuing professional development (CPD) learning
  • incorporate communications about the requirements for the online revalidation process and timings into your local communication systems
  • remind nurses and midwives of their obligations of confidentiality under the code and data protection legislation.

Sense check your local readiness

  • Have you seen the code which forms the basis of registration and revalidation?
  • Do you know when your nurses and midwives need to revalidate and renew their registration? It won’t all be at the same time.
  • Have you thought about the resources you will need – administration, financial and process?
  • Do you know how many staff in your workforce this will affect and have you used electronic staff record (ESR) data to prepare? Find out more about how ESR can support revalidation on the NHS ESR website.
  • Is your register up to date?
  • Have you had a conversation with your board, nurse director or HR to plan incorporating appropriate elements of revalidation within staff appraisal?
  • Have you thought about a communications plan and your target audience – including service users, staff and the board?
  • Have you reviewed current arrangements for portfolio development and any good practice?
  • Have you considered how revalidation can be linked to supervision – clinical and non-clinical?
  • Do you have the necessary information technology for all nursing and midwifery staff to use NMC Online such as tablets, phones and computers?

NMC resources

The NMC has developed guidance (updated March 2017) and training materials which can be found on the microsite to support employers and staff. This includes:

These training materials are designed to be used in a facilitated workshop with a maximum of 25 people:


Additional resources

We have some tools and resources to help you engage your staff and prepare for revalidation, including:


The NMC carried out a consultation on revalidation and tested a provisional model with 19 pilot sites, across various sectors and settings which completed in May 2015. The pilot sites within NHS trust settings included:

  • Central Manchester NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust
  • Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
  • Mersey Care NHS Trust
  • Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Western Health and Social Care Trust.

Pilot sites also included Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Bracknell and Ascot CCG and NHS Tayside and Local Partners. You can find out more information about the sites on the NMC website

More information

More information can be found on the NMC website.

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