Issue 18 | May 2019



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Welcome to the May 2019 Newsletter of the NMC quality assurance framework

In this issue we provide you with updates, news and information we hope you will find helpful.

Implementation of the new QA Framework – update on progress

Progress through the four gateways
Programme approvals continue to roll out through the remainder of the academic year. So far, there’ve been 30 Gateway four approval visits between January and April 2019. This number consists of 18 pre-registration nursing programmes, 10 prescribing programmes and two pre-registration nursing associate programmes.

Education institutions who are planning to have a programme approved against the new NMC standards to start a cohort in 2020 were expected to submit evidence for Gateway one through the QA Hub by 30 April 2019. This deadline was set to enable institutions to progress through the QA Gateways with enough time to have NMC approval for cohorts starting programmes in 2020. If you missed this deadline we cannot guarantee the approval process will be complete for the cohort to start the programme.

Recruitment of new QA visitors

We are seeking to appoint additional QA visitors specifically midwives and nurse and midwife prescribers. A recruitment advert will be circulated at the end of May 2019.

Scheduling of Gateway four visits
Schedules of Gateway four visits up to August 2019 are nearing completion. We are now scheduling programme approval visits from September 2019 onwards under the new contract.

You said – we did. Improving access to the gateways
In response to feedback about the need for timely access to Gateways two and three, the NMC has made changes and institutions should now have access to both Gateway two and three once an event request form has been approved. The automatic release of these two gateways enables education institutions to work on drawing together their evidence on how they meet the standards and uploading relevant documents over a longer time frame. However, the QA visitors will only review the gateways following the standard timeframes.

New contract
We are delighted that after a competitive tendering process, Mott MacDonald has been awarded the contract to deliver the new NMC Quality Assurance Framework.

Reminder of deadline date for changes to current pre-registration midwifery programmes
This is a timely reminder of the information detailed in the NMC letter of 5 July 2018 to official correspondents and Lead Midwives for Education that the NMC do not expect institutions to make any further major modifications to pre-registration midwifery programmes processed after 31 July 2019. However, this does not include where institutions wish to move their programmes over to the new Standards for Student Supervision and Assessment.

Return to practice
Later in May the NMC will be publishing new Return to practice standards which allow people seeking to re-join the register the option of completing a Return to practice programme or passing the NMC Test of Competence (the same as overseas applicants) to re-join the register.

The new standards include Part 3: Standards for Return to practice programmes which provide more flexibility in the way programmes are delivered.

The NMC anticipates these new standards will help overcome some common barriers to re-joining the register.

Resources supporting the QA Framework on the NMC website

The following new supporting information aimed at students and employers is available on the NMC website as follows:

Standards for supervision and assessment - and

Frequently asked questions about how the NMC approves education programmes
There are FAQs available on the NMC website about what AEIs can expect and what they should be doing regarding the gateways and programme approval process.

Apprenticeships update

Nursing associate apprenticeships
Following recent approval of the new end-point assessment the nursing associate (NMC 2018) apprenticeship standard is now approved for delivery. You can find the final publication of the new standards:

Deadline reminder
The last day education institutions can enrol students on non NMC approved nursing associate programmes is 25 July 2019.

Nurse degree apprenticeships (NDA)
Education institutions will need to have received an NMC letter confirming programme approval for their pre-registration nursing programme before an NDA route can be presented for approval via a major modification.

Midwife degree apprenticeships (MDA)
The midwife degree apprenticeship standards were approved by the Institute for Apprenticeship in December 2018 for further information follow the link:

QA hub update webinars

A webinar was provided on 30 April 2019 for education institutions giving an update on using the QA hub specifically;

  • Requests to edit a gateway

  • Review of an initial draft programme approval report (IDPAR), response to issues prior to the approval visit, and uploading additional documents

  • Observations of the final programme approval report (FPAR)

  • Providing evidence to meet conditions – document depository

  • NMC approval. The final programme approval report is submitted to the NMC - what happens next?

On call, IT support and new helpline number

QA visitors and the staff in AEIs can contact us if they have any queries.

For administrative or IT support contact the operations team at Mott MacDonald via email or via our new dedicated helpline number, which will connect you to the first available operations team member: 01223 463441.

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 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

The Mott MacDonald Group is an independent management, engineering and development consultancy with over 12,000 staff working in over 140 countries.