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Revalidation for Nurses

Nursing and Midwifery Revalidation FAQ's

We've put together a list of commonly asked questions nurses and midwives often have when they prepare for their revalidation.

What is Revalidation?

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) define Revalidation as:

“The new process by which nurses and midwives demonstrate that they practice safely”. 

At present, nurses and midwives are required to renew their registration every three years. The revalidation process strengthens the existing renewal process by introducing requirements that focus on: 

  1. Keeping up-to-date with practice and professional development (CPD), 
  2. Reflection on the professional standards of practice and behaviour as set out in the new Code (March 2015) and, 
  3. Engagement in professional discussions with other registered nurses or midwives. 

It will not be an assessment of fitness to practice, but it will be used to promote good practice across the whole population of nurses and midwives. The NMC has also confirmed that this is not intended to address bad practice amongst a select few nurses and midwives. 

Why has revalidation been introduced?


Revalidation has been introduced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to build further confidence and improve protection with the public, employers and fellow professionals by ensuring tat nurses and midwives are up-to-date with their professional practice. 

Think of it as a positive - it's an opportunity to develop new skills, read up on the latest standards relating to the new Code and ensure that nurses are ‘living’ these standards whilst understanding the changing needs of the public which they serve, and fellow colleagues whom they work with. 

What do I have to do to revalidate?


  • 450 practice hours - Over the three years prior to the renewal of your registration.
  • 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) - Must be relevant to your practice as a nurse and over the three years prior to the renewal of your registration. 20 hours must be through participatory learning. 
  • Five pieces of practice-related feedback (at least) - Feedback can be informal/formal, written or verbal and from a number of sources including patients, service users, students and colleagues. 
  • Five written reflections and one discussion - On the Code, your CPD and practice related feedback. You must discuss these reflections with another NMC-registered nurse.
  • Health and character declaration - You must declare if you have been convicted of any criminal offence or issued with a formal caution. 
  • Professional Indemnity Arrangement 
  • Confirmation from a third party - An appropriate third party confirmer is your line manager or an NMC registrant which you work with. 

You will also be contacted by the NMC 60 days before your revalidation application is due. Your revalidation date will be the first day of the month in which your registration expires and you will need to submit the online application before that date. We recommend at least two weeks prior in case you come across any unforeseen delays. 

What can I count as continuing professional development (CPD)?




It needs to be relevant to your practice. Mandatory training can be counted but the NMC are ideally looking for something that fits closely to the area you specialise in. 

You can often get CPD points/hours online at events, conferences and workshops so take a look at what’s local to you – some of which could be free! 

Remember, 20 out of the 35 hours need to be participatory which means that you need to be in a group setting. 

Where can I get feedback from?




You can collect feedback formally or informally either verbally or in a written format. It could relate to you as an individual or through the team you’re in. 

If you look to collect feedback from a patient, do remember to get their consent first and do not provide personal details which could identify the patient.

How do I write a reflective account?

You need to follow the NMC guidelines and complete each section they propose. You can either download the form they have created or you can use the RCNi Portfolio account offered free by Medacs Healthcare to all our nurses. 

The questions which you have to answer include: 

  • Title 
  • Date 
  • What was the nature of the CPD activity/practice-related feedback? 
  • What did you learn from the CPD activity and/or feedback?
  • How did you change or improve your work as a result?
  • How is this relevant to the Code?

Read our guide to writing a reflective account for more information. 

What can I write a reflective account on?

Training (CPD), an event or experience in practice and feedback that you have collected about yourself or the team you are part of (verbal, written, formal or informal). 

What is a reflective discussion?


Throughout the three years leading up to your revalidation date, you should be completing at least five reflective pieces to evidence as part of the process. The reflective discussion follows on from your written reflections and requires you to have a face-to-face conversation with another 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 registrant to evidence that you do not practice in professional isolation.

Click here to learn more about reflective discussions and confirmation.

Do I need to keep a portfolio?


It is strongly recommended you do so. Your portfolio can be paper-based or online (e-portfolio) but either way it needs to hold evidence of each requirement ready to be discussed at your confirmation meeting.

It is also needed as future reference should you be asked to provide your portfolio as part of the NMC’s random sample of verification. 

Will I have to send off my entire portfolio?




No. You will only complete the online revalidation application form confirming that you have met all of the requirements. You need to keep your portfolio as evidence for the three years and we recommend you keep a copy of it for future reference. 

The NMC will be selecting a random sample of nurses to send through their portfolio to verify their declarations as part of their revalidation application. If you are selected, it does not necessarily mean there are any concerns about your application, and you can continue to practise while the NMC reviews the information you provide.

