Midwifery Revalidation Skills: A Comprehensive Guide to the Revalidation Process

The Importance of Revalidation for Midwives

Revalidation is an essential process that all midwives must go through in order to maintain their registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Revalidation occurs every 3 years and requires midwives to demonstrate that they are staying up to date with the latest standards and guidelines, enhancing their skills and knowledge, and remain fit to practice.

For midwives, revalidation provides an opportunity to reflect on their practice, identify areas for development, and showcase the work they have done to comply with the NMC Code of Conduct. The revalidation process centers around four key components: practice hours, continuing professional development, feedback from colleagues and women in their care, and reflective accounts.

Meeting the revalidation requirements allows midwives to renew their registration and continue providing safe, compassionate and personalized care to women and their families. Failing to revalidate means a midwife’s registration will lapse, preventing them from practicing legally. Therefore, it is crucial for midwives to fully engage with revalidation and see it as more than just a box-ticking exercise.

Why is Revalidation Important?

There are several reasons why revalidation is hugely important for midwives:

  • Upholding standards – Revalidation ensures midwives are maintaining and improving their knowledge and skills in line with the latest standards, guidelines and scope of practice set out by the NMC. This promotes high standards among midwives nationally.
  • Accountability – Revalidation holds midwives accountable for their practice. The need to collect feedback and reflective accounts encourages midwives to regularly review their own actions and decisions.
  • Continued competency – By completing regular CPD and practice hours, revalidation provides assurance that midwives remain competent, confident and legally able to practice safely and effectively.
  • Improving care – Reflecting on strengths and identifying development needs allows midwives to enhance the quality of care they provide to women and babies. Revalidation promotes self-improvement.
  • Public protection – Revalidating means midwives continue to meet the health and character requirements needed for legal registration with the NMC. This protects the members of the public in their care who depend on their expertise.

Therefore, revalidation protects the women under a midwife’s care by ensuring she remains knowledgeable, skilled and continuously improving. It also protects the midwife by demonstrating their continued competency.

The Midwifery Revalidation Process Explained

Every midwife registered with the NMC must revalidate every 3 years. This involves meeting a set of requirements and declaring their compliance in order to renew their registration. Here are the key components:

Practice Hours

Midwives must complete a minimum of 450 practice hours over the 3 year period since their last revalidation. This can include clinical practice, management, education, research and more. These hours ensure midwives maintain their skills by regularly practicing.

Continuing Professional Development

CPD refers to any learning activities undertaken by midwives relevant to their role. They must complete 35 hours of CPD with at least 20 hours through participatory learning. CPD allows midwives to enhance their knowledge and skills.


Midwives need to source 5 pieces of feedback over 3 years from colleagues and women in their care. This encourages them to regularly reflect on their practice through others’ eyes.

Reflective Accounts

Two written reflective accounts must be completed per revalidation. These allow midwives to demonstrate how they have met revalidation requirements and applied what they have learned to improve their practice.

Health and Character Requirements

Midwives must meet NMC health requirements and declare any cautions or convictions to show they remain of good character. This ensures public protection.

Professional Indemnity Arrangement

Midwives require appropriate insurance in order to practice legally and safely. They must declare they meet this requirement.

By compiling evidence to meet each component, midwives can complete their revalidation application online through the NMC Online portal. Their registration will then be renewed for another 3 years.

Preparing for Midwifery Revalidation

To avoid last minute pressures, midwives should prepare for their revalidation steadily and consistently throughout the 3 year period. Here are some tips:

  • Record practice hours, CPD and feedback as they are completed rather than trying to remember everything at the end.
  • Undertake a variety of CPD activities relevant to development needs, scope of practice and women’s needs.
  • Proactively request feedback from colleagues and women in their care at regular intervals.
  • Set aside time to regularly reflect on practice and write entries for reflective accounts.
  • Review the NMC Code and latest guidelines to identify development needs.
  • Check revalidation status and requirements in the NMC Online account.
  • Renew professional indemnity insurance ahead of time to prevent it from lapsing.

Thorough preparation makes the revalidation process straightforward and more meaningful for improving practice. Midwives should view it as integral to how they work rather than an optional extra.

Why Reflection is Key

Reflecting on experiences, feedback and learning is a vital skill for midwives to enhance their practice. That’s why reflective accounts are a key component of revalidation. Reflection allows midwives to:

  • Identify strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Increase self-awareness through challenging their own perspectives.
  • Apply learning from CPD to real-life practice.
  • Recognise the impact of their actions on women in their care.
  • Process experiences such as handling complaints or errors.
  • Set meaningful development goals based on reflective insight.

Reflection leads to expanded knowledge, clinical reasoning skills and emotional intelligence – all crucial capabilities for high quality midwifery practice. Revalidation requires midwives to demonstrate these reflective skills.

Collaborating With Colleagues

Since revalidation involves collecting feedback from colleagues, it provides an opportunity for midwives to improve how they collaborate in their workplace. Some tips include:

  • Giving constructive and meaningful feedback on your colleagues’ practice that identifies strengths, along with respectful suggestions for improvement.
  • Discussing learning gained from CPD that could be applied by the wider team to enhance practice.
  • Sharing ideas from your reflective accounts on how teamwork and support could be improved between colleagues.
  • Offering to observe a colleague at work and provide them with feedback for their revalidation evidence.
  • Asking colleagues how they have implemented learning and reflections in their practice for inspiration.

Revalidation should create a culture of support, teamwork and continuous improvement between midwives. It promotes collaboration rather than competition.

Revalidating During Challenging Times

The COVID-19 pandemic created significant challenges for midwives facing revalidation. Many found it difficult to complete their required practice hours and CPD activities due to changes in their roles and pressures of the crisis.

However, the NMC introduced some extensions and flexibilities while also emphasizing the continued importance of Midwifery revalidation. Midwives were advised to:

  • Use online CPD opportunities where face-to-face activities were unavailable.
  • Focus on COVID-specific learning needs such as infection control.
  • Make use of reflection to process experiences during the pandemic.
  • Discuss any difficulties in meeting requirements with the NMC to agree adjustments.

With flexibility and determination, midwives found creative ways to continue their revalidation journeys despite extremely challenging circumstances. This demonstrated how vital revalidation is for upholding standards even in times of crisis.


Midwifery Revalidation is undoubtedly demanding, but absolutely essential for midwives to demonstrate their continued capability and commitment to high quality, safe care. It provides assurance to women, the NMC and midwives themselves that their skills, conduct and character remain of a high standard. While revalidation requires dedication, most midwives find the process invaluable for their self-improvement as reflective, collaborative and accountable practitioners. Revalidation is not just a box to tick – it should become integral to being an effective midwife focused on lifelong learning.

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