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01st May 2015

Revalidation for nurses

Friendly female medical worker showing thumbs up

What is revalidation?

Revalidation is a process that all nurses and midwives will need to participate in to demonstrate that they practice safely and effectively throughout their career. It’s a rolling program and they will need to revalidate every three years. It will replace the current requirements and is all about promoting good practice, rather than an assessment of a nurse’s fitness to practise, although effectively that is what it is.

Why are nurses being revalidated?

Doctors already have revalidation. It is seen positively as a process to demonstrate, on a regular basis, that they are up to date, fit to practise in their chosen field and able to provide a good level of care. Revalidation of nurses will give greater confidence to the public, employers and peers that they are up-to-date with their practice.

What will revalidation cover?

Nurses will need to evidence reflection on their practice and approach to patient care. They will need to identify areas of practice where they could make improvements or undertake further development. Revalidation should cover the spectrum of good medical practice which includes:

  • safety and quality
  • knowledge, skills and performance
  • maintaining trust
  • communication, partnership and teamwork

Is it a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction?

There are, of course, concerns about the introduction of revalidation, with some feeling it is a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to adverse press coverage. There are also concerns about cost implications, and worry about the extra burden that complying with revalidation may place on nurses and midwives who often already feel overstretched in their professional capacities. However, in order to meet CQC standards, revalidation is definitely seen as the way forward to evidence good patient care. The QCS management system will support practices in providing their nurses with much of the evidence required to be revalidated.


The Nursing and Midwifery Council have information on their website about revalidation. Some NMC regional leads are presenting at local events to discuss the process directly with nurses, which my practice nurses definitely found useful.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Alison Lowerson

GP Specialist

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