Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I apply for this role if I have been an employee of the NMC within the last five years?

No. If you have been employed by the NMC within the last five years you are not eligible to apply for this role.

2. I have previously served as a Panel Member on the NMC Practice Committee but my term ended a few years ago. Am I eligible to apply?

Under our Rules you are not eligible to apply for this role if you have previously served two terms as an NMC panel member or panel chair. Please not this term limit does not apply to Legal Assessors.

If you have only served one term as a Panel Member you can apply but if appointed, you will only be eligible to sit for one four year term. You must make it clear in your application and at interview that you have sat as an NMC panel member for one term and provide the reason why you were not reappointed for a second term. This will be checked as part of our due diligence process.

3. Can I serve as both a legal assessor and panel member for the NMC?

No, under our legislation an individual cannot be both a legal assessor and a panel member at the same time. If you are appointed as one you will be disqualified to serve as the other.

    4. I want to apply to be a registrant panel member but I am not currently on the NMC register. Should I apply to be readmitted to the register now or at the time I am appointed?

    You should apply now. We are hopeful that any readmission application could be relatively quick providing you meet all the requirements.

    5. I am an NMC registrant. If I am appointed will I have to maintain my registration?

    If you are appointed as a registrant panel member, you must maintain your NMC registration throughout your term. If your registration lapses, you will not be allowed to transfer to being a lay member. Your term will be terminated.

    6. I am a retired registrant but I am still currently on the NMC Register, am I eligible to apply?

    Yes, you are eligible to apply but if appointed you must maintain your NMC registration throughout your term.

    7. I was previously a registered nurse, midwife or nursing associate but my registration has now lapsed. Can I apply to be a lay panel member?

    No. If you have ever previously been on the NMC register and your registration has lapsed for any reason (e.g. you are now a retired) you are not eligible to apply as either a lay or registrant member.

    You must apply to be readmitted to the NMC register and then apply for a role as a registrant panel member.

    8. Do I need to be an NMC registrant to apply to be a panel member?

    No, we welcome applications from lay members to be panel members.

    Please note: if you have previously held registration with the NMC, or are eligible to do so, but are not currently on the register, you are not eligible to apply as either a lay or registrant member. You are also ineligible to be appointed as a lay panel member due to Rule 2 (interpretation) of the NMC (Practice Committees) (Constitution) Rules 2008: “Non-registrant means a person who is not and never has been a registered nurse, midwife or nursing associate and does not hold a qualification that would entitle them to apply for registration under the Order”

    9. I work for one of the professional representative bodies and / or in a related area of medical regulation, such as representing healthcare providers. Am I eligible to apply?

    The potential for a conflicts of interest does not make you ineligible to apply. But if you were appointed you would need to consider if you had a conflict of interest on a case by case basis before you joined a panel on a hearing. You would also need to declare your interest in the hearing so that the parties could consider if they objected to you hearing their case.

    10. How much experience do I need to apply to be a Legal Assessor?

    All Legal Assessors must have at least ten years post-qualification experience (whether as a solicitor or barrister) and be in good standing with their regulator.

    11. Am I eligible if I am resident outside of the United Kingdom?

    Yes, but you must have the right to be able to work without restriction in the United Kingdom. You should also note that we would not pay for your travel and accommodation from your residence to the United Kingdom to sit as a panel member on a hearing.

    12. Can I apply if I am bankrupt?

    Bankrupt candidates are disqualified. Discharged bankrupt candidates are eligible unless they are the subject a bankruptcy restrictions order or an interim bankruptcy restrictions order under Schedule 4A to the Insolvency Act 1986(9) or Schedule 2A of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989(10) (which relate to bankruptcy restriction orders and undertakings).

    13. If I have been the subject of an NMC Fitness to Practise complaint am I eligible to apply?

    You will not be eligible to apply for a registrant panel member role if:

    • You do not currently hold a valid UK practising certificate;
    • You are currently suspended from the register;
    • You are currently subject to a conditions of practice order;
    • You are currently subject to a caution order;
    • You have ever been struck off the register.

    14. Am I eligible if I have previously been convicted of an offence?

    We will need more information about your conviction before we could say if you are eligible. If your conviction was in the UK, it will depend on whether the conviction is spent for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

    If your conviction was outside the UK, then our Appointments Board will need to decide whether due to your conviction, your membership of a practice committee would undermine public confidence in the regulation of nurses, midwifes and nursing associates.

    15. Am I eligible if a relative has a conviction or suspended sentence?

    Yes. The disqualification rules do not extend to the convictions of relatives.

