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University in bid to secure NMC sign-off on new nursing programmes after initial plans were rejected

NMC said proposals did not meet its ‘challenging’ new standards
University of Bedfordshire

NMC said proposals did not meet its challenging new standards

A university is making a second attempt to gain NMC approval for proposed nursing programmes after the regulator rejected an initial bid.

The University of Bedfordshire had to re-apply for sign-off on future programmes after the NMC found it did not meet new education standards .

Approval meeting ended in rejection

Bedfordshire had originally submitted pre-registration nursing and nursing associate programmes for approval against the new standards for cohorts starting in September 2019.

But after a two-day approval visit last July when the university met NMC external quality assurance consultancy Mott MacDonald , its nursing and nursing associate courses were rejected and given a number of conditions to meet.

NMC said proposals did not meet its ‘challenging’ new standards


The University of Bedfordshire is making a second attempt to secure NMC sign-off  Picture: Alamy

A university is making a second attempt to gain NMC approval for proposed nursing programmes after the regulator rejected an initial bid.

The University of Bedfordshire had to re-apply for sign-off on future programmes after the NMC found it did not meet new education standards.

Approval meeting ended in rejection

Bedfordshire had originally submitted pre-registration nursing and nursing associate programmes for approval against the new standards for cohorts starting in September 2019.

But after a two-day approval visit last July when the university met NMC external quality assurance consultancy Mott MacDonald, its nursing and nursing associate courses were rejected and given a number of conditions to meet. 

The university's current nursing students are on programmes approved under the old standards and so are unaffected.

Concern about the quality of the learning experience

In papers published today, the NMC said the university’s nursing programme documentation lacked evidence of effective partnership working with practice learning partners and employers. It said the nursing associate programme did not make clear provision for students wishing to raise or escalate concerns about practice placements.

‘A recent review by Health Education England and Ofsted has given assurance that the education we provide is of a high standard with no concerns expressed about current or previous nursing education’

University of Bedfordshire spokesperson

The report authors wrote: ‘This creates a risk to students and public protection, with regard to safety within the practice learning environment and the quality of the student learning experience.'


Geraldine Walters, NMC director of
education and standards

Ensuring universities meet ‘ambitious’ new nurse education standards

The NMC has embarked on a quality assurance process for all UK nurse education providers to ensure they meet the new standards. So far, 51 out of 80 are moving to programmes approved against the new standards, with a full implementation expected by September 2020. 

NMC director of education and standards Geraldine Walters called the standards ‘ambitious and challenging’, adding it wasn't surprising that in a small number of cases, approval would not be given at the first attempt.

Professor Walters added: ‘The purpose of the quality assurance process is to give us confidence that nurses, midwives and nursing associates will be properly educated to meet the needs of people who use health and care services in the future.'

Reassurance about current or past nursing education

A University of Bedfordshire spokesperson said the plan it has resubmitted is robust and was developed with practice partners.

‘A recent review of our provision by both Health Education England and Ofsted has given assurance that the education we provide is of a high standard with no concerns expressed about quality of current or previous nursing education,’ she added.


Further information


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