Two nurses in discussion

Revalidation

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

When you renew your registration every three years, you need to revalidate with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) so you can continue practising as a registered nurse, nursing associate or midwife. Find out about the requirements of revalidation, what you can do to prepare and how the RCN can support you.


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:

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.

  • 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 revalidateIt 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.

    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.

    Eight ways to improve your reflection

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

    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 continuing professional development. Here are some ideas to get you started.

    RCN endorsed NHS England’s Annual Review form for Midwives

    This tool will be beneficial for peer review, revalidation and clinical supervision.

    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. 

    Portfolios

    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 rcni.com
    • 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 customerservice@rcni.com

    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. 

    Verification

    Each year the NMC will select a sample of nurses and midwives to provide further information to verify the declarations they have made as part of the revalidation process.  Whilst this process is completed – all nurses and midwives 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. 

    Student nurse on telephone

    We're here for you

    If you're an RCN member and need advice on revalidation, you can get in touch with the RCN any time from 8.30am to 8.30pm, 365 days a year.

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