RCN congress

Tell staff what is expected of them under revalidation, warns trust

Healthcare organisations will need to make concerted efforts to engage nurses in the revalidation process, according to a trust piloting the new model.

Julian Eve John Houlihan

At a fringe session at RCN congress, organised by RCNi, Nottingham Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust presented the findings from its pilot of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s proposed model for revalidation. It is one of 19 organisations trialling the new model.

Under revalidation, which nurses will be required to undertake every three years to renew their registration, registrants will be required to demonstrate evidence of their competence and compliance with the NMC code of conduct. They will also need to maintain a portfolio of evidence showing they have completed 450 hours of practice and 40 hours of continuing professional development (CPD). The first nurses to revalidate will be those who have a renewal date in April 2016.

Presenting the early findings from the pilot, which ran from January to June this year in the trust’s offender health teams, therapeutic skills tutor Angela Pemberton said 40 band 5 nurses took part in the pilot. A total of 70 staff had been identified to trial the system but some did not engage with the process due to maternity or long-term sick leave.

Organisations will need to think about how they provide information to cater for nurses’  different circumstances to ensure they are engaged with the revalidation process, she said.

‘We need systems to support the difficult-to-reach groups, such as those on maternity leave, the long-term sick or suspended staff.'.

Her colleague Julian Eve, deputy director of learning, said organisations will also need to consider the nurses who are close to retirement and decide whether they can take early retirement if they are required to revalidate.

He added that getting sound policies, guidance, training and communication aids in place is crucial to ensure all staff know what is expected of them under revalidation and that they are prepared ahead of its introduction next April.

He said they should also be documenting how they have followed the revalidation process to provide evidence that they have adopted a consistent and comprehensive approach for all staff.

‘We need to get the message out to nurses that they need to start creating their portfolios now,’ he said.

During the question and answer session, nurses expressed their concerns about what the process would be for nurses who work independently and those who are employed by agencies.

Mr Eve said getting consistency of judgement in conducting the revalidation process from one organisation to another will also be a challenge, adding: ‘How does one person who gets confirmed and validated on their portfolio know it is the same standard as someone somewhere else in the country.’