Skip navigation

Preparing for revalidation – making participatory CPD work best for you

Linda Nazarko OBE Consultant Nurse, Ealing Community Services & Service Lead IV therapy and Dementia at London North West Healthcare NHS Trust spoke at today’s Nursing Appraisal and Revalidation conference on:

•What do we mean by participatory CPD?
•Data from a small audit – that state of current CPD?
•From a ‘dusty old file on a shelf’ to a dynamic, evolving, portfolio of evidence
•One size does not fit all – bespoke approaches, amongst revalidation principles
•Summary – what do we need to do next?

Linda said; "preparing for Revalidation we need to use what we are doing already...look at what we have now, and look at the past and what didn't work." She continued; "transition is the problem, not change, you can get there. Empowerment is really powerful, but have to get through this transition" and finished positively saying; "it's a good opportunity to demonstrate to our Managers how wonderful we all are!"

Linda’s PowerPoint presentation is available for download at the end of this page. 

Abstract of Linda’s presentation: 

The revalidation of nurses and midwives goes live in April 2016.  This presentation will focus on the revalidation of nurses.  The revalidation process encompasses a number of elements including the requirement that nurses complete 35 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The nurse can use a number of learning activities to meet this requirement but 20 of the CPD hours must involve participatory learning.  

What is participatory learning? 

There are two broad categories of learning, passive and participatory.  Passive learning is where the learner is not actively involved in the learning process. The learner might read a book or article, listen to a presentation or look at PowerPoint slides. Active learning is learning where the learner is actively engaged in the learning process (Pashler et al, 2009). Participatory learning seeks to actively engage the learner in the process of learning. It helps learner to understand a concept, embed it in their day to day work or activities and to master the skill 

How do we learn?

Educational theory indicates that students pick up and process information in different ways; they see, hear, reflect, act reason and analyse. They can learn steadily or in fits and starts.  Information and techniques can seem alien and then suddenly make sense (Dunlosky et al, 2013). .  
Our personality and the way we think affects the way we take in information and how we approach learning (Fry et al, 2008).We have different learning styles. These are: 

•    Activists, who respond to learning situations that offer challenge, excitement and freedom
•    Reflectors, who respond to structured learning with time allowed for observation and reflection
•    Theorists, who respond to logical structure, clear aims and the opportunity to pose questions
•    Pragmatists, who respond to practical learning activities (Honey and Mumford, 2008):

The theorists tell us that there are three learning styles. Auditory, visual and tactile, others tell us that there are seven learning styles. CPD requirements enable each of us to choose CPD that meets our individual learning preferences. 

Why have the NMC chosen to specify that nurses must use participatory learning 

Participatory learning is “active learning. It’s about more than watching listening and taking notes.  Active learning is thought to be more effective than passive learning (Prince, 2004). 

Using audit to meet criteria 

Many nurses carry out audits as part of their day to day work or for educational purposes. The audit cycle involves five stages: preparing for audit; selecting criteria; measuring performance level; making improvements; sustaining improvements (Benjamin, 2008). Audit can be used on several different levels to meet CPD as the scenario below illustrates: 

You are working on an orthopaedic ward and several patients develop grade three or four pressure ulcers. You discuss the problem with your mentor as part of your clinical supervision.  You collaborate with colleagues to identify why the problem has occurred.  You discover that the patients, who have developed pressure ulcers have fallen, fractured and have been taken to accident and emergency. Most patients have lain on the floor at home for some considerable time and their skin integrity is compromised by immobility by the time they arrive in hospital.  The patient is then cared for on a trolley for some time. You work with colleagues and arrange to visit another area that has minimised this problem. You introduce changes to reduce risks and re-audit. 

The ultimate results of the audit are improved quality of care for patients and changes in practice.  In the process of making these changes you have engaged in reflective practice, carried out individual CPD, by reading and studying, completed participatory CPD during the audit and in planning change and completed a reflective account.   

Revalidation and CPD can work for you, and for the rest of the profession and be used not as a hammer to beat us but a tool to enable us to demonstrate our personal professional journey. It can enable us to improve our practice and because it is mandatory our employers will be required to give most of us the time and space to do this. 


Benjamin A (2008). Audit: how to do it in practice. BMJ 2008;336:1241

John Dunlosky, Katherine A. Rawson, Elizabeth J. Marsh, Mitchell J. Nathan, and Daniel T. Willingham(2013).  Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology. Association for Psychological Science

Fry H, Ketteridge S, Marshall S (2008a) A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Enhancing Academic Practice. 3rd edn. Routledge Falmer London

Honey P, Mumford A (2008) The Manual of Learning Styles. Peter Honey, Maidenhead

Pashler, H., et. al. (2009). Learning styles: Concepts and evidence. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9 (3), 105-119

M.J. Prince. (2004). “Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research.” J. Engr. Education, 93(3), 223-231. <

Linda Nazarko, MSc, PgDip, Pg Cert, BSc (Hons), RN, NIP, OBE, FRCN is consultant nurse at London North West Healthcare NHS Trust.  She works as a clinician, educator and adviser with colleagues in the inpatient units and within intermediate care and community teams. Linda has clinical responsibility for two nurse led inpatient wards in a community hospital.  She leads a team of nurses and therapists and admits patients directly from home and from A&E into the step up unit and from acute hospitals into the step down unit.  Linda is also clinical lead for the IV service and for dementia. She has for the last year led a CQUIN on improving care for people with dementia within Ealing Community Services . 

Linda lectures and assesses at universities and speaks at conferences in the UK and Europe.  

Linda’s has specialised in care of older people for 30 years and has qualifications in gerontology, physical assessment, diagnostic reasoning, prescribing, continence, stoma care, research and management. 

She is the author of several books, reviews and contributes to major UK nursing journals.

Future related events:

Masterclass: Nursing Revalidation
Tuesday 24 November 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Nursing Revalidation for Specialist Practice and Advanced Roles
Wednesday 2 December 
ICO Conference Centre, London

Nursing Appraisal and Revalidation & implementing the New NMC Code of Practice
Wednesday 20 January 
ICO Conference Centre, London

Nursing Revalidation Preparing for Going Live
Tuesday 2 February 
Thestudio Conference Centre, Birmingham

Midwife Appraisal and Revalidation
Tuesday 9 February 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Download: LindaNazarko full presentation

19 October 2015


    Partner Organisations

    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation TrustInPracticeClinical Audit Support CentrePlayoutJust For Nurses
    GGI (Good Governance Institute) accredited conferences CPD Member BADS (British Association of Day Surgery) accredited conferences