About the NMC

Our vision is safe, effective and kind nursing and midwifery practice that improves everyone’s health and wellbeing.

Who we are and what we do

We are the independent regulator for nurses and midwives in the UK, and nursing associates in England.

Our vision is safe, effective and kind nursing and midwifery practice that improves everyone’s health and wellbeing.

As the independent regulator of more than 788,000 nursing and midwifery professionals, we have an important role to play in making this a reality.

Our core role is to regulate. First, we promote high education and professional standards for nurses and midwives across the UK, and nursing associates in England. Second, we maintain the register of professionals eligible to practise. Third, we investigate concerns about nurses, midwives and nursing associates – something that affects a tiny minority of professionals each year. We believe in giving professionals the chance to address concerns, but we’ll always take action when needed.

To regulate well, we support our professions and the public. We create resources and guidance that are useful throughout people’s careers, helping them to deliver our standards in practice and address new challenges. We also support people involved in our investigations, and we’re increasing our visibility so people feel engaged and empowered to shape our work.

Regulating and supporting our professions allows us to influence health and social care. We share intelligence from our regulatory activities and work with our partners to support workforce planning and sector-wide decision making. We use our voice to speak up for a healthy and inclusive working environment for our professions.

Our values and behaviours

Our values and behaviours will shape our culture, influencing the work we do and how we do it

Our values are important to us. They guide the way we behave, individually and together, and give us a firm foundation to promote excellence in nursing and midwifery for the benefit of the public.

We’ve aligned these to our strategic aims.

Each value is crucial, but their real strength comes from how they work together.

We’re fair

We treat everyone fairly. Fairness is at the heart of our role as a trusted, transparent regulator and employer.

We’re kind

We act with kindness and in a way that values people, their insights, situations and experiences.

We’re ambitious

We take pride in our work. We’re open to new ways of working and always aim to do our best for the professionals on our register, the public we serve and each other.

We’re collaborative

We value our relationships (both within and outside of the NMC) and recognise that we’re at our best when we work well with others.

NMC Strategy 2020-2025

Regulate, support, influence

in 2019 we embarked on developing a five year strategy to support the delivery of excellent nursing and midwifery. We involved thousands of people across the UK, including the professionals on our register, our partners and stakeholders, people using health and care services, and our NMC employees.

Since then the world has changed. At this time our focus is on supporting the professionals on our register to deliver the safe and effective care the nation needs as we respond to the coronavirus pandemic. We have postponed a number of programmes of work outlined in our strategy, with a view to revisiting them later in the year.

Our new strategy has already helped us navigate this unfolding situation. The three core pillars – regulate, support and influence – that will guide us over the next five years have enabled us to adapt our approach and be confident in our decision making in response to this pandemic.

Thank you to everyone who helped shape our direction over the next five years.

Our roles for 2020–2025

Our strategy is based on three key roles that underpin our purpose: regulate, support, and influence.

Regulate: We promote and uphold high standards, maintain the register of professionals eligible to practise, and step in to investigate on the rare occasions when care goes wrong.

Support: To ensure we regulate as progressively as possible, we proactively support our professions. This allows us to strike the right balance between investigating rare cases of poor practice and promoting excellent practice.

Influence: Regulating and supporting our professions puts us in a unique position to influence the development of health and social care. We work collaboratively with our partners to address common concerns and drive improvement across the sector.

Our strategic themes

We co-produced our strategy with nursing and midwifery professionals, our partners, the public and our NMC colleagues. We heard thousands of views and five strategic themes emerged.

These themes will guide how we plan our work, and our investment in people and resources between 2020 and 2025. They are:

  1. Improvement and innovation
  2. Proactive support for our professions
  3. More visible and informed
  4. Engaging and empowering the public, professionals and partners
  5. Insight and influence.

Find out more about how we developed our strategy.

Building a five-year plan

We are clear about much of the work needed to deliver our strategy, but there are some areas that will take more time to scope fully.

Our annual corporate plan gives more detail of our priorities for the year ahead.

Council governance

How our Council works

The Council is our governing body. It sets our strategic direction and holds the Executive to account. Council members are also the charity trustees.

Our Council members

Who our Council members are

The Council is made up of twelve members: six lay people and six nurses or midwives, from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, all appointed by the Privy Council.

Council meetings

The Council is committed to openness and transparency and holds meetings in public at least six times a year. Anyone is welcome to observe a Council meeting.

The Chair of the Council presides at the meeting, which usually includes issues ranging from our regulatory role to scrutiny of our performance and finances. A meeting may include important matters that only the Council can decide, as well as issues for discussion or information. The Council members discuss items and give their views.

View dates of scheduled Council meetings.

Standing Orders

The Nursing and Midwifery Council Standing Orders (the Standing Orders) set out the procedures the Council and its committees use when they conduct business.

They make sure that the Council has the information it needs to make decisions and provide assurance that senior staff are implementing the Council’s decisions effectively. They also mean that our governance processes are consistent.

They also set out the membership and remit of the committees of the Council.

The terms of reference for each of the committees can be found in Appendix 2 of the Standing Orders.

Scheme of delegation

The Scheme of Delegation is intended to allow the efficient and effective functioning of the NMC.

It specifies when decisions should be taken on important matters. It also sets out which decisions should be made by the Council, the Chair of Council, the Chief Executive and Registrar, or the constituted committees of Council.

The Council has approved financial regulations which ensure that high standards of financial integrity are maintained at all times and provide high level principles that guide planning and managing the NMC’s finances and the proper use of resources and stewardship of assets.

Code of conduct for members

All members adhere to a code of conduct.

This code sets out the standards that Council members should meet and are based on the Seven Principles of Public Life (the ‘Nolan principles’).


Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.


Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.


Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.


Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this. As a Council member you are accountable to the public for the exercise of the NMC’s functions and the use of its funds.


Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.


Holders of public office should be truthful.


Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.