Student practice supervision and assessment resource centre

Find out more about supporting students and maintaining your status

Welcome to your Practice Supervisor and Practice Assessor resource for health professionals, registered nurses and midwives who support learners in practice. This section enables you to Identify and review professional standards for supporting, supervising and assessing learning in practice (HCPC 2017, NMC 2018). There are signposts throughout to further reading or study. Reflect on your current role in supervising and assessing students.

If you are interested in consolidating your skills and gain academic accreditation for supporting and assessing learners in practice, our distance learning module at either Degree or Masters level will enable you to study towards your CPD goals at a time and place that suits you.


Practice Educator (Allied Health Profession registrants)

Practice educators (mentors) in Allied Health Professions will have undertaken a short preparation course to prepare them for the role for their individual profession.They must:
  • have relevant knowledge, skills and experience to support safe and effective learning and, unless other arrangements are appropriate, must be on the relevant part of the Register
  • undertake regular training which is appropriate to their role, learners’ needs and the delivery of the learning outcomes of the programme (HCPC, 2017).
Preparation to either transition from mentor to practice assessor or preparation for Practice Supervisor and Assessor roles within your organisation by PDT leads/learning and development advertised within your workplace.
Preparation for Practice Supervisor and Practice Assessor Roles
Are you an Allied Health Professional (AHP) and want to become a mentor/educator?
Training for AHP mentors
Development of staff to provide high-quality clinical supervision, assessment and facilitation of learning for students on placement is a key commitment of the University of Plymouth. Current HPC guidance requires that AHP mentors/educators undertake 'appropriate practice placement educator training' (HPC Standards of Education and Training standard 5.8 (2009)), but do not stipulate that specific academic qualifications are required for AHP educators at this time*.
From Spring 2010, initial educator training for AHPs (with the exception of paramedics- see below) has been delivered in a new format, which has been designed to build on an existing provision to give participants a comprehensive preparation for student supervision and more consistent access to professional accreditation on completion of the course. This new format has also been designed to ensure that educator development activities meet both current and possible future requirements of the HPC.
The AHP educator training programme consists of one taught day of study supported by a self-directed preparation pack. The study pack will cover core aspects of student supervision and facilitation of learning in the clinical environment, including objective setting, feedback and assessment. The taught study day will develop these areas further, focusing on the specific programme of study relevant to each profession, placement arrangements and assessment requirements of each individual programme.
*the exception to this guidance is paramedic mentors, where the British Paramedic Association stipulate that mentors undertake certified mentor training (e.g. HEAB370 or equivalent).
Who can apply to become a clinical educator/mentor?
Any existing profession specific guidelines should be adhered to. These generally recommend that AHP educators should:
  1. Have practised within their profession for at least two years. 
  2. Have undertaken regular updating of knowledge and skills. 
  3. Demonstrate a positive commitment to education. 
  4. Attend a course to develop teaching skills, an understanding of learning styles and assessment skills (including the giving of feedback). 
Application process
Days will be scheduled throughout the academic year.

Practice Assessor (NMC registrants)

Practice assessor is a registered health care professional on the same part of the NMC register as the student they are designated to assess. They are required to complete the student’s assessment process and together with the designated academic assessor make decisions about the student’s proficiency and progression from one stage of the programme to the next (at the end of the year). An assessor is normally designated for each placement experience or the whole year.Assessors need to undertake preparation for their role to:
  • understand the programme and assessment requirements
  • be on the employer/university Assessor Register
  • maintain their proficiency and CPD through regular assessor updates and revalidation.
All Nursing and Midwifery students require supervision and assessment by registrants prepared for the role (NMC 2018).
You can undertake preparation through a session delivered by your employer or through the following pathway:
Online Practice Assessor preparation

Practice Supervisor (NMC/AHP registrants)

Practice supervisor is a registered health care professional (nurse, midwife, allied health professional, registered nursing associate) or other, who works with the student enabling their learning and provides feedback and evidence of the student’s attainment and development to their designated assessor.Supervisors need to be prepared to understand the programme and assessment requirements.
All Nursing and Midwifery students require supervision and assessment by registrants prepared for the role (NMC 2018).
You can undertake preparation through a session delivered by your employer or through the following pathway:
Online Practice Supervisor preparation


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