Your web browser is outdated and may be insecure

The RCN recommends using an updated browser such as Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome

Practice based learning

Northern Ireland Future Nurse Future Midwife Implementation

Frances Cannon talks about the Northern Ireland Future Nurse Future Midwife programme


At the request of Northern Ireland’s Chief Nursing Officer, Charlotte McArdle, the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council (NIPEC) is supporting the Department of Health (DoH) in the implementation of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Education Standards (2018).

From September 2018 a Northern Ireland (NI) Future Nurse Future Midwife (FNFM) project structure has been established. The FNFM Programme Board have agreed a number of objectives to support the cohesive implementation of the NMC 2018 Education Standards, through a FNFM Working Group and five work streams including:

  • Curriculum Development (CD): to ensure the FNFM curricula aligns to the NI Strategic Policy and Transformation Agenda
  • Practice Assessment Document (PAD): to co-produce and co-design a Northern Ireland Practice Assessment Document (NI PAD)
  • Standards for Student Supervision and Assessment (SSSA): to agree a regional Model for the Standards Student Supervision and Assessment (SSSA) for NMC approved programmes & co-produce a suite of programmes to prepare those taking on the roles identified within the SSSA standards – accessible to all staff
  • Practice Learning Environments (PLE): to agree process to ensure quality management of practice placements and explore how current practice learning environments (PLE) can be maximised in the context of the Standards (2018)
  • Engagement and Communication: to ensure NI FNFM Project activity is communicated across the region in a timely and accurate way to support implementation.

Co-production and co-design:

In the spirit of co-production and co-design each of the five work streams are Co-chaired by senior colleagues from both practice and education. Work streams membership includes representatives from DoH, Health and Social Care Trusts, Approved Education institution (AEI’s), the Independent Sector, service users and carers, students and other key stakeholders.

A range of FNFM workshops and meetings have taken place to ensure stakeholder engagement and contribution to the development of the various resources and products being prepared to support the outworking’s of implementation of the Standards.

The Programme Board also maintains strong links to the NMC as well as to the other FNFM projects currently running in England, Scotland and Wales to share updates and learning.

Next Steps:

In NI the first cohort of Future Nurse Students are expected to commence on the new curriculum from September 2020. A date for Future Midwife students is to be confirmed. Currently the main focus of the NI FNFM project is preparing evidence to submit as part of the NMC’s Quality Assurance Process for approval.

From October 2019 FNFM information and awareness sessions will be available. These will be co-delivered by representatives from practice and education, geographically spread and open to all staff and students including, but not limited to, HSC Trusts, Primary Care and the Voluntary/Independent Sector.

Work will continue over the coming year to support the implementation of the NMC (2018) FNFM Standards across NI. Partnership working and collaboration with key stakeholders will continue to be a critical part of the process of implementing the new education standards.

Innovations from around the UK

For more information contact:

Frances Cannon
Project Manager & Senior Professional Officer, NIPEC

If you would like to be included in future FNFM communications and events please send an email with this request to

Please also visit our website and our Facebook and Twitter pages.