NMC revalidation: 21-day countdown to portfolio for OH nurses


With Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) revalidation fast approaching, the Association of Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners UK (AOHNP) has put together a 21-day countdown. Diane Romano-Woodward explains more.

There has been a flurry of activity and public talks surrounding NMC revalidation for nurses, which will be coming into force for those who need to renew their registration after 30 April 2016. Nurses are required to revalidate every three years (renewal), and the other two years they pay an annual fee, but do not have to provide any evidence of practice.

These are changes that the NMC hopes will raise the level of practice for all nurses by ensuring that a greater amount of continuous professional development (CPD) is undertaken (at least 40 hours over the three years) and that at least half of this is “participatory”. This means that it will be in the company of others, either face to face or online.

A new requirement is for five pieces of feedback or CPD to be included in the portfolio, and for the nurse to reflect on these with another nurse to improve their practice. The contents of the portfolio must be reviewed and verified by a “confirmer”, who does not have to be a nurse. The NMC is optimistic that this “confirmation conversation” can take place as part of an employee’s annual appraisal.

In preparation for this, the NMC is piloting its new system of revalidation. Full details can be found on the NMC website, which includes general guidance, and guidance for confirmers and templates (the use of which is mostly optional).

AOHNP (UK) has expressed concerns that, while the revalidation process may work easily for nurses working in the NHS, it may not be fit for purpose for those in occupational health, where there are independent practitioners who may not have an annual appraisal and who may not be managed by a nurse who can act as  confirmer, but by an HR manager or a safety practitioner.

The NMC has welcomed AOHNP (UK)’s request to act as a pilot group to iron out any difficulties and provide specific guidance for OH practitioners, and 30 nurses have agreed to take part. As part of the pilot, a structured approach to producing the portfolio has been devised. This 21-day countdown format is not intended to be rigid, but it is simply to encourage practitioners to make a start in gathering evidence and giving some thought to how they will fulfil all the requirements for revalidation at a leisurely pace.

As the NMC pilots progress, the guidance may change and the AOHNP (UK) guidance will be further developed.

Putting together a portfolio

First, applicants must decide if their revalidation record will be on paper or computerised. If you are using paper, get a folder, plastic pockets, and wide index dividers ready. If computerised, check out the
Clarity Appraisal Toolkit. A video is also available explaining how the toolkit works.

The price is £50 (plus VAT) per year, but there are reductions for large numbers, so your employer may wish to take on a company contract.

Alternatively, you might wish to subscribe to the RCNi portfolio, which is another way to store all the evidence you need to meet the NMC’s revalidation requirements. To do this, you need to become an RCNi subscriber, which, according to the website, costs as little as £4.20 a month.

For a simple record on computer or similar index tabs for paper portfolio, here is a suggested format:

Main folder:

  • portfolio; and
  • subfolders.

NMC guidance (with subfolders):

  • the Code document;
  • how to revalidate document;
  • template pack; and
  • information for confirmers.

Practice hours (with subfolders):

  • log of practice hours (p.2 of templates); and
  • evidence of hours.

CPD (with sub folders):

  • CPD log (pp.3-4 of templates);
  • participatory CPD records, evidence or certificates; and
  • other CPD records, evidence or certificates.

Practice-related feedback:

  • 1-5 pieces

Reflective pieces (p.5 of templates):

  • 1-5 pieces

PDD Professional Development Discussion Form (p.6 of templates) and confirmation (with subfolders):

  • confirmation checklist (annex B); and
  • confirmation from third-party form (pp.7-8 of templates).

AOHNP (UK) 21-day countdown

Day 1

Do this:

  • set up folders;
  • print out the NMC code (you will refer to it often) and read through; alternatively you may have received an A5 copy directly from the NMC; and
  • print templates or add them to your computer record.

Think about:

  • how are you going to evidence the 450 practice hours worked? These hours can be in direct care, management, education, policy, research, or “other” (OH might be an option here); and
  • evidence can include: timesheets; invoices; payslips; contracts; job specifications; or role profiles.