What is the purpose of a confirmation meeting?


The confirmation meeting is the final step before you submit your revalidation application. The purpose is to review all evidence collected over the last three years as part of the renewal process. 

Who can act as my confirmer?


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. 

Is revalidation a test?


No. Revalidation will not be an assessment on fitness to practice, but it will be used to promote good practice across the whole population of nurses and midwives.

The NMC has also confirmed that this is not intended to address bad practice amongst a select few nurses and midwives. 

How do I find out my revalidation date?


Sign up or log-in to the NMC Online to find out your revalidation and renewal date. Be sure to keep all of your contact information up-to-date so that they can send important reminders. You will receive notification from the NMC at least 60 days prior to your application renewal.

What is my revalidation date?

It’s the first day of the month in which your registration expires. So if you know your registration expires on 12 June 2021, your revalidation date will be 1 June 2021. 

How do I submit my revalidation application?




You will need to submit your application to revalidate through NMC Online.

What happens if I don’t complete my revalidation?


If you don’t submit your revalidation application in time, your registration will lapse which means that it will be illegal for you to practice as a nurse. To return onto the register you will have to apply for readmission which could take up to six weeks. 

If you submit your revalidation application in time but it is refused because you have failed to meet your revalidation requirements, you can appeal this decision within 28 days of the date on your decision letter. 

What happens after I have sent off my revalidation application?




After you have submitted your application and paid the renewal fees, you will have the option of printing off the confirmation of your submitted application. 

Once your application has been successfully processed and your payment has been received, the NMC will send you an email confirming that your registration has been renewed. 

It’s recommended that you check the register on NMC online to double-check that it’s completed and approved. 

What happens if I go on maternity leave?


You will still be required to revalidate and evidence the requirements. If you have any concerns, please contact the NMC and they will be able to advise you. 

I have a question not answered here



If you have a question that is not covered in our FAQ's please contact our revalidation champions on the form below.

Revalidation for Agency Nurses and Midwives

Medacs Healthcare is committed to being at the forefront of revalidation within the healthcare sector and are proud to be a key support for all nurses and midwives.

Whilst the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have confirmed that it is the responsibility of the registered nurse to complete their revalidation, Medacs Healthcare believe that we should be supporting you as much as possible.

That’s why we’ve created some helpful guidance which highlights important information as provided by the NMC. 

Revalidation and the Code 

The revalidation model aligns to the four themes of the Code: 

  • Prioritise people by actively seeking and reflecting on any direct feedback received from patients, service users and others to ensure that you are able to fulfil their needs. 
  • Practise effectively by reflecting on your professional development with your colleagues, identifying areas for improvement in your practice and undertaking professional development activities. 
  • Preserve safety by practising within your competency for the minimum number of practice hours, reflecting on feedback, and addressing any gaps in your practice through continuing professional development (CPD). 
  • Promote professionalism and trust by providing feedback and helping other NMC colleagues reflect on their professional development, and being accountable to others for your professional development and revalidation. 

Preparing for Revalidation 

Find out your renewal date 

Firstly, if you don’t already know, find out your renewal date – the date that your registration period will expire. You will need to submit your revalidation application to the NMC before this date. You can find out your renewal date by logging onto your NMC online account. Please ensure that you do this with your own dedicated password and the NMC website will guide you through the process. 

Expert advice 

Medacs Healthcare will be on hand to help and support you throughout the new process. By linking in with our Clinical Governance department, we will provide the latest updates on the requirements. 

Our revalidation champions and Anne Anderson, Head of Clinical Services are fully up-to-date on the process following ongoing conferences, training sessions and attendance at events. You'll also be pleased to know that all of our nursing employees have received full training on the process, so you're in safe hands.

Step-by-step guide 

Take a look at our step-by-step Guide to Revalidation, which relates to specific NMC requirements. You'll find everything you need to know to support you at each step. 

We're here to help! 

If you have any questions about revalidation, please contact our revalidation team on the form below and we’ll be happy to help. 

Requirements for NMC Revalidation 

This guidance provides general information and some helpful tips on revalidation for nurses and midwives. It is not meant to replace or supersede the NMC's information. 

If you wish to see full guidance on how to complete your revalidation, please visit the NMC's website

1 Practice hours

You must be able to evidence that you have worked 450 practice hours over the three years prior to the renewal of your registration. 

The NMC have confirmed that if you have practised for less than the required number of hours in the three years prior to the date of your application for renewal of your registration, then you must successfully complete an appropriate return to practice programme approved by the NMC or test of competence before the date of your application for renewal of registration. 