    16. Are there any other eligibility criteria I need to be aware of?

    If you are successful in this process, you will be asked to declare on taking up the appointment that you are not subject to any of the disqualifying criteria found in Rule 8 of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (Practice Committees) (Constitution) Rules 2008. This document is available for download on this website and we strongly advise you read it before applying to avoid potential disappointment down the line.

    View full Eligibility and Disqualification Criteria

    17. What is the yearly time commitment for those who are successful?

    Panel Members and Legal Assessors will be expected to sit for 15 – 45 days per annum.

    If you are allocated to the Fitness to Practise Committee you will generally be expected to be available to sit on hearings often lasting 5-10 days. We also have a few shorter cases and a number of cases lasting a few weeks, although these may sometimes be booked with a gap in the middle. (For block bookings, this is often a block booking of around one week but we do also have cases that require panels to sit for a few weeks in a row.)  If you have limited availability for hearings lasting 5 days and would have more availability to sit for one to three days at a time, you might be better placed on the Investigating Committee. You will be asked to express a preference for either the Investigating Committee or the Fitness to Practise committee at the interview stage.

    18. If I was appointed, how far in advance do I get sent the paperwork for a hearing?

    We aim to give our members details of their hearings two weeks in advance and send them the papers no later than one week prior to the hearing starting.

    19. Can I apply if I am a student nurse?

    As a student nurse you could apply to be a lay panel member. But once you completed your training and obtained a qualification, you would be removed as a panelist by the Council because you cannot be a lay member and hold a nursing, midwifery or nursing associate qualification. We think it would be really frustrating for someone to go through this rigorous selection process only to lose their appointment as a result of successfully completing their studies. So while you can apply we strongly suggest that you wait and apply in a future campaign once you have obtained your registration.

    20. How much travel is involved?

    We hold hearings both physically in person and virtually via MS Teams and you will be expected to be available for both types of hearing.  Travel from home to the hearing and training locations is required. A greater proportion of hearings are in London, however we are a four country regulator and you will be expected to travel to hearings across the UK. If you are required to travel – travel expenses will be met as will hotel accommodation costs, if an overnight stay is required.

    21. Is the role remunerated?

    Yes. Panel members receive £310 per day and Legal Assessors receive £500 per day.

    22. What does it mean that this is a values-based recruitment process?

    Our values of kindness, fairness, collaboration and ambition are an integral part of how we perform our role when we work with colleagues, registrants, stakeholders and the public we serve. We are keen to find candidates that demonstrate these behaviours and values and, whilst there are some key skills and experiences you need to bring to effectively participate in reaching timely, logical, fair and balanced decisions, our focus is on finding candidates from the broadest possible backgrounds to work in a way that reflects these core values.

    23. What due diligence will be undertaken on candidates?

    All candidates invited for interview with the NMC will have the following due diligence carried out:

    • Two references will be taken – you will be asked to provide details of two referees who know you in a professional capacity when you apply;
    • Online due diligence. This includes a review of any social media, national press reporting and checks of public databases such as Companies House, the Insolvency Service and the Charity Commission.
    • Check of NMC systems to ensure that you have not previously sat as an NMC Panel Member for two terms.
    • Check of NMC systems to ensure that registrant applicants are not currently subject to any Fitness to Practise investigations or have any restrictions on your practice.
    • Your eligibility will also be reconfirmed in the interview and any candidate found to be ineligible will be unable to remain in the process. You will be asked a series of eligibility questions when you apply – please read these very carefully and provide honest answers.

    24. How do I put forward the strongest possible case for my candidacy?

    We understand that not everyone will be familiar with the application form we are using. The form is not intended to catch you out; all the questions are linked to the behavioural and values framework so are designed to give you the best chance to make a strong case. In our experience, the key things to consider are:

    1. Make sure you stick to the word limit. Any words beyond the set limit will not be assessed
    2. Read the question carefully and ensure you answer it as closely as possible
    3. Familiarise yourself with the behavioural and values framework before starting the application. These are the competencies against which you will be assessed
    4. Provide a specific example from your professional career that you feel best demonstrates the competency in question. Be as specific as possible
    5. Be clear about the context in which you were operating. Remember: the reader may not be familiar with your professional context
    6. Offer clear narrative that describes what you did. It is important that you bring out your active personal contribution in the example you describe
    7. Ensure there is a clear, measurable outcome to the example you describe. What, ultimately, were you able to achieve and by what measure did you know it was successful?

    Any other questions?

    If you have a question which is not answered above, please contact nmc@gatenbysanderson.com and we would be happy to help