Standard 3: government and management

The following is the standard for governance and management required by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) for approval of Higher Level Institutions (HEIs), associated healthcare providers and educational programmes leading to registration by NMBI.


The programme should be managed efficiently and effectively by the Higher Education Institution (HEI) in conjunction with a Local Joint Working Group. Membership should be drawn from stakeholders from the HEI and associated healthcare services (AHCS).

These should include student representatives and key managerial, academic, administrative staff from the HEI and clinical and managerial staff from the AHCS hospital and community services, who are associated with its delivery. The programme should be well organised, with clear managerial, operational governance and reporting structures. Systems for programme evaluation should be robust and transparent.


Delivery and development of the programme of study must be co-ordinated through joint HEI / AHCS governance mechanism, specified in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to ensure compliance with NMBI standards and requirements and EU directives.


  1. There is a formal MOU between each HEI and its AHCP(s) describing mutually agreed planned approaches which the parties will adopt and support in order to ensure the programme can reach a successful conclusion.
  2. The MOU describes the process each party commits to develop that ensures all stakeholders have a voice and empowers relevant staff to maintain, improve and support students and their learning. MOU’s can be revisited five-yearly.
  3. The programme of study adheres to all statutory and regulatory requirements of the NMBI and to the current European Directives on Nursing.
  4. Major institutional review of the effectiveness of the programme of study occurs on a five-yearly basis.
  5. Modules, curriculum, indicative content, marks and standards / HEI academic regulations and programme delivery are monitored annually with the support of appropriate external examiners’ reports.
  6. An annual report on the programme of study is provided to NMBI in a timely manner and in accordance with its requirements by the programme coordinator.
  7. Processes for continuous quality improvement of the programme of study are robust and transparent.
  8. For external practice placements outside of Ireland, HEIs must have formal arrangements in place with host practice institutions that comply with NMBI regulations and EU directives.
  9. The HEI and the AHCP keep appropriate records including records of professional and academic awards conferred.
  10. The process of monitoring and responding to student attendance in respect of the theoretical and clinical practice experience requirements is declared.
  11. A policy for dignity and respect towards and between nursing students, clinicians, persons receiving health care and academic staff is in place.
  12. The organisation structure supporting the management of the educational programme is explicit.
  13. The named person with direct responsibility as course leader / co-ordinator to lead the programme holds appropriate academic and professional qualifications and experience.
  14. A Local Joint Working Group (LJWG), which includes representatives of the key stakeholders from the Higher Education Institution and the Associated Health Care Provider(s) is in operation to oversee and continually monitor at local level programme implementation so that any existing problems can be promptly identified and properly addressed.
  15. Membership of the LJWG is inclusive of representatives from academic, and clinical stakeholders from acute and community practice settings and from persons using health services. Composition of the LJWG should reflect health services reorganisation and its membership adjusted accordingly.
  16. The LJWG is responsive to programme change in line with the Department of Health’s health reform agenda and population focus.
  17. A governance agreement is in place within the HEI in respect of financial and staffing resources (1 academic staff member: 20 undergraduate nursing student ratio) to support the delivery of the educational programme for the five year approval period.
  18. Confirmation of institutional support for the long-term security of the programme is explicit with appropriate and adequate resources and facilities being made available to meet the teaching and learning needs of the students.
  19. Structures are in place to facilitate the participation of academic and practice staff and nursing undergraduates in the relevant deliberation, evaluation and decision-making processes associated with programme review and development.
  20. A mechanism for staff development, including academic and clinicians involved in delivery and assessment of teaching and learning, is declared.

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