NMC revalidation for Registrants with Long Covid

Relevant NMC Guidance

What is revalidation?
Support to help you revalidate.
NMC guidance regarding revalidation during Covid-19.
NMC guidance regarding health and character.
NMC guidance about returning to the register after a break or lapse in registration.
Useful NMC documents

Advice about revalidation

The good news is that the NMC are keen to support people with Long Covid. To access this support you need to email: revalidation.escalation@nmc-uk.org. (See support to help you revalidate for suggested headings for the email.)  This support will be based on individual circumstances.

Unfortunately, because of the legislation governing what the NMC does there is no way around the fact that if you are unable to complete the revalidation process your registration will automatically lapse.

The NMC will investigate the concerns raised about inconsistent messages given out by call handlers on the revalidation phone line. Using the revalidation email above will ensure you have an audit trail of the advice given.

Extensions

Individuals are encouraged to reach out to NMC via the revalidation email (revalidation.escalation@nmc-uk.org) to request an extension. Extensions will be given on an individual basis. A key question they will ask is whether you are likely to meet revalidation requirements by the end of the extension.

Normally an extension is only granted for eight weeks. Additional extensions may be available but these will only be granted if you can demonstrate you are likely to meet your revalidation requirements by the end of the extension. The length of extension given will be dependent on individual circumstances.

If applying for an extension being able to demonstrate support from your employer is helpful – i.e., information about how they are supporting you in this process.

Practice hours

To revalidate registrants, must have the required practice hours. Registrants need to have completed 450 hours over the previous 3 years. These hours need to be from a time you were on the NMC register but can include hours on the temporary register.

If you’ve been redeployed (e.g., to a desk-based role) but are still using your nursing skills and knowledge this counts as practice hours.

Hours worked on the NMC temporary register can contribute to your overall hours for revalidation.

Interestingly, if your register lapses and you then apply to rejoin the NMC register you can use 750 practice hours over 5 years.

Declaration of good health

Lots of people worry about the good health declaration part of the revalidation process. It is important to remember that ticking the box to say you have a health condition that may affect your fitness to practise does not mean that you won’t be able to stay on the NMC register.

As an NMC registrant it is important that you are honest about whether your Long Covid impacts on your fitness to practise. The information in the NMC’s guidance (Section 3) provides details of what will happen if you declare a health condition.

Verifier and reflective discussion

As per the guidance about revalidating during Covid 19 the reflective discussion doesn’t have to be face-to-face. Nor does your verifier need to be your line manager. You can seek confirmation from another healthcare professional who is regulated in the UK.

Covid temporary register

The temporary register was due to close at the end of September 2022 but will now stay open for another two years.

Any hours worked while on the temporary register can contribute to your overall practice hours for revalidation.

The NMC announced some changes to how the temporary register will be managed in February 2023. Click here for more information.

Return to practice if registration lapses

Information about returning to practice (including the temporary register) is available here. As stated above, there is no way around the fact that if you are unable to complete the revalidation process your registration will automatically lapse.

If you are off the register for more than five years you will need to do a return to practice course or test of competence (MCQ & OSCE) – these both measure your skills, knowledge and competence against the NMC education standards. The return to practice course is individualised based on your learning needs. You can also choose to do a return to practice course if you have been off the register for less than five years

There is a cost associated with both return to practice options. In England, Health Education England are currently providing financial support for people returning to practice and I suspect this is the case in the other nations.

Updated April 2023