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NMC: Preceptorship

A guide for RCN members on preceptorship.

Find out more about joining the RCN.

Registration and preceptorship

The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) strongly recommends that all new registrants have a period of preceptorship when commencing employment.

Anyone who has entered a new part of the register and those newly admitted to the register from other European economic area states and other nation states also should receive a period of preceptorship.

A period of preceptorship should help the newly qualified nurse develop the confidence to practise competently as a nurse, midwife or specialist community health nurse. The preceptorship period should also ensure the newly-qualified nurse is familiar with and meets their obligations under the NMC code.

NMC guidance on preceptorship

Please see the NMC website and Standards to support learning and assessment in practice.

Preceptorship frameworks

NHS Employers has guidance on preceptorship for newly qualified staff.

The Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery (NIPEC) has more information on preceptorship, which includes a preceptorship framework and other guidance.

Preceptorship outside the NHS

If you are employed outside the NHS, there is currently no requirement for your employer to provide a period of preceptorship although the NMC and the RCN would recommend it. Speak to your employer to clarify their preceptorship arrangements.

Preceptorship within the NHS

Those employed within the NHS should refer to the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook, particularly section 1.8 which clearly defines how the period of preceptorship is supported within the NHS.

An NHS employer is obliged to provide you with a period of preceptorship in your first year as an employee. You should check your employer’s preceptorship policy for details of the specific arrangements in place.

Accelerated pay progression

*Important note: this accelerated pay progression during preceptorship is withdrawn for staff in England with effect from 1 April 2013 and withdrawn for staff in Wales with effect from 1 January 2015 (see paragraph 1.8 and 1.9 of section 1(a) of the Agenda for Change terms and conditions handbook for more information).

If you are joining the NHS as a new entrant you will also have accelerated pay progression through the first two incremental pay points in six monthly steps*. In practice this means that the new entrant will move up one pay point after six months and a further point after twelve months, providing those responsible for the relevant standards in the organisation are satisfied with their standard of practice.

Some members may experience difficulty obtaining the appropriate level of payment during their preceptorship period. Our view is that, subject to satisfactory performance, all members of staff who qualify should benefit from this incremental rise and that employers cannot opt out since this rise is part of the Agenda for Change terms and conditions.

In the first instance, once you have clarified whether you qualify for the payment in line with the above, you should talk to your employer and remind them of their obligation under Agenda for Change. If your employer refuses you this incremental rise then contact us for advice.

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Revalidation is the way in which nurses and midwives demonstrate every three years to the NMC that they continue to practice safely and effectively and can remain on the register.

In order to revalidate, every nurse and midwife will have to declare to the NMC that they are meeting the standards outlined in the NMC code, have received confirmation from a third party that this is true, and are able to offer evidence which shows how this has been achieved.  

The NMC's revalidation microsite has all the information you need to guide you through revalidation. This includes information for confirmers and employers.

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

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Call the RCN on: 03457726100

Page last updated - 13/02/2019