Preparing for your case: testimonials
As well as a good solid reflection it is useful to gain testimonials from colleagues and co-workers. You can also get them from patients as long as you follow your trust’s consent procedures.
The NMC have strict guidance that they require anyone providing testimonials to adhere to so it is useful to ensure they follow these guidelines otherwise they may not be allowed to be used.
Testimonial letters can play an important part in your NMC case. The opinion of others, particularly your colleagues and managers, can help to persuade the NMC that you are fit to practise or to impose a less serious sanction on your registration.
The guidance below contains pointers on the content of the letters for the person who is giving the testimonial (the writer). These suggestions are matters that the NMC decision-makers may find helpful.
The different categories of testimonial
Please consider the following different categories of testimonials:
- Employment testimonials from your manager or employer
- Testimonials from a colleague or former colleague (whether senior or junior to you and including registered nurses, healthcare assistants, doctors, physiotherapists etc)
- Character testimonials from a contact outside the healthcare setting (preferably from a professional, voluntary, charitable or religious organisation).
What the letter must include
In every category the letter should include the following:
- The name and signature of the writer
- The date
- Details of the writer’s job title; how long they have known you and in what capacity
- That they are aware of the details of the NMC allegations (for the avoidance of doubt, it would be helpful if the letter could state that they have seen the NMC allegations)
- Any observations they can make about your character
- Anything else they consider would assist the NMC in its decision-making process.
For testimonials from healthcare professionals, the letter should include these additional points:
- What involvement they have had with you and how often they have had the opportunity to observe your practice
- Any observations they can make about your character, for example, how you perform with patients, colleagues and with other disciplines such as doctors, social workers, tissue viability nurses, and occupational therapists
- Any comments on the areas of your practice highlighted by the NMC allegations
- Whether the profession would suffer a loss if your name is removed from the Register.
If the letter is from your manager or employer, it should also include the following:
- Confirmation that you were open and honest about the NMC proceedings
- Whether, in their professional opinion, you are fit to practise as a registered nurse without restriction
- The testimonial should be on headed notepaper.
Where should the letter be sent?
Please ask the writer to address the letter “Dear NMC” but forward it to your RCN representative, [Name of legal officer]. They can accept an email copy but it will need to be a scanned, signed copy.