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As a registered nurse, nursing associate or midwife you need to revalidate with the Nursing and Midwifery Council every three years so you can remain fit to practise throughout your career

As a registered nurse, midwife or nursing associate (England) you need to revalidate with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) every three years so you can remain fit to practise throughout your career. Find out about the requirements of revalidation, what you can do to prepare and how the RCN can support you.

Revalidation in a pandemic - meeting your CPD requirements

Did you know that the NMC are allowing you to apply, if necessary, for an extension to your revalidation application? See: NMC revalidation deadline extensions for more guidance.

The NMC website provides details on how you can request an extension through your NMC Online account once your revalidation application is open. See: How to revalidate during COVID-19.

The NMC also has a specific guide for revalidating during the COVID-19 pandemic for both those revalidating and those who are confirmers, reflective discussion partners and employers. Please share this with them if you think it would be helpful.

Remember that revalidation is three yearly

Remember that you can use the learning and the reflections from the previous 3 years, so it is not all reliant on the last year.

What is CPD

CPD is learning that you undertake that influences and impacts on your role as a nurse, midwife or nursing associate and the NMC doesn’t prescribe any particular type of CPD: leaving it up to you to decide what activity is most useful for your role and your professional development. 

Remember you are exposed to a raft of different learning opportunities - informal as well as formal. 

Although mandatory is not permissible for revalidation if it is necessary for your safe practice it can be used – so for example medications or IV updates – if it is informing your current practice then you can justify its inclusion. See: Guidance sheet - examples of CPD activities.

Participatory CPD

In order to meet the participatory learning requirement, you simply have to undertake activity that involves interaction with one or more other professionals. This doesn’t have to be in the same physical environment it can be a virtual one. 

Remember the reflection on learning in practice - What was the learning? Reading that follows on? Remember it must be a structured activity. How was the learning implemented?  Reading research or policy documents that are going to have a bearing on the care you deliver is enquiry based learning and you can justify this as a learning activity through your written reflection on this and in your reflective discussion. 

Mentorship of students in their third year who are working in a non supernumerary status. You might not have been a mentor before so what have you learnt from that experience: what did you need to learn, read up on, speak to someone about in order to carry out that role well. You and the student participated in that learning.

Daily briefings - Are you attending / giving daily briefings - having to pass on information to others - what is your learning from that?

Webinars – taking and asking questions – learning in partnership.

The RCN and RCNi also offer e-learning resources to support your revalidation.

Here are a few other suggestions on the learning that you can use towards your CPD:

  • how to apply PPE
  • how to use equipment required for Covid patients
  • what did you have to learn if redeployed to an unfamiliar area
  • reading staff briefings
  • how to administer unfamiliar medications
  • did you train up to administer / supervise vaccines delivery 
  • how to swab patients.

Remember that each of the Royal Colleges and government departments across the UK and organisations such as Health Education for England (HEE), Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery (NIPEC), NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) are all offering online, web learning, including Skills for Health (S4H) and eLearning for Healthcare (e-LfH).

If you are a member and you are finding it a challenge to meet your revalidation requirements, please make contact with the NMC or call RCND on 0345 772 6100.

One final bit of advice – do revalidate! Don’t let it slip even if retiring – you never know if and when you might want to come back.

What is revalidation?

Revalidation is the method by which you will renew your registration. The purpose of revalidation is to improve public protection by making sure that you remain fit to practice throughout your career. Revalidation:

  • reinforces your duty to maintain your fitness to practise within your own scope of practice
  • encourages you to incorporate the Code in your day-to-day practice and personal development
  • encourages engagement in professional networks and discussions and can help to reduce professional isolation
  • enhances employer engagement in NMC regulatory standards and increases access and participation in appraisals and continuing professional development.

The NMC provides guidance for registrants and employers. 

The RCN has produced a Guide to Revalidation for Employers: Mitigating the Risks to Your Business. This guide outlines in practical terms how employers can support and encourage nurses who must revalidate. This guidance complements the NMC guidance.

How can I get ready for revalidation?

You can prepare for revalidation by:

10 ways to prepare

What you can do to help ensure your revalidation goes smoothly.

10 most common myths

Is what you've heard about revalidation true?

10 tips for agency staff

Revalidation advice for agency nursing staff.

How social media can help you revalidate

Learning and engagement online can count towards your CPD. Here is our advice on how to get involved on Twitter.

What counts as CPD for revalidation?