If you are selected to provide further information to verify your declaration within your application, you will be asked to provide the following: 

  • dates of practice 
  • the number of hours you undertook 
  • name, address and postcode of the organisations 
  • scope of practice 
  • work setting 
  • a description of the work you undertook; and 
  • evidence of those practice hours, such as timesheets, job specifications and role profiles. 

So please ensure that you record these in preparation. 

2. Continuing professional development (CPD)

You must be able to evidence 35 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) which is relevant to your practice as a nurse and over the three years prior to the renewal of your registration. 20 hours must be through participatory learning. 

You must maintain accurate records of the CPD you have undertaken. These records must contain: 

  • the CPD method; 
  • a description of the topic and how it related to your practice; 
  • the dates on which the activity was undertaken; 
  • the number of hours (including the number of participatory hours); 
  • the identification of the part of the Code most relevant to the activity; and 
  • evidence that you undertook the CPD activity. 

The NMC don’t list a particular type of CPD and it is your responsibility to judge what learning activity would be best suited to your individual practice. 

3. Practice Related Feedback

You must present at least five pieces of practice related feedback. The feedback can be informal / formal, written or verbal and from a number of sources including patients, service users, students and colleagues. 

If you do obtain practice related feedback from a patient, please remember to get their consent first and anonymise the content. 

You can collect feedback based on your individual performance or on your team, unit, ward or organisation’s performance. However, you will need to be clear on how this has specifically impacted your individual performance. 

Format of feedback collected

Feedback can be received verbally or written, formal or informal and it does not need to be from fellow nurses or midwives. It could be from colleagues in management, on reception, office administration, or fellow teachers and academics. 

4. Reflections and Discussions

You must record a minimum of five written reflections and discussions relating to the Code, your CPD and practice related feedback. 

You must have a professional development discussion with another NMC registered nurse and cover your reflections relating to the above. 

The NMC registered nurse is required to record their NMC Pin, e-mail, professional address and postcode, as well as the date you had the discussion. 

While this discussion can form part of your wider confirmation discussion, it is not the same as obtaining confirmation. 

5. Health and Character Declaration

You must provide a Health and Character Declaration and declare if you have been convicted of any criminal offence or issued with a formal caution. 

When making these declarations, please refer to the NMC’s guidelines.

6. Professional Indemnity Arrangement

You must declare that you have, or will have when practising, appropriate cover under an indemnity arrangement. 

By law, you must have in place an appropriate indemnity arrangement in order to practise and provide care. While the arrangement does not need to be individually held by you, it is your responsibility to ensure that appropriate cover is in force. 

Please note: If you do not have the appropriate indemnity cover, you will be removed from the NMC register and will be unable to practice as a nurse. 

7. Confirmation from a third party – Medacs Healthcare

Your third-party confirmer will be considered to be your line manager within Medacs Healthcare and doesn’t need to be NMC registered. 

However, if your confirmer is NMC registered, they are likely to have a professional development discussion at the point of your confirmation meeting. 

Your confirmer will verify the declarations within your application in a face-to-face meeting and you will have to demonstrate that you have met all of the revalidation requirements before they can sign and date the confirmation form. 

The NMC recommend that you obtain your confirmation during the final 12 months of the three-year registration period to ensure that it is recent. If you’re confirmation is produced earlier, you may be asked to explain why. 

It’s likely that your confirmer will also conduct your annual appraisals, that way you can keep your confirmer up-to-date with all of your revalidation preparation.

How to Apply for Revalidation

The NMC will notify you at least 60 days before your application for revalidation is due. 

You will then have 60 days to log onto NMC Online and complete the revalidation application form. 

Please ensure that at this point, you have all of your revalidation evidence collated and ready to submit.

As part of your revalidation application, you will need to pay your renewal fee. 

Know your registration date 

Please ensure that you know your re-register date and are planning ahead.

It is illegal for you to continue working if you’re not on the NMC register and it could result in getting suspended from work. Also note that readmission to the register can take a minimum of between two to six weeks, meaning that you’ll not be paid for this period. 

NMC online account 

The easiest way to maintain registration is through an NMC Online account. On NMC Online, you can: 

  • view registration status 
  • find out your renewal date 
  • update your contact and address details 
  • view and print a statement of entry 
  • submit your notification of practice (NoP) online 
  • pay your annual retention or renewal fees 
  • set up a direct debit for your annual fee payment 
  • provide equality and diversity information, and 
  • provide details about where you work