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If you fail to prepare for revalidation you put your NMC registration at risk!

I HAVE BEEN WORKING AS REVALIDATION lead for Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, one of the largest community trusts in the country, which covers a large geographical area with staff spread across numerous bases.

This means we have to make sure we reach staff in all corners of our area. Our staff include nurses, health visitors and school nurses.

When I first came into role I felt my first task was to make sure that staff had heard of revalidation, were not scared of it and saw it as a positive change. We set up revalidation awareness sessions, which were well attended across our area--and in some cases we had to put on extra sessions. The aim of the sessions was to increase understanding of:

* why revalidation is being introduced;

* how the revised Code links to revalidation;

* what provisional guidelines suggest is reguired to renew NMC registration (revalidation);

* what the benefits of revalidation are;

* what staff should be doing now;

* what our trust plans are to support staff.

We outlined at the beginning of each session how they were designed as an introduction to revalidation rather than in-depth training. They were 45 to 60 minutes long, which allowed for multiple presentations to be given at the same venue and made sure staff did not have to take much time out of practice.

Our communications team designed an A5 sized card with info graphics in a checklist style (see opposite page) to share and the design of this used in our presentation. This has given a clear identity to our revalidation activities, making it easier for staff to recognise. It was used as a screensaver to publicise our sessions and raise awareness. We also have a generic revalidation email address that staff can use as a point of contact. I have also written a blog and narrated a version of the presentation.

We are very keen to make sure meeting the reguirements of revalidation are incorporated into everyday practice. I think a good example of this has been looking at clinical and safeguarding supervision sessions that our school nurse and health visiting teams take part in. We have worked with our safeguarding team and the team that facilitates clinical supervision to make small adjustments that highlight how supervision supports revalidation. Supervision can cover CPD, feedback and the reflection elements of revalidation. Small changes to the documentation can act as a helpful prompt, for example the addition of the guestion: 'Which part of the Code does this link to?)

I have found that, as a group, school nurses and health visitors should be very well prepared for revalidation as they are already experienced in linking their reflective pieces to the SCPHN Domains and Proficiencies, therefore linking this to the revised NMC Code should be fairly simple. Practice teachers in particular already have a reguirement to have a comprehensive portfolio including reflective pieces, which fits very well with revalidation.

Reassuring staff that revalidation does not mean you have to have an extra portfolio has been helpful. Using a mock portfolio with some examples of reflection and completed templates has been very well received, as it shows how simple it can be. Putting a copy of a job description highlighted the importance of understanding scope of practice, which varies greatly across roles. We have also put together some FAQs for non-NMC line managers and those staff who do not have direct patient contact.

We plan to discuss revalidation with staff at all appraisals whether it is their revalidation year or not and it is important to have support in place for SCPHN students. Those due to revalidate during their SCPHN training need to be identified when they begin the SCPHN course and our plan is that SCPHN students will have a discussion around their revalidation readiness at an agreed 1:1 during the SCPHN programme. For those students due to revalidate during their SCPHN programme the SCPHN manager will act as their confirmer.

Overwhelmingly staff seem to agree that we do need to change how we remain on the NMC register and while revalidation is not perfect it is a good start. Our organisation's view is that we will do our best to support our staff through revalidation, however we are being very clear that the responsibility to be ready for revalidation belongs to the individual staff member. The reality is if you fail to get ready for revalidation you are putting your registration at risk.

Your revalidation checklist what you need to demonstrate for the last three years of your practice.

1 Have you logged 450 practice hours?

2 Do you have at least five pieces of practice-related feedback?

3 Have you recorded at least five written reflections on the NMC Code, your CPD, and practice-related feedback?

4 Have you had a professional development discussion on your reflections with another NMC registrant?

5 Have you recorded at least 40 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) relevant to your scope of practice as a nurse?

6 Do you have confirmation from a third party that you are fit to continue practising? This should be discussed and evidenced during your appraisal with your line manager.

By Karen Kessack, revalidation lead, Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust
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Title Annotation:SPECIAL REPORT
Author:Kessack, Karen
Publication:Community Practitioner
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 1, 2015
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