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The Authority publishes its review of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s performance for 2021/22

We have published our annual performance review of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Between 1 April 2021 and 30 June 2022, we monitored the NMC’s performance against the Standards of Good Regulation (the Standards).

For this period, the NMC has met 17 of the 18 Standards. Our report explains how we made our decision.

The NMC did not meet our Standard for timeliness in fitness to practise. It is taking too long to deal with fitness to practise cases and a significant backlog of cases has developed. Clearing the backlog is a top priority for the NMC: it has implemented an action plan and published regular progress reports to its Council. But the action plan had mixed results this year, and there is still a backlog and serious delays.

This is the third year in a row that the NMC has not met the Standard. We have taken action under our escalation policy, including writing to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. We will be closely monitoring the NMC’s work to resolve its fitness to practise backlog so that we can understand its progress and raise concerns if its work does not appear to be effective. The NMC has already made it clear that it expects average case closure times to increase in the short term, as it clears older cases from the system. We will continue to engage with the NMC and other stakeholders to understand whether its performance is improving.

The performance review is our check on how well the regulators have been protecting the public and promoting confidence in the health and care professions. We do this by assessing their performance against our Standards. The judgements we make against each Standard incorporate a range of evidence to form an overall picture of performance. Meeting a Standard means that we are satisfied that a regulator is performing well in that area.

In January 2022, we implemented a new performance review approach, starting with the 2021/22 round of reviews. In the new process, we undertake a ‘periodic review’ of each regulator every three years. This is our opportunity to look closely at all aspects of the regulator’s work. Between these reviews, we monitor their performance, focusing on areas of risk. This year, we undertook a monitoring review of the NMC.



Note to Editors


  1. The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK.
  2. We assess their performance and report to Parliament. We also conduct audits and investigations and can appeal fitness to practise cases to the courts if we consider that sanctions are insufficient to protect the public and it is in the public interest.
  3. The Standards of Good Regulation are designed to ensure that the regulators are protecting the public but also promoting confidence in health and care professionals and themselves. The Standards cover the regulators’ four core functions: setting and promoting guidance and standards for the profession; setting standards for and quality assuring the provision of education and training; maintaining a register of professionals; and taking action where a professional’s fitness to practise may be impaired. There is also a set of General Standards that cover equality, diversity and inclusion as well as how well the regulators engage with stakeholders.
  4. We also set standards for organisations holding voluntary registers for health and social care occupations and accredit those that meet them.
  5. We share good practice and knowledge, conduct research and introduce new ideas to our sector. We monitor policy developments in the UK and internationally and provide advice on issues relating to professional standards in health and social care.
  6. We do this to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of users of health and social care services and the public. We are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.
  7. Our values are – integrity, transparency, respect, fairness and teamwork – and we strive to ensure that they are at the core of our work.
  8. The The Nursing and Midwifery Council (the NMC) regulates the nursing and midwifery professions in the United Kingdom and nursing associates in England. Its work includes: setting and maintaining standards of practice and conduct; maintaining a register of qualified professionals; assuring the quality of education and training for nurses, midwives and nursing associates; requiring registrants to keep their skills up to date through continuing professional development; and taking action to restrict or remove from practice registrants who are not considered to be fit to practise. As at 30 June 2022, the NMC was responsible for a register of 760,444 nurses, midwives and nursing associates. Its annual retention fee for registrants is £120.
  9. More information about our work and the approach we take is available at