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Revalidation pilot to be launched between university and NHS trust

Plymouth University will assess benefits of reflective discussion between academic and clinical registrants

A university is planning a pilot with an NHS trust to discover the benefits of reflective discussion between trust and university staff as part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s new revalidation process.

Plymouth University held a session last week where nurses and midwives discussed revalidation. Margaret Fisher, associate professor in midwifery, and revalidation lead at Plymouth University, said: ‘There is an opportunity to use revalidation as a springboard for wider thinking about the profession.

‘Some of the academic staff who have already been through the process found it straightforward. They did have concerns however about the roles of the confirmer who does not need to be an NMC registrant, and the person who is part of the reflective discussion who could be a line manager.

‘Through the pilot, academic and trust staff will have a chance to work together on revalidation and it will be an opportunity to help people in slightly more isolated roles and reduce the conflict of interest in smaller teams. They can use each other as professional sounding boards for nursing.’

Revalidation replaced PREP – post-registration education and practice – this month and will help nurses and midwives demonstrate they practise safely and effectively.

Confirmers check whether or not a nurse or midwife has met the requirements of revalidation, and the reflective discussion covers written reflections and the NMC code.

Julian Archer, director of the collaboration for the advancement of medical education research and assessment at the university presented a report as part of a three-year study on the impact of medical revalidation, introduced in 2012, at the event. The findings were from a UK-wide collaboration of researchers, known as UMbRELLA and led by Plymouth University.

Professor Fisher added: ‘Dr Archer’s research showed that linking revalidation with appraisals can make the process more of a tick-box exercise. We want it to be about development. The NMC has suggested that revalidation could be part of the appraisal process but we have kept the two very separate at the university to avoid confusion and blurred agendas.'

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