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CPD and revalidation: Theory, practice and lessons from teachers

02 June 2018
5 min read
Volume 26 · Issue 6


As part of the revalidation process, midwives are required to undertake 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD), of which 20 must be ‘participatory’. Participatory learning includes any learning activity that involves interaction with other people, providing the opportunity to learn with and from each other. Participation can take place face-to-face such as attendance at a study day or conference; or virtually, such as an online discussion group using a social media platform. As oposed to a didactic methods, a participatory approach to ongoing professional development is more likely to lead to positive changes in practice and thus better levels of care. This article will look at the theory of CPD and compare CPD activities of midwives and teachers to consider how ‘teacher research’ might be adopted by midwives, with the potential for service improvement and better quality of care as a consequence.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the regulating body for nurses and midwives in the UK (NMC, 2015); its principal role is to protect the health and wellbeing of the public by ensuring that the care provided by nurses and midwives is always of the highest quality. In order to achieve this, it sets standards for education, training, professional conduct and performance (NMC, 2018a). Revalidation was introduced by the NMC to increase public confidence in nursing and midwifery by promoting a culture of professionalism and accountability (NMC, 2017). Revalidation became effective in April 2016, superseding the Post Registration Education and Practice Standards (Prep) handbook (NMC, 2011).

Revalidation reinforces the Code (NMC, 2015), and requires midwives to prioritise people; practise effectively; preserve safety; and promote professionalism and trust—underpinned by the requirement to safeguard the public. Key requirements of revalidation are the completion of 450 practice hours; five pieces of practice-related feedback; and 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD), of which 20 must be ‘participatory’ (NMC, 2018a). Appropriate CPD activities are not prescriptive; the NMC provides no guidance on specific CPD activity, stating only that it should be relevant to the individual's scope of practice (NMC, 2015).

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