The appointment of Jackie Smith to Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) permanent chief executive has been hailed as a ‘stabilising’ force for the regulator, yet the RCN believes the hiring process was not transparent.
Smith was appointed for a one year fixed term in October last year, having acted in the role since January 2012.
Since May a new NMC council has taken office, who put hiring leadership for the executive team as one of the highest priorities.
Smith was interviewed by a panel including two independent NMC members, to ensure there was "external assurance" of a sound appointment, a statement from the regulator said.
Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said he was disappointed that the appointment process was not more transparent.
He said: “People expect recruitment processes in public bodies to be robust and open… And we are disappointed that the NMC has chosen to go ahead with this reappointment without seeking external applicants.
“This would have been an excellent opportunity to demonstrate that the NMC is committed to becoming a more transparent organisation.”
NMC chair Mark Addison said: “Under Jackie’s leadership we have started to make real progress in fitness to practice, in stabilising the organisation’s finances and in setting out a credible plan to become an efficient and effective regulator.
“I am delighted to announce this strong appointment today, which will give us stability for the future.”