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The 10 most common myths about revalidation

To help you through your revalidation, we’ve created a list of the most common misconceptions that people have about the NMC’s new process.

1. ‘I don’t deliver hands-on clinical care so I don’t need to revalidate’

This incorrect. If you are an NMC registrant, you must revalidate every three years. To do so, you will need to demonstrate 450 practice hours, or 900 if you are revalidating as a nurse and a midwife.

These hours are within whatever your scope of practice is. It might include time spent managing teams, teaching others, shaping nursing policy, or even commissioning services. It is not just about providing direct care to patients.

2. ‘I don’t work in a permanent role so I can’t revalidate’

If you work as an agency or bank nurse or midwife you still need to revalidate. As long as you can complete the minimum number of practice hours across the three years up to your revalidation date, and meet all the other requirements, you should be able to complete the process. 450 hours across three years equates to 150 per year and only 12.5 hours per month.

3. ‘I’m retiring next year, so I don’t need to revalidate’

If you do not revalidate when requested to do so by the NMC you may find that your registration will lapse. If this happens, you will not be able to practice as a nurse or a midwife for any period of time until you have successfully re-applied. There is a charge and a considerable amount of additional work for re-entry onto the NMC register, so it’s in your best interest to maintain your registration.

4. ‘I will revalidate at the end of the month’

The deadline for submitting your revalidation application is the first day of the month in which your registration expires. Therefore, if your renewal date is 30 April, your revalidation application date deadline will be 1 April. Don’t get caught out by this change.

5. ‘I can use my practice as a nurse to revalidate as a midwife’

This isn’t correct. If you are dual registrant practising solely in one role, for example as a midwife, you will have to specify midwifery as your scope of practice when you submit your application to the NMC.

You cannot select any tasks undertaken as part of your practice as a midwife in order to maintain your nursing registration. The same applies for dual registrants working solely as a nurse.

 Nursing and midwifery are separate professions. If you are practising solely as a nurse or solely as a midwife it is not necessary for you to maintain both of your registrations.

Practice hours is the only aspect of revalidation that is different for dual registered nurses and midwives. You do not need to complete double the amount of CPD, or produce twice the number of written reflective accounts.

6. ‘I need to save my portfolio electronically’

The NMC strongly recommends that nurses and midwives keep evidence that they have met the revalidation requirements in a portfolio, but this does not need to be electronic.

If you are used to keeping your revalidation evidence in a paper portfolio you can continue to do this. All of the NMC’s forms and templates can be downloaded, printed and filled in by hand. 

When you revalidate, you will need to log into your NMC Online account and complete the online application process, which is a self-declaration format. If you are one of the sample selected by the NMC each month to review, you will then be informed by the NMC if you need to provide any additional evidence. 

7. ‘I need to submit my portfolio to the NMC’

At no point during your revalidation application will you need to upload your evidence or submit your portfolio to the NMC. Instead, you will make a series of declarations that you have met each of the requirements. You will need to provide the NMC with information about your practice, as well as the details of your confirmer and reflective discussion partner through their online process.

While you do not need to submit your portfolio to the NMC, you will need to show your revalidation evidence/portfolio to your confirmer during your confirmation discussion.

8. ‘I don’t have an appraisal so I can’t revalidate’ 

Although the NMC strongly recommends that your confirmation discussion takes place as part of your appraisal, this is not mandatory.

If you are not an employee, or if you are an employee who has is unable to arrange an appraisal in advance of your revalidation application date, you can still renew your registration by meeting the revalidation requirements. Where this is the case, you will need to arrange your reflective and confirmation discussions with an appropriate person in good time.

9. ‘My participatory learning must be with another health care professional’

You will need to undertake 35 hours of CPD in total. Of these 35 hours, 20 hours must include participatory learning. Participatory learning is learning which involves interaction with other professionals.

The professionals that you engage with through participatory learning do not have to be health care professionals, and you do not need to meet face-to-face either. Your participatory learning could be in a virtual environment, such as a Twitter chat or online discussion.

10. ‘Revalidation is about fitness to practise’

Revalidation for nurses and midwives is not about Fitness to Practise. Revalidation is about helping you demonstrate that you practise safely and effectively and according to the NMC Code; encouraging a culture of sharing, reflection and improvement.

Likewise, confirmers are not making a judgment about whether you are fit to practice – they are simply confirming that they have seen all the evidence that you have met all the requirements for revalidation.

The reflective discussion is an opportunity to explore your own or other registrants adherence to the NMC Code in your daily practice. 


10 ways to prepare

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