Comment

18.03.15

Revalidation pilot for nurses and midwives in Public Health England

Helen Kirk, nursing and midwifery interim revalidation lead at Public Health England (PHE), describes its experiences as a pilot site.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has begun the process to introduce revalidation for nurses and midwives. The NMC describes revalidation as a ‘process that all nurses and midwives will need to engage with to demonstrate that they are fit to practice throughout their career’. The purpose of revalidation is to improve public protection by making sure that nurses and midwives continue to be fit to practice throughout their career and to promote good practice across the whole population of nurses and midwives.

Nurses and midwives need stay up-to-date in their professional practice, develop new skills, keep up-to-date on standards and understand the changing needs of the public they serve and fellow healthcare professionals with whom they work. Revalidation sees nurses and midwives reflect upon the NMC Code of Practice, seek feedback from, and have periodic professional discussions with another registrant. They then have to confirm with a third party that they have met those requirements.

When the NMC announced it would begin piloting revalidation earlier this year, PHE nurse leaders were very keen to participate as a pilot site. The aim of the range of pilot sites is to find the most effective and efficient ways to revalidate for all branches of nursing and midwifery.

The pilot is a real opportunity to strengthen the nursing and midwifery contribution to improving the public's health. There are also challenges. For example, the range of practice in PHE is very broad and includes practitioners like health protection nurses, research nurses, nurse epidemiologists and public health midwives. These registrants are dispersed across the country, with a third embedded in NHS England area teams. Also, many of PHE's nurses and midwives work in very small teams and may have no day to day contact with other NMC registered colleagues.

These are all important factors to consider as part of the pilot period. Some of the challenges we will be looking at are; the difference between fitness for practice and fitness for purpose i.e. the relationship between validation against NMC code and delivery of job role, understanding what works for reflective practice and how to identify the third party confirmer.

A PHE pilot project group, which includes colleagues from HR and communications, has been established to oversee the project and governance arrangements have been put in place through extending PHE's existing medical revalidation steering group. The pilot will work with nurses and midwives internally to see what works best for them and participate in the overarching evaluation commissioned by the NMC, so that we can prepare well and be ready for a full roll-out.

We are developing and piloting an e-portfolio for PHE's nurses and midwives to use to support them through revalidation. In this e-portfolio colleagues can record their CPD and structure their reflective writing.

PHE is already sharing experience and lessons learned so far. We are active members of England's national revalidation implementation board and national organisations for health, public health and social care and leads from pilot sites. We are also involved in regional groups. These boards provide leadership to revalidation and evidence on most effective ways to implement in the different sectors. PHE is thus contributing at all levels from establishing effective systems with and for nurses and midwives in PHE and public health to influencing wider national implementation.

The March/April 2014 edition of NHE has an in-depth focus on revalidation for nurses and midwives, with contributions from the NMC, pilot sites and partners. Subscribe for free, for a limited time, here.

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Anne Frank   04/08/2015 at 18:13

for best Revalidation visit: www.GPtools.org

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