NMC: 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, or been newly admitted to the register from other European economic area states and other nation states, should also 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 Principles of preceptorship 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

England and Wales

Accelerated pay progression during preceptorship was withdrawn for staff in England with effect from 1 April 2013 and withdrawn for staff in Wales with effect from 1 January 2015 (see Section 1: Pay structure (England) and Section 1: Pay Structure (Wales) *1 of the NHS terms and conditions handbook for more information).

Scotland and Northern Ireland

Section 1: Pay Structure (Scotland and Northern Ireland) 1.8 states 'Staff joining pay band 5 as new entrants will have accelerated progression through the first two points in six monthly steps (that is, they will move up one pay point after six months and a further point after 12 months) providing those responsible for the relevant standards in the organisation are satisfied with their standard of practice. This 12 month period will be referred to as “Preceptorship”.

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.

It is very important to think about how you will maintain your NMC registration. There are two areas to think about: paying NMC registration fees and revalidation. You can pay your NMC fees annually or monthly and you will need to go through the revalidation every three years. 

If you fail to pay your NMC fees at any point or fail to meet revalidation requirements, your registration will lapse. This is a serious issue. You cannot work as a nurse if you are not on the NMC register. You could be suspended from work and disciplinary action could be taken against you. You will need to apply for
readmission on NMC online and if you have worked without registration, the NMC will want to know why.

Try to put measures in place to remind you of your important dates and make sure you keep NMC online up to date with any changes to your email address. 

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.

Professional practice

Read our advice on medicines management, immunisation, revalidation,  practice standards and mental health.

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Need more help?

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Page last updated - 20/09/2020