How to Choose Your Revalidation Confirmers and Referees


As part of meeting revalidation requirements, all nurses and midwives must have their professional practice confirmed by both a confirmer and referee. But with so many rules around eligibility, the process of selecting appropriate confirmers and referees can be confusing. In this article, we explain who can act as an NMC confirmer and referee, the exact role and responsibilities confirmers/referees must perform, key considerations when selecting yours, and tips for respectfully asking professionals to act as your confirmers or referees.

Understanding the Confirmer and Referee

Role Your confirmer and referee perform similar roles by reviewing your submitted revalidation evidence then signing declarations confirming (based on the evidence provided) that you practice safely, compassionately and meet all NMC revalidation requirements.

However, additional eligibility criteria apply specifically to the confirmer role, explored next.

Who Can Act as Your Revalidation Confirmer?

Your confirmer must:

  • Currently appear on the NMC register or appropriate regulatory body OR be your employer/manager able to evidence ongoing professional interaction with you


  • Have worked with you for at least 3 months prior to signing the confirmation
  • Be able to facilitate a reflective discussion to explore your practice, values and development (maintaining records of key discussion points)
  • Not be currently under regulatory sanctions

Meanwhile, your referee has fewer restrictions, needing only to:

  • Be a registered healthcare professional who has successfully completed a revalidation
  • Be able to evaluate if you practice according to the Code by drawing on your submitted examples and discussion records

Top Tips for Choosing Your Confirmers and Referees

With varied options, select confirmers and referees best positioned to confirm your capabilities by:

  • Choosing professionals frequently working alongside you able to cite examples of your practice
  • Avoiding those lacking sufficient experience of your competence
  • Preventing conflicts by not selecting line managers also responsible for performance evaluations
  • Managing conflicts transparently if unavoidable
  • Selecting independent, impartial professionals not creating distress if unable provide a positive confirmation
  • Asking early before prospective confirmers/referees have reached their confirmation sign-off limits

How to Respectfully Ask Someone to Act as Your Confirmer/Referee

When requesting someone act as your confirmer or referee:

  • Communicate 3-6 months prior to submission deadlines
  • Explain the role, responsibilities and eligibility criteria
  • Note why you value their confirmation of your professional practice
  • Offer to supply details like relevant records and portfolio evidence to facilitate sign-off
  • Be understanding if they cannot take on the position while exploring alternatives

By selecting appropriate confirmers and referees then briefing them on requirements well in advance, you facilitate getting the necessary sign-offs documenting your continued professional development and safe, compassionate nursing practice to confidently meet your revalidation obligations.


Choosing confirmers and referees that meet NMC eligibility specifications while able to knowledgeably corroborate your capabilities requires forethought and diplomacy. We hope this guidance helps you identify and respectfully recruit suitable professionals able to validate your fitness to continue practicing as a nurse or midwife registered with the NMC.

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