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Important appraisal information for practice supervisors and practice assessors

In January 2019, new NMC Education Standards for Student Supervision and Assessment (SSSA) came into force, changing how "mentors" supervise and assess nursing associates and nursing/midwifery students in the clinical area. 

UHB has now begun an automatic transition programme to switch all current registered mentors on the Trust database to the new role of "practice supervisor", including staff who have a registration with a professional body, such as medics, radiographers and ODPs. Also, staff in unregistered roles such as phlebotomy and healthcare support workers can support the supervision of students as a practice supervisor, as long as they have completed the relevant training and have support from a registered member of staff.

This also applies to staff that have not completed a recognised teaching qualification. However, there is no longer an NMC requirement to formally attend an NMC-recognised course, or to attend an annual update. However, in order to supervise students, all practice supervisors must be suitably prepared, which means the relevant resources will be made available to you. You are encouraged to regularly update your skills to ensure you meet your revalidation requirements. Your placement manager will be able to provide you with further advice.

Your suitability to become a practice assessor or simply to remain as a practice supervisor will be discussed with you via your practice placement team (PPT) link and clinical manager. However, in order to become a practice assessor, you will need to also be suitably prepared, especially if you have not received any previous formal training. It is also recommended that you have had relevant experience of supervising/mentoring students before you access the practice assessor training, which will be reviewed by your site based PPM.

For more information please contact the Practice Placement Team for further advice.

Practice supervisors

All registered healthcare professionals will be able to supervise students, providing they have received suitable preparation – which will be available for you to access. There is no further mandate by the NMC to update annually. However, with regards to NMC revalidation, it is highly recommended that you remain "suitably prepared" to supervise students in your clinical area as there will still be students being taught on the SLAiP Standards, which require staff to remain updated annually.

If you wish to book an update for practice supervision, please contact Katherine Lewis, who will be able to advise you of the appropriate training required.

Practice assessors

All registered nurses, nursing associates and midwives will need additional training to become a practice assessor. This can simply be in the form of an update (if already experienced as a previous "mentor", with a formal teaching qualification and the staff member has practised as a sign-off mentor within the last 12 months) or it can be in further preparation – which will be made available to you online or face-to-face.

In order to keep up-to-date with revalidation requirements, it is important to maintain evidence of both supervision and assessment decisions, but an annual update is no longer mandated by the NMC.

UHB has taken the decision to maintain the requirement to keep the knowledge of supervision and assessment up-to-date, as this is seen as an integral role within the Code. There will be various approaches to keep up-to-date which will be available, e.g. online via Moodle, face-to-face or on reflection. Please contact your site-based practice placement manager for further advice or to discuss your position change from a practice supervisor to a practice assessor.

Using the confirmation of discussion form, which is available to download, please sign to state this has been discussed with the appraisee and delete as appropriate to signify supervision/assessor current role. Once complete, please send a copy to the Practice Placement Team - Database Support (based at Good Hope Hospital) or scan and email to the relevant email address in order to update the Trust database.

Last reviewed: 17 February 2022