Recommendation 193

Common minimum standards for Responsible Officers

Accepted in principle
Without introducing a revalidation scheme immediately, the Nursing and Midwifery Council should introduce common minimum standards for appraisal and support with which responsible officers would be obliged to comply. They could be required to report to the Nursing and Midwifery Council on their performance on a regular basis.

In advance of the introduction of revalidation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, NHS Employers will:

  • support NHS organisations in ensuring they have a clear link between the values in the NHS Constitution and their  own local values
  • support NHS organisations in developing and improving values based appraisal and performance management having taken steps to improve performance appraisals for the 1.1 million staff on Agenda for Change as set out in recommendation 7
  • encourage NHS organisations to make the necessary links with the work the Nursing and Midwifery Council is leading on revalidation as they develop new local performance and appraisal arrangements.  .

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has committed to introducing a proportionate and effective model of revalidation, which is affordable and value for money, to enhance public protection.  Subject to public consultation, the proposed model would require evidence that the nurse or midwife is fit to practise. Under the current proposals, the Nursing and Midwifery Council Code and standards would be reviewed and revised to ensure they would be compatible with revalidation, and guidance for revalidation would also be developed.


In February 2013, the Nursing and Midwifery Council began a UK-wide programme of engagement on revalidation and has held two national consultations. The first ran from January to March 2014 and focused on the proposed model of revalidation. The second, which ran from May to August 2014, included a draft revised Code intended to address the issues raised by the Francis reports into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. These include, for example, putting patients first (including a greater emphasis on providing the fundamentals of care, hydration and nutrition); dealing with complaints; raising concerns (‘whistle-blowing’); the professional ‘duty of candour’; and leadership, delegation and teamworking.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council will test the resulting revalidation model in a pilot during 2015 and full implementation of the model is planned to commence by the end of 2015. The Nursing and Midwifery Council has established an oversight board that will drive forward the planning and confirm that the UK is sufficiently ready for implementation.

With Health Education England, NHS Employers has developed a mapping tool to allow local organisations to map their values to those in the NHS Constitution. NHS Employers has also produced guidance for employers linking pay progression, appraisal and performance management. This includes a number of resources to support employers including good practice case studies and a model policy. Further resources including case studies and podcasts will continue to be developed during the year.