A delegation from the INMO, led by the President, Martina Harkin-Kelly, met with the CEO of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI), Ms. Mary Griffin, and Ms. Bernie Carpenter (NMBI), this morning (Friday, 3rd November 2017), with regard to the development of a Professional Competency Scheme for nurses and midwives. Also in attendance at the meeting were Ms. Phil Ni Sheaghdha, INMO General Secretary Designate, Mr. Tony Fitzpatrick, INMO Acting Director of IR, Ms. Elizabeth Adams, INMO Director of Professional Development/Richmond Education and Event Centre.
The INMO welcomed the commencement of engagement and consultation on behalf of its nursing and midwifery membership, with regard to the development of a scheme to monitor the maintenance of competence for all registered nurses and midwives as required by the Nursing and Midwifery Act 2011:
- Section 89 (i) of the Nursing and Midwifery Act 2011 reads:
The Board shall, not later than the first anniversary date of the commencement of this section, or such longer period as the Minister permits in writing at the request of the Board, develop, establish and operate one or more than one scheme for the purposes of monitoring the maintenance of professional competence by registered nurses and registered midwives.
The INMO referred to the NMBI’s national consultation process and requested that the venues selected are as near as practical to the work place and, where possible, within larger work places in order to facilitate participation of the greatest number possible of nurses and midwives.
In addition the INMO sought adequate notice to ensure that nursing and midwifery rosters can be facilitated to allow maximum participation from nurses and midwives with the process of consultation.
The NMBI confirmed that they would be commencing the consultation phase in the first quarter of 2018, with a view to having reports to present to its own internal board by June/July 2018. This will require further consultation and submission to the Department of Health by year end 2018. The timeframe for commencement of the programme is, therefore, now increasingly likely to be the first quarter of 2019.
Finally a discussion on possible models were discussed and the NMBI were not in a position to describe the model as this is the purpose of the consultation period.
The INMO emphasised the importance of recognition of current practice and reflective models, in any design, in order to ensure that any competency scheme enhances the current practice of nursing and midwifery, as opposed to adding a burdensome, additional responsibility onto practicing nurses and midwives. The INMO emphasised that it is our belief that the model must recognise that maintaining competence is working time.
The NMBI emphasised that it is their intention to develop, in consultation with the profession, a model which would be viewed positively and enhance nursing and midwifery practice in a user-friendly development approach.
The INMO welcomed confirmation that the consultation on the development of the competency scheme will be approached with the intention of facilitating the inclusion of as many nurses and midwives in the process as possible.
The INMO also welcomed the commitment that ongoing regard will be had to ensuring the development of a model which enhances nursing and midwifery practice without, of itself, being a burdensome process.
This first meeting set out high level principles and commenced the engagement. Therefore further meetings will be required and the first of these has been provisionally scheduled December 2017.
Members will be advised of the outcome of this, and subsequent, meetings.
Thank you for your attention to this note.
PHIL Ni SHEAGHDHA
General Secretary Designate