#ReValidation - my journey

Wednesday 13th July 2016 by @JennytheM

My journey to Revalidation

I recently completed my revalidation process for the first time . I have to say that looking back I enjoyed it and I'd like to share some tips that might help others to see it as a positive process .
I may appear organised but I have to admit that when I receive a certificate of attendance or get feedback I usually leave the documents in a place that I see as safe and months later I am searching for them - I think this probably sounds familiar to many NHS shift workers.

When I first read about Revalidation I decided that it was about time that JennyTheM ‘got her act together’

So here's what I did

1. I filled a large A4 lever arch file with empty poly pockets
2. Sectioned this into
a. Hours of practice
b. Certificates of attendance
c. Mentorship section- including feedback from future midwives
d. Feedback from colleagues eg emails & letters from within and outside my NHS trust.
e. Courses including my learning outcomes and reflection
f. Cards, letters and emails from women and families I've cared for
3. Each time I came home with a document relevant to my Revalidation folder I filed it immediately – this was made easier by the fact that the home for the folder was just behind my front door! There was no escape from the Folder of Order!
4. I spoke at length to Natasha who has become a dear friend because of our work on implementing the skin to skin campaign on social media into a clinical setting 

I set about thinking of how to revalidate and what evidence to use . As a midwife my goal is to try my best to pass the baton to future midwives so I felt it important that I used feedback from student midwives in my revalidation . It's very easy to ask a colleague who is a friend to give you feedback but I need to know exactly how students feel about me .

I sent an email to the future midwives I'd worked with and waited - didn't tell them what to write but just to say whether I'd helped them in any way , or not as the case may be . I received a lovely email about how I'd made a brand new student midwife feel on her first day and the way that my approach to women and families had affected her own practice in a positive way . Perhaps all students should write feedback to mentors – we all need to know how effective we are (or not)

For next feedback I used my appraisal summary from last year as this also included comments on my extra mural work on social media which sometimes can go unnoticed and I thought that would help other tweeting midwives to consider this angle . We Communities has a CPD link that you can use if you read a tweet chat which is also very helpful here's the HERE IS THE LINK TO USING TWITTER FOR CPD - a great infographic. 

One of the most impactful statements was from a woman I had met whilst working nights on the antenatal area. This woman had a fear of birth and was traumatised by difficult examinations that had left her scared and agreeing with the Drs decision to carry out an elective Caesarean section. This woman had undergone several attempts at being induced and had given up her choices . The ward was very busy but I knew I had to get back to her to try and give her some hope . We talked about breathing technique and also I explained how the use of gas and air (entonox) might help her anxiety and pain during internal examinations. I printed off my breathing and visualisation blog and also gave her lots of information about skin to skin contact . I left the hospital after my night shift thinking about her a lot . Two days later I found out that this warrior woman had decided to try and have a normal birth . Much more than this, she had actually done it! I was so pleased for her as no matter what I'd said – she had made the decision with evidence and information which she had processed by telling her own body what might be achievable.

Feedback is always useful but it's so important to consider

1.How it makes you feel – good , bad , disappointed , elated.
2.The impact on your practice – will it change you ?
3. Sharing it with others to change practice – how can it help others

As my reflective discussion partner I chose to ask a midwife who I respect but also one who is truthful and who wouldn't just agree with what I told her . I knew she would digest my evidence thoroughly and question me about why I'd done things a certain way . It's important that this step is not coercive and I recommended giving your documents to the person so they can read out of your presence . Allow time and plan in advance , the main beauty of having a folder means it's portable, easy to refer to and is clear. 

I decided that my revalidation process would be a paperless one . I am very committed to the environment and lived in California in the late 90s so recycling and being green is a key part of who I am . I remember coming home to the UK and being horrified at the lack of recycling by NHS trusts luckily that is changing for the better .

It's so easy to panic about revalidation but think of it like this

"You are simply giving evidence to prove you think about your job, you seek others opinions , you keep yourself up to date with current evidence , and that you reflect and learn from the feedback of others - that's it " 

Revalidation has a feel good factor as it allows you to digest what you've achieved away from the workplace . I am happy to offer help to anyone who needs . I'd like to thank Natasha Stringer and Teresa Chinn for reassuring me when I did first panic about it – we all need friends like this .

A wonderful resource is the NMC website it gives a draft of a full revalidation and also document and guidance that are clear to read , simple to understand and not scary at all .
Here is a link to how to revalidate guide  NMC website HERE IS THE LINK ON HOW TO REVALIDATE on NMC WEBSITE 

At my NHS Trust supervisors of midwives have been designated as  confirmers for midwives so I contacted a supervisor we met up and she learnt how to complete a paperless confirmation . I must admit that I have printed it off to store in my 'folder of order' right next to all the required evidence . 

So  what is my next plan ? Well I have started my next folder of evidence 2016-2019 and this time I am filing immediately so watch this space in three years time 

thank you for reading 

with love,



Please feel free to post in to this blog; you'll need to be logged in via twitter from the top right of the menu to post.
{{Comment.DateCreated | date:"dd MMMM yyyy HH:mm"}}
15 August 2016 06:48
Hello Jenny the M. I've just read and re-read your blog about Revalidation. It is an interesting article. You are correct I do recognise my own pattern of collecting evidence for my submission in August 2107. I also have a file where I have organised my paper based evidence. When I started looking at Revalidation in earnest I looked at the NMC site and am using my analysis of how to Revalidate as a learning experience (which will be submitted as part of the process). I need to go back to the NMC site to try to understand how as you have stated make my Revalidation 'a paperless one'. At this present moment, and until I get my head around it, the two statements seem to contradict each other. What is wonderful though is the amount of support I have found by getting involved in Twitter and WeCommunities. In my initial research I looked at how the NMC and my NHS Trusts can justify looking at what I look at in my private time (and indeed it was through that proceeds that I came upon @wenurses). That exercise lead to an extensive (and increasingly so) research of my own and other NHS Trust's policies. Again it seems that there is a contradiction - we are being advised that information technology based communication is the way ahead yet it still looks like the policies are prescriptive in their language. It will be interesting to see what I will conclude - and you know I may even pluck up the courage to blog about it. Jacqueline. 15th August 2016.
14 July 2016 10:09
There are many organisations that have guides and best practices information, some have found commercial opportunities to run workshops and build products to support those Revalidating and that's fine, its the world we live in. Sharing your personal experience and value for Revalidation will I'm sure be really useful to your Revalidating peers @JennyTheM ... go you!

  • Follow us