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Reflective discussions and confirmation

Whilst agency nurses don’t need yearly appraisals to support their revalidation with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), they will need to have a reflective discussion and confirmation meeting before their revalidation date.

What is a reflective discussion?

A reflective discussion is a chance for nurses to think about their recent experiences and to carry out a self-appraisal. This discussion is typically held with a senior, NMC-registered nurse prior to your revalidation date.

Before your reflective discussion takes place, you will need to write at least five reflective accounts. These written accounts can concern a wide range of different experiences related to your recent development as a nurse, and can include any Continuing Personal Development, practice-related feedback from patients or colleagues, or significant experiences you have had. These statements should encourage you to consider your performance and think about your strengths and areas for improvement. Whatever you include in these written accounts, it’s important to remember not to identify any patients.

You will go through your statements during your reflection discussion. After this, you will need to fill in a reflective discussion form to detail your conversation, including some information about the individual you spoke with.

What is a nursing confirmation?

Once you have completed the other aspects of your revalidation, you will need to make a confirmation statement to another individual. This is your opportunity to give a verbal confirmation to a senior nurse that you meet the revalidation criteria. Your confirmation meeting should take place in the final year of your three-year renewal period to ensure it is as recent as possible.

You will get the choice of who to make your statement to. Your confirmer doesn’t have to be the same individual that you held your reflective discussions with, but it can’t be a family member or friend. It’s recommended that you choose an NMC-registered nurse, midwife or nursing associate and, where possible, your confirmer should be your line manager.

In preparation for your confirmation meeting, you will need to prepare a portfolio of work that demonstrates your suitability to continue working as a nurse. During your meeting, your confirmer will review this portfolio and will assess whether or not you meet the revalidation criteria.

Following your meeting, you will then need to complete a confirmation form to record your confirmation. You don’t need to submit this to the NMC, but it’s a good idea to keep it for your own records. You will also need to take down some key information about your confirmer, such as their NMC pin number, which you will need to submit to NMC Online to complete your confirmation.

The reflective discussion and confirmation is an opportunity for nurses to appraise their performances. It is an important step in the revalidation process and will prepare you for your future career development. For more nursing revalidation advice, see our revalidation guide.