The president of the shadow Nursing and Midwifery Council has announced a new "light-touch, streamlined, cost-effective and evidence-based" approach to quality assurance on nursing and midwifery courses.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the council of deans of nursing last week, Jonathan Asbridge said the quality assurance procedures for these health courses could be broken down into institutional approval, approval in principle (for new courses), validation, annual monitoring, periodic review/validation and subject review.
These functions are carried out by a number of bodies including the national boards, universities, the Quality Assurance Agency and the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting. The NMC will take over from the national boards and the UKCC on April 1 next year.
On institutional approval the council will accept the judgement of the Quality Assurance Agency. This had been done by the national boards as well as the QAA.
"For subject review and periodic review, we see no point in separate NMC activity. Someone representing the council and accountable to it will, instead, participate in the respective review team," Mr Asbridge said.
A spokesman for the council of deans said: "The approach outlined offers significant progress towards the council's objective of a single quality assurance system involving all the stakeholders."