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What’s new and coming up with NHS Newborn and Infant Physical Examination e-Learning?

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Please note that the information in this blog post is now out of date. Read information on the new look NIPE e-learning.

The NHS Newborn and Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) e-Learning module is a free training resource which launched on 25 November 2013. Leading neonatologists, midwives, GPs, and representatives of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal College of Midwives were involved in its development.

A newborn baby having its chest examined with a stethoscope.This resource, which has been accredited by the RCGP, was initially developed primarily for doctors but has been shown to be of use to all those who undertake NIPE screening.


The e-learning module:

  • covers the 4 screening elements (heart, hips, eyes and testes) of the examination
  • uses film and animation to illustrate best practice
  • has a focus upon achieving quality and includes reporting requirements
  • provides a certificate on completion

Clear reference is made within the NIPE handbook that at a local level consideration should be given to annual completion of the NIPE e-learning.


The module continues to be very popular. 7465 people have registered since its launch. The types of user are shown in the table below.

Registrations 25/11/13 to 1/6/16
ANNPs 110
Consultants 180
GPs 602
Health Visitors 34
Hospital Registrars 176
Junior Doctors 1466
Midwives 1708
Nurses 147
Student Midwives 155
Others 68


There are currently 2 versions of the NIPE e-Learning module – a condensed version (taking 20 minutes to complete) and a full version (taking 35 minutes). Due to the only marginal difference between the versions and following a review of the resource, the NIPE programme has decided  to retire the condensed version. This will allow us to focus on maintaining the full version, which covers all of the 4 NIPE screening elements in detail. Clinicians who are currently working through the condensed module, are advised to commence and complete the full version as soon as possible.

The condensed version will no longer be available from 11 July 2016.

Student midwives

Due to the sensitive nature of the content of the NIPE e-learning resource access was limited to certain health professionals. This ensured users were registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) or General Medical Council (GMC). Unfortunately, this ruled out access for many direct entry student midwives.

We therefore worked with the PHE safeguarding team to find a way to allow student midwives to get access. From autumn 2015 we started providing midwifery lecturers with passwords to give out to their students to allow them to access the e-learning module without NMC or GMC registration.

The process works as follows.

  1. A time-limited password is sent to designated university midwifery lecturers around every 3 months.
  2. This unique password is shared by them with relevant student midwives so that they can use this to register and access the resource.
  3. Using the password means they won’t need to enter an NMC number and can also use any email address, not just an NHS or AC.UK one.
  4. A unique non time-limited passcode is also generated for each designated university midwifery lecturer
  5. A student would need to enter both the quarterly password and the individual passcode on the registration page.
  6. For example, if the quarterly password is ABCDE and the passcode is ZZ then the student would simply enter ABCDEZZ.

So far only 12 out of 45 eligible universities (26.6%) have students who have logged into the NIPE resource, however. So we are encouraging students to speak to your lead midwife for education so that you do not miss out on your opportunity to access this great resource.

What’s coming up?

The NIPE e-learning module will be fully evaluated this year. Stakeholder views will be sought and any required changes, updates or improvements will be made.

We will also be moving the module to a new e-learning platform later this year. This will give us more scope for introducing further interactive elements to the module.

PHE Screening blogs

PHE Screening blogs provide up to date news from all NHS screening programmes – replacing our previously published newsletters.

You can register to receive updates direct to your inbox, so there’s no need to keep checking for new blogs.

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