Issue 13 | Sept 2017



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Welcome to the September 2017 Newsletter of the NMC quality assurance framework

QA activity in 2016-17

We have now concluded the quality assurance (QA) activity for the fourth year of the implementation of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), QA framework. We have completed 105 programme approvals, 68 major modifications, 252 minor modifications, three programme endorsements and approval for one higher education institution to gain approved education institution (AEI) status. In addition, there was one approval for the EU adaptation nursing programme with four fields of practice, an approval of one EU aptitude test (nursing) with three fields of practice and one EU aptitude test (midwifery) approval. We have also undertaken 17 risk based monitoring reviews out of the 80 NMC approved education institutions (AEIs). The outcomes of all approval and monitoring events have been analysed and the findings submitted to the NMC.

Notable practice

We asked AEIs to share examples of notable practice demonstrated as part of the approval and monitoring processes. Below are some examples of notable practice identified in 2016-17:

Leeds Beckett University; the Quickscan dyslexia screening test. Click here

London Southbank University; the Peoples Academy. Click here

Middlesex University; a free E-book for students. Click here

Middlesex University; a joint project with the Stillbirth and neonatal death (SANDs) charity. Click here

Oxford Brookes University; a nursing exchange programme with the University of Pennsylvania. Click here

University of South Wales; a multi-disciplinary child protection case conference for specialist community public health nurse (SCPHN) students, social work students and police students. Click here

If you would like to find out more about any of the notable practice listed above please contact the AEI directly; contact details are supplied in the summaries of notable practice.

Annual self-assessment

In April, over 30 representatives from AEIs attended a workshop at the NMC to give feedback on the annual self-assessment process. Attendees were encouraged to give feedback on what information should be collected, how data should be collected and how feedback should be given. The feedback was very useful and included:

  • A consensus that the self-assessment should not request information already held by the NMC (e.g. lists of modifications and approvals)
  • A suggestion to separate the self-assessment and evaluative questions and to complete these at different points in the year to allow AEIs more capacity for completion
  • Clearer terminology (e.g. what is the difference between an incident and a concern)
  • Completing an event audit trail - reviewers
  • To request a summary of other quality reviews which have taken place during the reporting period (e.g. QAA, national student survey responses)
  • It would be helpful to have a consistent date when the self-assessment report template is sent out each year
  • Conditions met: updating your report
  • The RAG ratings used to feedback were not easy for AEIs to interpret
  • More clarity on what is meant by notable practice and opportunities for AEIs to share learning with each other would be welcomed

The NMC would like to thank all attendees who attended. The feedback from the event has been used to develop this year’s self-assessment report template. The NMC are holding another workshop on 25th October (2.30pm-4.30pm, 23 Portland Place, London, W1B PZ) to discuss the changes to the report template based on the comments received. The workshop will be an opportunity for AEI representatives to learn more about how the NMC have used the feedback, review this year’s self-assessment tool and discuss. If you would be interested in attending, please contact Genevieve Talai ( to let the NMC know.

Update on consultation on new nursing proficiencies

Over the summer, the NMC ran a formal consultation on the new draft standards of proficiency for registered nurses, standards for education and training and the proposals for prescribing and standards for medicines management. As well as the formal consultation, there have been over 60 engagement events attended by NMC staff to get feedback on the proposals.

The consultation has now closed and Why Research Ltd, an external, independent research organisation will be analysing the responses on behalf of the NMC. The NMC aim to publish the new standards in spring 2018. An independent review of QA of education has also been completed and options and recommendations are being presented to Council in September. The NMC will be communicating with AEIs regarding adoption of the new standards and the approach to QA over the coming months.

Nursing degree apprenticeships

We have been working closely with the NMC to advise AEIs who wish to provide nurse degree apprenticeship (NDA) routes within approved pre-registration nursing programmes. Initial interest was high and two AEIs engaged in the NMC QA approval process in 2016-17 with a number of other AEIs scheduled to have major modification visits to approve NDA routes in 2017-18.

QA events for 2017-18

AEI monitoring events will take place between October 2017 and March 2018. Reviewer training is scheduled which will share lessons learnt and good practice from previous monitoring events. Any AEIs selected for monitoring this year will be notified six weeks prior to the event with the exception of events following a period of closure for Christmas holidays when the AEI will be given eight weeks’ notice of the event.

Reviewer training

We have recruited new reviewers from the midwives and SCPHN parts of the NMC register. They completed reviewer training in August and September 2017. The dates of mandatory update training for existing reviewers have been circulated. This year existing reviewers can update via an online webinar. As part of the update reviewers have also been invited to join an online session presented by Anne Trotter, Assistant Director: Education and Standards at the NMC.


New training materials have been uploaded onto the NMC/Mott MacDonald website which include report exemplars from a wider range of programmes and an exemplar of a pre-approval event audit report. Existing training materials have been updated. Click here to see the new materials and add the web address to your favourites.

We encourage you to access the short videos available for reviewers and AEIs on the use of the portal which address frequently asked questions. Click here to view the videos.

In preparation for QA activity in 2017-18 the NMC QA framework has been updated and will be available on the NMC website.

The QA Handbook 2017-18 is being updated and will be available on the NMC/MM website by the end of September.

Portal developments

Key improvements made to the portal during 2016-17 have been as follows:

  • Updating the approval/modification/endorsement request form to collect additional data from AEIs at the point of initial contact
  • Revision of the document repository to greatly improve the speed and accessibility for all users. AEIs are now able to upload multiple documents at one time
  • Event evaluation forms have been reviewed and updated to capture more useful and relevant data post-event

AEI requirements - important reminder

In readiness for the forthcoming autumn deadline to submit the annual NMC self-assessment report, we remind all AEIs to update any existing documents held in the AEI requirements section of the portal and to add any new documents, as appropriate.

Leaving the team

We would like to wish Brenda Poulton a fond farewell and convey our sincere thanks for all of her hard work and commitment as a QA reviewer/managing reviewer and more recently a part time associate professional supporting the Mott MacDonald QA professional team.

A number of reviewers have chosen not to continue with their QA reviewer role in 2017-18. We would like to send our thanks and best wishes to these reviewers for their contribution and support in helping to deliver and shape the QA process.

On call and IT support

Reviewers and the staff in AEIs can contact us if they have any queries. We always try to answer your questions promptly to avoid issues that might otherwise cause delay or inconvenience.

For administrative or IT support contact the operations team at Mott MacDonald via email or or telephone 01223 463913.

For professional issues, please telephone or email Judith Porch or Bernie Wallis depending on who is on call. The on-call rota and contact details are available from here:

NMC circulars

NMC circulars are emailed to reviewers by Mott MacDonald as they are issued. There have been no circulars issued since the last newsletter. Previous circulars can be downloaded from the NMC website click here.

If you have any comments or suggestions related to this latest edition of the newsletter please send them to me at

Bernie Wallis | Deputy Director of Reviews

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