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10 things you need to do for revalidation

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1 Know when you will need to revalidate and start preparing in plenty of time. You can check your revalidation date by logging on to your account at the Nursing and Midwifery Council website, which has a microsite covering all aspects of revalidation.

The NMC will send a notice 60 days before your revalidation date to the email address you have registered with it – so make sure that address is current. In the subsequent 60-day period you can submit your application through NMC online. However, you may want to allow more time to put together evidence and ensure you meet all the requirements rather than wait for the NMC email.

Some employers have electronic staff records that identify and alert those needing to revalidate. This can be helpful, but will not happen in every organisation.

The NMC microsite provides a rundown of the evidence you will need – from getting a confirmer to ‘sign off’ your revalidation to how many practice hours you need. The majority of nurses will read this list and breathe a sigh of relief but there will be some who have not completed the required continuing professional development (CPD) or need more practice hours. Advance knowledge of this shortfall will allow time to address the problem – for example, by doing more courses. If you have been off work sick, on maternity leave or taking an agreed career break you may be able to apply for special arrangement giving you extra time to submit your application (but only up to six weeks).

2 Start collecting the evidence you need and keep it in a safe place.

For most of you, this will involve using an online system such as the RCNi Portfolio, although this is not compulsory. However, e-portfolios allow you to have a permanent record of what you have done in one place and can help when it is time to talk to your confirmer.

3 Ensure that you have the required practice hours if you are part time or have had a long break from work.

While 450 hours does not sound a large amount – and most nurses will have done several times that figure – there will be some nurses in particular circumstances who will not have completed the required hours. If you are dual registered – as both a nurse and a midwife – you need to do 450 hours in each area. This may be a problem if you do only a few shifts in one area. Most other registrants will have no difficulty in meeting the requirement.

Revalidation has been designed so that all nurses and midwives can meet the requirements, including those not involved in direct patient care. If you work in commissioning, manage other nurses and midwives, develop policy or are in education you should be able to revalidate as long as you can show you are using your professional skills, knowledge and experience.

4 Check your continuing professional development requirements have been met and you have a record of them.

This needs to include how the CPD relates to parts of the NMC code and evidence of activities you have undertaken, such as certificates. Of the 35 hours required, 20 have to be participatory – for example, in an environment where you interact with other professionals. Not all of this needs to be formal learning in a conference or workshop, but you will need to have evidence that you have undertaken other learning.

5 Record your practice-based feedback.

You will need five pieces of relevant feedback in the three years since your registration was renewed or since you joined the register. This can be recorded on an NMC template. The feedback can come from a variety of sources – patients, carers, colleagues and your manager and/or employer, among others. It can be verbal feedback or it could be written, including feedback from your annual appraisal. Again, you need to think about how it relates to the NMC code and how you have reacted to it – for example, how you have changed your practice as a result of your experience.

6 Even if your revalidation is not imminent, start thinking about the reflective accounts now.

You need five reflective accounts within the three year period since your registration was renewed or since you joined the register.

The sources for these can be wide-ranging and may include an example of CPD, practice-related feedback you have received, or an event or experience in your practice.

You must be able to relate the examples and your reaction to the NMC code. This part of revalidation seems to worry many nurses but there is a great deal of useful information on the NMC website, including a form outlining what to consider when writing your reflective accounts and examples of completed accounts. The form has to be used to record your reflective accounts.

7 Make an appointment with the person with whom you will have the reflective discussion based on your reflective accounts.

The reflective discussion has to be with another NMC registrant, and could be with your line manager if that works for you. However, you could choose to have the discussion with another nurse or midwife, such as a colleague who works in the same area of expertise. If your confirmer – the person who looks at the evidence you have collected and confirms it meets the requirements – is a nurse or midwife, they can also carry out the reflective discussion.

You will be asked to declare that you have had a reflective discussion and provide details of who it was with and when.

8 Carefully read through reflective accounts and check the details.

Mention of individual patients in your reflective accounts should be anonymised.

You will also need to provide a health and character declaration, and confirm you have appropriate indemnity cover. This is not normally an issue because employers usually take on the responsibility, but check you are covered if you are self-employed.

9 Demonstrate to the confirmer that you have competed the revalidation requirements.

Confirmation is the final step before you submit your application – and one that seems to worry many people. The confirmer would usually be your line manager, but does not have to be a registrant. You could ask another nurse or midwife to do it, or another healthcare professional. If that is not possible the NMC has a list of suitable professionals. However, in this case you are more likely to be asked to provide additional information as part of the verification process. You need to record your confirmation on an NMC form signed by the confirmer. The form does not need to be submitted but should be kept in a safe place.

10 Get your submission in by the deadline.

Don’t fall at the final hurdle and miss your date to revalidate. The deadline is the first day of the month in which your revalidation is due, not the last day of the month. If you don’t do it in time, your registration will lapse at the end of the month and you will need to apply again to be admitted to the NMC register. That could leave you without the right to work as a nurse or midwife for some time.

You will not have to submit your portfolio of evidence but ensure you keep it safe; you may need to refer to it. At this point you may also be asked to pay your annual NMC fee (unless you pay NMC registration fees by direct debit) so make certain you have the money available in the bank.

Find out more RCNi

Read all our articles on revalidation, ranging from analysis of the new system to first-hand accounts from nurses who have been through the process in the pilot sites.

www.rcni.com/revalidation

NMC

The NMC has a microsite and a more detailed explanation of how the system will work.

tiny.cc/NMC_Revalidation_doc

Revalidation made simple

RCNi’s revalidation e-portfolio is available free to subscribers at rcni.com/portfolio. The portfolio – which allows you to log your CPD evidence, practice hours, reflective accounts and appraisals – is NMC compliant and portable, so you can take it with you throughout your career.

This article is for subscribers only

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