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NOV 02/2015

Appraisals, reflective discussions and confirmation explained

Love them or loathe them, an appraisal is an essential part of a nurse’s job, and now the need for an annual appraisal is even more significant with revalidation.
As an agency nurse it is not a requirement to have an appraisal every year, however, you are required to have a reflective discussion and confirmation meeting prior to your revalidation date. It therefore makes sense to organise one meeting to cover everything, but just remember that this can be done no sooner than 12 months prior to your revalidation date. Any sooner and you may be questioned over relevance.
What is a reflective discussion?
Throughout the three years leading up to your revalidation date, you should be completing reflective pieces (at least five) to evidence as part of the process. 
The purpose of the written accounts is to encourage nurses to engage in reflective practice, identifying changing or improvements that they can make to their practice based on what you’ve learnt. You can relate it to CPD, feedback, general practice, articles you’ve read or an event you’ve attended, as long as it is particular to your practice and narrates to the Code.
The reflective discussion follows on from your written reflections and requires you to have a face-to-face conversation with another Nursing and Midwifery (NMC) registrant to discuss your written reflective accounts in detail.  You do not need to work with the person on a daily basis and they do not need to be within the same specialism as you, but you will need to complete the reflective discussion form and obtain a signature from the other NMC registration to evidence that you do not practice in professional isolation.
I recommend that you have this reflective discussion as part of your confirmation or appraisal, but only if the NMC registration conducting the face-to-face meeting is considered to be your line manager.
The final step – your confirmation:
The confirmation meeting is the final step before you submit your revalidation application. It’s purpose is to review all evidence collected over the last three years as part of the renewal process.
Be sure to engage with your Confirmer, interact and talk them through each element of your practice, CPD, reflective and documented evidence within your portfolio. It’s the part where you need to demonstrate that you have taken accountability for your practice and how you can further improve and adapt to clinical changes which may arise.
Whilst it’s recommended that the confirmer is an NMC registrant, it’s not a must. They should however, be considered to be your line manager and If that’s not possible, you can seek confirmation from another UK registered healthcare professional that you work with e.g. doctor, dentist or pharmacist.  
Finally, be sure to complete the NMC or Medacs appraisal / confirmation form and get a signature from your line manager / NMC registrant at the end of the meeting.  Keep a copy for yourself and provide it as part of your revalidation application.
What you need to know about the application process:
You will receive notification from the NMC at least 60 days prior to your application renewal. This should be no surprise as it’s recommended that you register with the NMC Online to find out your revalidation date (if you don’t know it already).
Once the notification is received, you’ll need to log onto the NMC Online and complete the application form.
What is my revalidation date?
It’s the first day of the month in which your registration expiries. So if you know your registration expires on the 12 June 2016, your revalidation date will be the 1 June 2016. 
What is my renewal date?
This has been confirmed as the last day of the month in which your registration expires and is subject to you passing your revalidation application.
Don’t feel alone during this process, whilst it is the responsibility of the nurse to revalidate and renew their registration, remember that you have so much support online with the and Medacs Healthcare have set up a dedicated website with a purpose of helping agency nurses through the process.
To visit the Medacs Healthcare Agency Nurses Revalidation Portal, click here or like the Agency Nurses Revalidation community on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Written by Hayley Boulton
The Agency Nurse Revalidation Champion at Medacs Healthcare

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