Issue 16 | November 2018



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Welcome to the November 2018 Newsletter of the NMC quality assurance framework

QA activity

Welcome to the start of the 2018-19 academic year and the sixth year of the Mott MacDonald (MM) contract with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). This is our final year as the external QA delivery partner for the existing contract as the NMC has gone out to tender for a new QA partner to commence in 2019-20.

This final year sees the implementation of the NMC new quality assurance (QA) framework. There has been a great deal of activity to prepare for the roll out of the new QA framework and so we are devoting this newsletter to providing you with a summary of this and other related activity as well as recent communications you have received from MM and the NMC. We hope you will find it helpful that we have put this information all together including future dates/deadlines. Our FAQ section also has a focus on implementing the new standards.

Training of visitors

An intensive two-day training event for lay and registrant QA visitors, with due regard for pre-registration nursing and nurse and midwife prescribing programmes took place in Manchester on 5-6 September 2018 in preparation for the implementation of the new NMC QA framework and standards.

Evaluations by participants who attended the training event were extremely positive. Following the analysis of these evaluations and our observations and lessons learned at the training event, we have enhanced our training plan for visitors. Dates of future training sessions are outlined below.

A joint workshop between the NMC and MM will be held for lay visitors at the NMC in London on 17 December. Supporting materials specific for the lay visitor role will be available on the MM website soon and will be the focus of discussions at the workshop. Other topics included in the workshop will be the QA hub and report writing.

We provided training on the new QA framework and processes for QA visitors involved in QA activities for other NMC approved programmes on various dates throughout October. A final session for visitors who were unable to attend the full two days of the Manchester event due to sudden unforeseen circumstances is scheduled for 13 December.

NEW: NMC Enhanced scrutiny

The NMC has introduced a new aspect of the QA framework called enhanced scrutiny. Details of the new process and what is means for AEIs can be found by following this link to the updated QA Handbook (see 9.3 in the QA Handbook).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which programmes do the NMC recent programme extensions relate to?

A. The programme extensions cover all NMC approved programme until 31 August 2020.

Q. Do students on current pre-registration nursing programmes (NMC, 2010) have to transfer to a programme approved against the Standards for pre-registration nursing education (NMC, 2018).

A. No. Students on current pre-registration programmes do not have to transfer to a programme approved against the new standards. However, if you are planning to transfer current students onto a new approved programme to meet the Standards for pre-registration nursing education (NMC, 2018) you must provide evidence to support this proposed transfer as part of the mapping process at Gateway 3 (see 3.3.1 in the updated QA Handbook).

Q. Our approved education institution (AEI) and practice learning partners want to adopt the new Standards for student supervision and assessment (SSSA) as soon as possible but we do not have any programme approvals scheduled against the new programme standards until 2019-20. Is this possible?

A. Yes, AEIs and practice learning partners can move to the new Standards for student supervision and assessment (NMC, 2018) before 2020 and in advance of any programmes being approved against the new standards. The evidence for this will be part of Gateway 2 submission of evidence which details the approach to student supervision and assessment across practice learning environments for all or selected NMC approved programmes.

Q. We are seeking approval of the community practitioner nurse prescriber V100 which is fully integrated into the specialist practitioner qualification (SPQ) programme and can be studied as an option or self-contained module in the specialist community public health nurse (SCPHN) programme. Will the SPQ and SCPHN programmes require reapproval or a modification?

A. Where the V100 is an option OR a self-contained module in the SCPHN or a self-contained module in SPQ programmes, the V100 will undergo a full programme approval against the new prescribing standards and no major modification of the SCPHN or SPQ programmes is required. Where the V100 is fully integrated in the SCPHN or SPQ programmes in that it is spread throughout the programme a major modification of the SCPHN route/SPQ programmes will be required because of the impact and resultant changes required.

Q. Are AEIs still required to submit minor modifications for approval?

A. AEIs will no longer be required to submit minor programme modifications through the portal.

Minor modification to programmes can be processed internally through the AEI QA system and a record/audit trail kept for future programme monitoring purposes.

STOP PRESS: Annual self-assessment report 2018-19.

Completion of the annual self -assessment report is still required. AEIs will be notified as soon as possible of the date when the report template will be available and date for completion. The NMC has taken into account the work that AEIs are doing for their gateway submissions in setting a deadline for submitting this report.

The QA hub and support for QA processes

QA hub went live on 19 September 2018 for AEIs involved in early visits and for all remaining AEIs on 15 October 2018

QA Hub User Guide for AEIs (updated October 2018) was circulated to AEIs and to those visitors involved in early visits on 27 September 2018

QA hub email update was sent to AEIs on 27 September 2018

Gateway 1 information on QA hub was made available to all AEIs on 1 October

Examples of evidence to demonstrate QA criteria for each standard / requirement in Gateway 1 was made available in the QA hub on 24 October 2018

Gateway 1: deadline date for submission of evidence into QA hub for all approval visits scheduled in 2018-2019 is 31 December 2018

Gateway 1: deadline date for submission of evidence into QA hub by AEIs for scheduled visits for 2019-20 against the new standards is 30 April 2019 (see updated QA Handbook).

Scheduling Gateway 4 visits

We are in the process of allocating QA visitors to Gateway 4 approval visits scheduled between January and the end of March 2019. The MM team will be contacting the relevant AEIs by 2 November to check for any conflict of interest. Once we have finalised these visit arrangements, the MM team will firm up arrangements with AEIs for Gateway 4 visits scheduled for April 2019 onwards.

Mott MacDonald webinar series for AEIs and registrant visitors

Webinars for AEIs on QA Hub functionality and Gateway 1 submission;
30 October, 31 October, 7 November, 8 November, 14 November 2018.

Webinars for registrant visitors on QA Hub functionality; 15, 20, 21 and 28 November 2018

Webinars for registrant visitors on report writing; 6, 10 December 2018 and 8, 10 January 2019

All webinars will commence at 1pm and the duration is 1 hour.

NMC correspondence, news and events

NMC letter to official correspondents (OCs) and lead midwives for education (LMEs) on 26 July 2018 regarding: Transition

NMC letter to LMEs on 17 September 2018 regarding: Future midwifery standards timeline

NMC letter to LMEs and midwives on 18 September 2018 regarding: Withdrawal of NMC circular 07/2011 Midwives exemptions

NMC letter to all registrants on 10 October 2018 regarding: Small updates of the Code. The notification also signposts supplementary information on delegation and accountability on NMC website

Supporting information on Standards for Student supervision and assessment (SISSA) (gateway three) is available on the NMC website.

The nursing associate part of the NMC Register opens January 2019 for legacy cohorts who completed programmes through Higher Education England

NMC ongoing webinar series

29 October 2018 two separate webinars; topic one ‘nursing associates’ and topic two ‘return to practice’.

6 November 2018; topic ‘nursing associates – quality assurance’.

13 November 2018; topic ‘pre-2018 standards’.

A recording of an NMC webinar delivered by Anne Trotter on 4 September 2018 entitled ‘How we quality assure’ is available on NMC Website.

On call, IT support and new helpline number

QA visitors 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 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.