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10 ways to prepare for revalidation

In order to revalidate, you must undertake 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) relevant to your scope of practice as a nurse or midwife over the three years prior to your revalidation date. 

Of those 35 hours of CPD, at least 20 must be participatory learning.

Remember, it’s up to you to choose CPD which is most relevant to your practise. CPD is not just about attending courses – it includes a host of other activities that you already do as part of your role as a nurse or midwife. Here are some ideas to get you started: 

What is participatory learning?

Participatory learning is activity undertaken with one or more professionals where you personally interact with other people. The learning activity doesn’t always need to be in a shared physical space such as a conference, clinical workshop or training course; it can be virtual too, like an online discussion or Twitter chat.

Participatory learning can include discussions and debates with colleagues, perhaps in a meeting or an action learning environment. You may come together as a team to analyse an event in the workplace, or a development in practice, for example. 

Remember, the people you engage with through participatory learning do not have to be health care professionals – although often this will be the case.

CPD events take place across the UK throughout the year, and many of these are free. The RCN hosts numerous free and discounted courses.

For regular Twitter chats, see WeNurses, NurChat and #RCNchat.

Work-based activity

Work-based learning is less formal, but equally as useful. This could be shadowing a senior colleague or someone working in a different role to you. Secondments, job rotation, or supervising fellow staff and students are good examples of work-based CPD too.

For opportunities to develop your CPD at work, speak to your line manager.

Professional activity

Professional activity can count towards your CPD hours. For example, CPD hours can be achieved through teaching, mentorship, organising or running a course as well as learning something new in practice yourself.

Another example of professional activity is reading journal articles or research papers and reflecting on how your reading has changed your understanding of that topic. Online learning, which traditionally takes place in isolation (on your own), also counts towards your 35 CPD hours.

For the latest e-journals, visit the RCN Library and Heritage Services.

Mandatory training

The NMC state mandatory training cannot be used as part of your revalidation evidence unless it is a formal aspect of your role.  

For example, if you have a significant role in protecting vulnerable patients then a mandatory safeguarding training day can be included. Similarly, if you are the lead for safe handling and lifting, this mandatory update can be used to support you in your role and is valid.

Mandatory training that is not directly related to your practice, for example, fire training or health and safety training, cannot be included as part of your CPD.

Formal learning

Formal learning refers to education which is provided by an accredited institution, such as a UK university. Often employers will agree to fund a range of development courses, some of which may result in a formal qualification such as a Master’s degree, or even individual modules that may or may not carry credits. This is still formal learning.

How do I record my CPD hours?

As part of revalidation, you are asked to look at what CPD you have undertaken over a three year period. This amounts to 12 hours per year.

The NMC have provided a useful log sheet that supports you to maintain an accurate record of your CPD, however you can keep your evidence in any way you wish.

The NMC ask that you include the following:

The CPD method
A description of the topic and how it related to your practice
The dates on which the activity was undertaken
The number of hours (including the number of participatory hours)
Identify the part of the Code most relevant to the activity
Evidence that you undertook the CPD activity (this could be a certificate from a course you have taken, or links to a Twitter chat you took part in).

Further information

The RCN has information and advice to support members through revalidation, including case studies and guidance on how to revalidate with the NMC.

The NMC’s revalidation website has further information, including case studies, films, templates and guidance on how to revalidate with the NMC.

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