Return to Practice Cert

Return to Practice Cert

The aim of the Nursing and Midwifery Council is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the public by ensuring that anyone renewing their registration has undertaken a minimum amount of practice. This standard requires nurses and midwives to have practiced in some capacity by virtue of their nursing or midwifery qualification for a minimum of 450 hours during the three years prior to the renewal of their registration. If this requirement is not met, nurses will need to undertake an approved Return to Practice course before they can renew their registration. 

The Return to Practice course is supported by Health Education England who pay the course fees and support you to get back into a career in nursing.  The course provides an opportunity to refresh the necessary skills that are required for nursing today, under the supervision of supportive tutors and mentors.

The course consists of eight study days over a 12-week period.

Key material will be delivered via keynote lectures, on each of the teaching weeks, with follow up exercises and materials available via Blackboard and in small group teaching sessions. The module covers mandatory skills training and will give you the opportunity to practice your skills in the simulated learning environment to increase your confidence.

A minimum of 100 hours  of clinical practice  is required in a NHS acute primary care trust or general practice setting

Clinical shifts can be from five hours long if required - start and finish times can be negotiated.

Entry and Admissions


ANCILLARY AWARD:Post-Registration

STUDY MODE: Part time


COURSE LENGTH: Part-time: Eight study days over a twelve week period

SCHOOL: School of Nursing

PARTNER COLLEGES: No Partner College

CAMPUS: Preston


Entry Requirements:

  • Registered Nurse whose NMC registration has lapsed.
  • A pre-course occupational screening. (Please complete this when required to avoid delay attending placement).
  • Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS)  check (please note that the DBS check takes time and may delay your entry to course practice requirements)
  • Selection meeting to include an Interview, the production of a 250 word essay and the undertaking of a numeracy test (NB: The minimum pass rate for the numeracy test is 70%)
  • Two references (can be character references).
  • Evidence of NMC PIN
  • Photographic ID

Highlights of the course

The course is open to nurses from Adult, Mental Health, Children’s, Learning Disability and GP practice backgrounds.

The NMC validated Certificate to Return to Practice is additionally now able to offer funded places to nurses wishing to develop their career as a practice nurse in general practice. We welcome nurses who have or do not have previous experience in practice nursing.

Furthermore you will have the opportunity to continue your practice nurse education with funded places available on two new ‘General practice nursing’ modules.



DBS Checks:

This course will involve you working with vulnerable groups of individuals, including children. In order to ensure that the University offers places on their programmes to suitable candidates you will all be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB). We will be able to guide you through this process once you have been offered a conditional place of study at the University of Central Lancashire.

It is important to note that should your Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prove to be unsatisfactory for the purpose of the course you have applied to, your offer of a place for that course may be withdrawn. If you have already enrolled on a course and your DBS check subsequently discloses a criminal conviction, you may be required to withdraw from the course even if you have already started. If you are aware that your DBS check will disclose a previous conviction, please contact the course leader for advice as not all convictions may preclude you from continuing with the course.

Course Handbook

To read about the course in more depth, please download the course handbook: 2019/20 | 2020/21.

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

Course Content

The course will offer:

Insights and information relating to current practice and point you in the right direction to go and read and learn more
Education and training to support competent practice in relation to:

  • Moving and handling
  • Infection control
  • Basic life support
  • Administration of medicines
  • Record keeping and documentation.

Key content themes are:

  • Health and social policy
  • Ethical, legal and professional contexts of practice
  • Safeguarding
  • Mental health
  • Promotion of health
  • Palliative Care
  • Study Skills
  • Clinical skills and practice competencies.

You will be expected to undertake:

  • Eight study days over a 12-week period of the course and access directed study via eLearn (Blackboard)
  • Each student will have their own learning needs so we provide eLearn to assist you with your directed study
  • A minimum of 100 hours  of clinical practice in a NHS acute primary care trust or general practice setting
  • Clinical shifts can be from five hours long if required - start and finish times can be negotiated.

Students will be allocated a Sign-off Mentor in the clinical area who will:

  • Orientate the student to the clinical area and introduce them to care management
  • Work with the student to enable them to refresh their skills and knowledge
  • Sign-off your work to enable you to register with the NMC.
  • 100 per cent attendance is necessary.


Learning Environment & Assessment

The main approach to teaching and learning within the university is through the use of focused seminars and group discussion.

Each student comes with their own experiences and learning needs. Students are encouraged to engage in self-directed study and to utilise their existing skills and experience through directed study activity on line and in practice.

Opportunities for practice learning will be available in clinical skills labs prior to clinical placements.

Each student will be allocated a personal tutor to support personal learning, personal development and reflection on practice.

Additional learning opportunities will be provided via 'eLearn'. In addition to face-to-face contact between student and tutorial staff, support will be available via email.

Students are required to undertake a minimum of 100 hours of supervised clinical practice. This practice must be supervised by a named mentor who will ultimately 'sign-off' successful completion of the required competencies. The work based mentor will have undergone appropriate mentor preparation with the University. Clinical assessment documents will be provided to help students to achieve competencies.

  • Written assignment (3000 words)
  • Practice (Pass / Refer)
  • Competence assessment in core skills
  • Self and peer assessment using essential skills clusters.


  • The assessment consists of a written assignment (3000 words). Study skills and assignment support are given.
  • The completion of a Practice Assessment Document (Pass / Refer). This is completed in placement with your mentor.
  • Competence assessment in core skills and a Directed Observation of Nursing Activity (DONA).
  • Self and peer assessment using essential skills clusters.

Academic Expertise

All staffing teaching the programme are registered nurses each with a large and varied amount of clinical experience within their clinical area.

Learning outcome & aims

We aim to create the perfect blend of knowledge, practical experience and relevance to equip UCLan graduates with the confidence and skills they need to get ahead in the world of work.

Industry links & professional accreditation

The opportunity to do practice placements within our local trusts enables students to practice within the current environment.

Registration with the Nursing Midwifery Council (Subject to good health and character).

Work experience and international opportunities

Registration with the Nursing Midwifery Council enables the student to be able to work in many health care settings in England.

Graduate Careers

We have had numerous students complete the Return to Practice Course. Many have taken up jobs within the NHS, while others have taken up jobs within the private sector. The UCLan Careers Team also offer ongoing supportive careers advice and guidance throughout your course and after graduation, along with a range of modules, work experience opportunities and events to help you acquire the skills to make you stand out to potential employers in today’s competitive market.

Fees & Funding

You can contact the Student Fees and Funding Team via phone, email, or post. If you are on the campus you can call into The 'i', for advice.
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892440
Student Fees and Funding Team, Foster Building 117, UCLan, Preston, PR1 2HE

For 2018/19 fees please refer to our fees page.

How to Apply

For an application form or for general information please contact the CPD team in the School of Nursing Hub via phone 01772 891992 / 891993 or


For more information on the adult, mental health, children’s or learning disability branches of the course please contact the course leader: Sue Quayle; email:, Phone: 01772 895095

For the General Practice Nurse route please contact: Gillian Armitage; email:, Phone: 01772 893695

If you are already employed by any of the NHS Trusts linked to the University of Central Lancashire for Pre-registration Nursing (in a non-registered nurse role) contact your local manager or education lead for support to undertake the course and to access placements with your employer.

To make a general enquiry or request an application form, please telephone, email or write to:
Post-registration Recruitment
Faculty of Health and Wellbeing
University of Central Lancashire
Preston PR1 2HE
Tel: 01772 893836/ 3839

About UCLan

Post-registration Recruitment

Faculty of Health & Wellbeing

University of Central Lancashire,
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1772 89 3836 / 3839