Day 3

Do this:

  • take two CPD pieces of evidence and write up log, referencing the Code; and
  • add evidence of professional indemnity (eg copy of business insurance policy if working as a limited company, or Royal College of Nursing evidence if you are self-employed). If an employee of a large employer, ask your manager for documentary evidence of indemnity insurance provided by the employer’s insurer. (This is not strictly speaking required in the portfolio, but your confirmer is likely to ask about it, and it has been a challenge for some to provide evidence.)

Think about:

  • what other CPD can be used (see pp.10-11 and annex 2 examples of CPD activities); and
  • which NMC registrant you will ask to discuss five reflective pieces when complete, and who you will ask to act as confirmer (this can be the same person).

Day 5

Do this:

  • take two CPD evidence examples and write up log; and
  • contact/email NMC registrant and confirmer to ask for assistance.

Think about:

  • what practice feedback can be gathered or has already been collected (pp.12-13).

Day 7

Do this:

  • add practice feedback already collected; and
  • start collecting evidence of practice hours.

Think about whether or not:

  • whether or not further feedback evidence is required (pp.12-13).

Day 9

Do this:

  • take two CPD evidence examples and write up log; and
  • for one practice feedback, add a note of how you have used it to improve practice.

Think about:

  • check CPD log;
  • are any types of CPD (participatory or other) still outstanding?; and
  • how will you get that CPD?

Day 11

Do this:

  • gather evidence of 450 (65 seven-hour days) practice hours worked.

Think about:

  • has any evidence of indemnity insurance been added?

Day 13

Do this:

  • for two practice feedbacks, add a note of how you have used it to improve practice;
  • ask NMC registrant for: name that is shown on register; NMC PIN; email address; and professional address; and
  • when received, get PDD form (p.6) ready for the conversation.

Think about:

  • have you got sufficient CPD (20 hours participatory, 40 hours overall) logged?; and
  • if not, how will you achieve this?

Day 15

Do this:

  • book dates with NMC registrant and confirmer (if not the same person) if you will have sufficient CPD by that time; and
  • identify five pieces for formal reflection (can be a mixture of CPD and/or professional feedback).

Think about:

  • do you need to work on further CPD? When will you do this? (eg online quiz or training, participate in online group or evening lecture, OH regional group meeting); and
  • doing a final check of your practice hours log and supporting information.

Day 17

Do this:

  • for the final two practice feedbacks, add a note of how you have used it to improve practice; and
  • do two pieces of formal reflection; add to reflective pieces section (template, p.5).

Think about:

  • doing a final check of practice feedback.

Day 19

Do this:

  • do two pieces of formal reflection; and add to reflective pieces section; and
  • ask confirmer for: name that is shown on register; NMC PIN; personal and professional email address; and professional address including postcode. When this is received, get PDD form (pp.7-8) ready for the conversation.

Think about:

  • final check of CPD (20 participatory, 40 hours total).

Day 21

Do this:

  • do one piece of formal reflection; and add to reflective pieces section; and
  • final check of reflective feedback and form for NMC registrant.

Think about:

  • you have completed your portfolio; congratulations and well done; and
  • all that is left is to meet with the NMC registrant to discuss the reflections and get the confirmer to look at your portfolio.

After confirmation conversation

Once the confirmation conversation has been done, you can go to the NMC online to declare that you have met the revalidation requirements. At that stage, you will make a declaration of health and character (see pp.16-17).

The NMC will require a certain proportion of those who submit to upload some parts of their portfolioyou as evidence. If you do not have these in electronic format, you will need to scan or photograph them in order to attach. If you do not have this facility, explore how you can do it; some employers may be able to help.

Diane Romano-Woodward

About Diane Romano-Woodward

Diane Romano Woodward RN RSCPHN-OH BSc M Med Sc. (Occ Health) is occupational health adviser at Sunny Blue Sky Limited and president elect of the Association of Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners (UK).
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