Nursing and Midwifery Council may drop plan to increase CPD requirements to 40 hours

Papers to be considered by the NMC council next week are understood to recommend that nurses' continuing professional development requirements stay at 35 hours

Plans to increase the number of hours of learning activity nurses are required to undertake to remain on the nursing register could be dropped following concerns around cost, Nursing Standard has learned.

Nurses and midwives must undertake at least 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) relevant to their practice every three years to remain registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

As part of an overhaul of UK nursing regulation, the regulator proposed increasing CPD by five hours to 40 hours every three years.

The move has been piloted by more than 2,700 registrants from 19 organisations across the UK.

But Nursing Standard has learned that a report by auditors KPMG, commissioned by the nurse regulator, puts the cost of revalidation for some employers as high as £1,000 per registrant, thereby putting pressure on the NMC to reduce costs.

The NMC’s council is due to vote on the new re-registration model – known as revalidation – including CPD requirements, next week.

The papers are understood to recommend just 35 hours of CPD.

Revalidation is expected to be introduced from April next year.

Unison head of nursing Gail Adams, who wants to see CPD requirements increase to 40 hours, said it would be ‘foolhardy’ to change the proposals on learning activity at this stage.

‘We are firmly of the opinion that we should move to 40 hours. This is what was originally proposed and has been piloted, and it should be introduced and evaluated.’

An NMC spokesperson said the revalidation pilot had been tested across 19 sites that showed it was achievable and beneficial.

‘Since the pilots concluded, we’ve worked hard to make improvements to the guidance and the process to make sure that every nurse and midwife understands what will be expected of them so that they can approach revalidation with confidence.’

The NMC will release details, including cost-benefit analysis, about the pilots ahead of its council meeting on October 8.

NMC council will then use the findings from the reports, its own assessment of readiness and the views of the four country programme boards to make a final decision about moving ahead with revalidation.

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