‘Recordable qualifications’ need to be reconsidered by the NMC

How infuriating would it be to be a highly qualified candidate for the perfect job, only to be labelled by an administrator in the human resources department as ‘not suitable’ at the initial CV sift due to having “no recordable qualifications” when the routine PIN check is carried out via the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) website?

Clearly the NMC is the only place where recordable qualifications are held for nurses, so how can this candidate demonstrate their achievements? Certificates? No – they can be generated on a PC, and so carry little weight in the recruitment process. How can an employer understand that a candidate who is purporting to be a competent practitioner would be considered by their own professional body to have no recordable qualifications against their entry?

Question of validity

Surely it is reasonable, as in my own case, for the NMC to consider my Registered General Nurse qualification as a ‘recordable qualification’? Surely an Occupational Health Nursing Certificate (I know that shows my age, but it was pre-diploma) is a ‘recordable qualification’. Yet according to the NMC website, I have ‘no recordable qualifications’.

At a push, I can accept that my OH Diploma/Degree are academic qualifications and so can reasonably be considered to be not ‘recordable’ by the NMC. Equally, my Higher Professional Diploma in Employment Law would not be included, as this is again an academic work and while these add to my body of knowledge and competence in my field, I accept the NMC is not interested in recording them. The practitioner search details do not even record the PIN number now as it used to do.

NMC stance

Having called the NMC to discuss this, I was advised that what I considered to be my personal recordable qualifications are simply my ‘Field of Practice’, and that I have not done any additional training which it considers recordable.

I was (infuriatingly) advised that if I were a specialist practitioner in mental health, children’s nursing or even district nursing, then I would have a ‘recordable qualification’! What an absolute liberty.

See for yourself

So out of interest, why don’t you go to the NMC website, have a look at your entry, and see what exactly is being listed as ‘recordable qualifications’. I found it pitiful and extremely disappointing after enrolling as a registered general nurse in 1978, gaining a qualification allowing me to practise as a registered specialist community public health nurse in 1988, and paying my fees to be ‘registered’ for all these years, to see I actually have ‘no recordable qualifications’.

By Jane Fairburn (pictured above), BSc (Hons) OH Dip RGN CMIOSH, OH services director, People Asset Management

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