In order to revalidate, you must undertake 35 hours of CPD. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Annual Review form for midwives

This RCN endorsed tool will support peer review, revalidation and clinical supervision.

Eight ways to improve your reflection

Written reflections are a requirement of revalidation. Follow our tips on how to best prepare yours.

Renewal or retention

  • Your renewal date is your revalidation date. It is when you have to renew your registration with the NMC. You have to renew your registration every three years through revalidation. Your renewal date is your revalidation date and it is the 1st day of the month in which you will revalidate. For example if your renewal date is in November, then it is the 1st day in November that you must revalidate. 
  • Your retention date is the annual date you will need to pay your fees to the NMC. You must pay your annual fee before your retention date otherwise your registration will lapse and you will be automatically removed from the NMC register. 

Keeping evidence 

You need to keep evidence that you have met the requirements for revalidation in a safe and secure place. This will usually be in a portfolio that can be paper based, computer stored or online, whichever is most appropriate for you. 


It is likely, through your Prep arrangements, that you already keep a professional portfolio. If so, you do not need to maintain a separate portfolio. The NMC will provide guidance on uploading revalidation documents if you are required to do so. 

If you are concerned about IT (availability or skills), it is worth exploring what support your local library, NHS trust or university can provide for you.

The RCN resource, Building and keeping a revalidation portfolio will help you to develop your portfolio. You can also watch a video of nursing staff sharing tips on how they collected and stored evidence for their revalidation.

RCNi Portfolio

The RCNi portfolio will support you to develop your portfolio. You will still need to use the NMC Online portal to complete your revalidation application.

If you are a member and subscribe to any of RCNi’s 11 journals, you will have access to the RCNi Portfolio. Make sure:

• You have registered at
• You have upgraded your subscription to a print or a digital magazine with RCNi
• You have the correct email address (the one registered against your subscription).

Any concerns can be resolved by contacting

Sharing your evidence

You need to be careful not to include any information that might identify a specific patient or service user in your portfolio.

You may choose to store your completed reflective discussion and confirmation forms in either paper or electronic format. You should still respect the fact that these forms contain personal data about your reflective discussion partner and confirmer.

Applying for revalidation

You will receive your formal notification that your revalidation application has opened no later than 60 days before your application is due to be submitted. You will need to submit your application through the NMC online portal NMC Online, and you can do this at any point during the 60 days, but it must be completed by the first day of the month in which your application is due.

You must ensure you pay your fee before your revalidation application date. If you have a direct debit already set up this will be collected at the usual time – even if the direct debit date is after your revalidation application date.

Once you have completed the application process and have paid your fee you will receive a receipt to confirm that your registration has been renewed via an email from the NMC. You can log onto your NMC Online account to see your confirmed registration status. You should keep your revalidation evidence and the contact details of the people you had your reflective and confirmation discussions with safely filed, as you may need to refer to them again.

Ready to submit?

Make sure you have:

  • read the NMC's How to revalidate with the NMC guidance 
  • met all the revalidation requirements
  • had your reflective discussion and your confirmation discussion
  • all the supporting evidence to hand when you start your online application
  • received your 'Registration Renewal Notice' from the NMC. If you are signed up to NMC Online this will be sent by email. 


Each year the NMC will select a sample of nurses, midwives and nursing associates to provide further information to verify the declarations they have made as part of the revalidation process. Whilst this process is completed – all nurses, midwives and nursing associates will remain on the register and can continue to practise whilst the NMC review the information provided. As part of the process the confirmer, reflective discussion partner and the employer may be contacted by the NMC to verify the information provided. 

Reasonable adjustments information

There may be circumstances that make it more difficult for you to meet the revalidation requirements in a timely manner. This may be as a result of a disability, illness, maternity leave etc. For those registrants who have a protective characteristic, there is support to help you revalidate. See the above RCN advice at the links above.  

The NMC offers support with helping to use NMC Online, providing a short extension or making reasonable adjustments if you have a disability. See: Support to help you revalidate. It is very important to contact them at an early stage. You must submit your application before your revalidation application date.

Don’t forget that you will need to provide and upload evidence to support your application and the guidance clearly outlines what this is. It is also very important to complete your application for support as soon as possible once your application to revalidate opens. This will give the NMC time to consider your application. If the NMC do not accept your application, you will need to meet the revalidation requirements in order to renew your registration.

Readmission to the register

For more information about readmission to the register, see our advice guides:

  • NMC: Admission and readmission dos and don’ts
  • NMC: Readmission and practicing whilst lapsed
  • NMC issues.
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