What is fitness to practise?

What is fitness to practise?

The NMC defines fitness to practise as a person’s suitability to be on the register without restrictions.

This means:

  • Maintaining appropriate standards of proficiency
  • Ensuring you are of good health
  • Good character
  • Adhering to principles of good practice set out in our various, standards, guidance and advice.
  • Obtaining feedback
  • reflecting on feedback
  • third party sign off

The NMC investigate and, if necessary, take action on complaints against nurses and midwives when those complaints suggest a nurse or midwife is not fit to practise.



Fitness to practise might be impaired due to:

  • misconduct,
  • lack of competence,
  • a conviction or caution (including a finding of guilt by a court martial),
  • physical or mental ill health,
  • a finding by any other health or social care regulator or licensing body that a nurse or midwife’s fitness to practise is impaired, or
  • a barring under the arrangements provided by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (Northern Ireland) order 2007 or the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007.


Maintaining your fitness to practise

In order to maintain your fitness to practice, you must:

  • make the care of people your first concern, treating them as individuals and respecting their dignity, this is a core principle of The code and should be at the centre of your practice
  • keep clear and accurate records, The code contains information about this and we have also produced guidance on record keeping
  • keep your skills and knowledge up to date
  • taking part in appropriate learning and practice activities
  • work with others to protect and promote the health and wellbeing of those in your care
  • maintain clear professional boundaries