Nursing Council of New ZealandWednesday 24 October 2012, 3:43PM
An independent external review of the New Zealand Nursing
Council has concluded that the Council is an effective regulator
with strong leadership and a commitment to improve.
The Nursing Council sought the review, which was conducted by
the British Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE), in
line with its commitment to organisational effectiveness and to
enable it to benchmark its performance. The CHRE has an established
process for peformance reviews, developed through undertaking
annual performance review of nine health professional regulatary
bodies in the United Kingdom and for other organisations.
Nursing Council Chief Executive and Registrar Carolyn Reed says
the review was both pleasing and useful.
"We aspire to reaching a high standard in regulatory practice.
The review of our functions was extremely thorough and provided us
with a critical external perspective. It is always helpful to see
one's performance through the eyes of others and we particularly
value the patient/public focus of the review," Ms Reed said.
"The report commented that reflective practice as a hallmark of
professionalism and commended our commitment to reflecting on our
performance and to continuous improvement. As we require an ongoing
commitment to professional development and competence from nurses,
it is appropriate that we as the regulator are accountable and
The Council asked the CHRE to focus its performance assessment
particularly on governance and the management of competence and
fitness to practice of nurses.
The CHRE considered the Council's governance to be appropriate
and that the Council is protecting the public through its conduct,
competence and health processes. It also commented that the Council
regularly seeks the views of stakeholders to ensure that policies
and processes are as effective and efficient as they can be.
Whilst the CHRE made a number of recommendations it noted that
this does not mean that the Council's performance is inadequate.
Recommendations are aimed at improvement and best practice
generally not at addressing failures.
• Improving governance by placing greater focus on public
protection, more efficient management of meeting papers and
agendas, clearer oversight of financial matters by the Council and
changes in the selection and appointment of Council Members.
• Giving greater attention to the length of interim
suspension orders for nurses dealing with health issues and to
reviewing the separate processes for conduct, competence and health
• Improvements to procedures to ensure greater consistency
of outcome including better record keeping, an overall quality
assurance framework, more detailed and comprehensive recording of
• Improving public confidence by greater transparency,
better communication with the public, improved letters and more
information on the register.
Ms Reed says the Nursing Council welcomes the review and has
developed an action plan to address many of the suggested
improvement. In the interests of transparency both the review and
the action plan are available on the Council website.