Role of the nursing and midwifery council

The role of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Healthcare professionals, particularly nurses and midwives, are essential to delivering safe, effective, and compassionate care. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the regulatory body that maintains standards and ensures the competence and conduct of nursing and midwifery professionals in the UK. In this blog, Dr Richard Dune delves into understanding the NMC's role, which is crucial for organisations aiming to meet statutory and regulatory compliance.

Key facts and statistics

  • Regulation scope - The NMC regulates approximately 700,000 nurses, midwives, and nursing associates.
  • Fitness to practise - In 2022, the NMC received around 5,000 fitness to practise referrals, highlighting its role in maintaining professional standards.
  • Educational standards - The NMC approves over 1,000 nursing and midwifery education programmes across the UK, ensuring consistent training quality.

Key definitions

  • NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) - An independent regulatory body for nursing and midwifery professionals in the UK, established to protect the public. 
  • Fitness to practise - The process by which the NMC investigates concerns about a nurse's or midwife's ability to practise safely and effectively.

The NMC's role and responsibilities

Setting standards

The NMC sets education, training, conduct, and performance standards. These standards ensure that nurses and midwives provide high-quality care throughout their careers. The NMC's Code of Conduct outlines the professional behaviour expected from registrants, focusing on prioritising people, practising effectively, preserving safety, and promoting professionalism and trust.

Education and training

The NMC approves and monitors educational institutions and programmes. By setting standards for education, the NMC ensures that nurses and midwives have the necessary skills and knowledge from the start of their careers. Regular reviews and updates to the curriculum ensure that training remains relevant and of high quality.


Nurses and midwives must be registered with the NMC to practise in the UK. The registration process includes verifying qualifications, ensuring fitness to practise, and maintaining ongoing professional development. This safeguards the public by ensuring that only qualified individuals can provide care.

Fitness to practise

The NMC investigates complaints and concerns about registrants' fitness to practise. This includes issues related to professional misconduct, lack of competence, and health concerns. The fitness to practise process is designed to protect patients and the public by addressing serious concerns and taking appropriate action, ranging from warnings to removal from the register.

Recommended best practices for compliance

Understanding and implementing the NMC code

Healthcare organisations should ensure that all nursing and midwifery staff understand and adhere to the NMC Code. Regular training and workshops can help reinforce the code's importance and application in daily practice.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

Nurses and midwives must engage in CPD to maintain their registration. Organisations can support this by providing access to relevant training and development opportunities, ensuring staff can meet the NMC's CPD requirements.

Robust reporting mechanisms

Establishing precise and confidential reporting mechanisms for professional conduct concerns can help organisations promptly address issues. This aligns with the NMC's focus on maintaining public trust and safety.

Utilising compliance management software

Implementing tools like ComplyPlus™ can streamline regulatory compliance management. Such software helps track training, monitor adherence to standards, and ensure timely updates on legislative changes.


To effectively comply with NMC regulations and promote high standards of care, healthcare organisations should:

  • Regularly review and update policies - Ensure all policies align with the latest NMC standards and guidelines.
  • Provide ongoing training - Facilitate continuous education and professional development for nursing and midwifery staff. 
  • Implement effective reporting systems - Encourage the reporting of concerns and ensure a supportive environment for whistleblowers. 
  • Leverage technology - Use compliance management software like ComplyPlus™ to maintain and track adherence to regulations efficiently.


The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is critical in safeguarding public health by regulating nursing and midwifery standards. By understanding the NMC's responsibilities and implementing best practices, healthcare organisations can ensure compliance, enhance care quality, and protect patient safety.

Click here for more information on how to meet regulatory requirements and ensure compliance; explore our ComplyPlus™ legislation and regulatory compliance management software and training. Embrace the tools that empower your organisation to uphold the highest standards in healthcare.

About the author

Dr Richard Dune

With over 20 years of experience, Richard blends a rich background in NHS, the private sector, academia, and research settings. His forte lies in clinical R&D, advancing healthcare tech, workforce development and governance. His leadership ensures regulatory compliance and innovation align seamlessly.

The role of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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