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Assessments - Nursing Assoc

Assessing Students 

The Assessment process

Each period of practice learning is assessed on an individual basis and contributes to the portfolio approach to the assessment of practice learning in the 2011 curriculum. The Portfolio will contain a growing body of evidence of student assessment of NMC competencies and essential skills by mentors, a carefully documented record of practice achievements and experiences, including the practice hours record, the students’ ongoing record of achievement and the inter-professional activities required to show the students appreciation of the scope of professional practice required for effective management of patients/clients. Examples of the portfolios for each nursing field are available via the links in the portfolios section of this page.

The role of the Mentor is crucial to practice learning and preparation for this role continues to be enhanced. Systems for mentor preparation and updates are in place across all Trusts/organisations.

The new Practice Learning and Assessment Portfolio contains documentation related to the practice learning opportunities across the 3 years. It will contain evidence of students’ previous and ongoing performance and will record all aspects of the learning and assessment in practice and the development of practice skills. This is in accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC 2008) Standards to support learning and assessment in practice. The approach also follows the principles for sharing of personal information necessary to maintain continuity of assessment and to ensure safe and effective practice through the Ongoing Record of Achievement.

Each practice learning opportunity is assessed separately and the Learning and Assessment in Practice Portfolio provides a cumulative record of the student’s progress. Each year, the relevant section of the portfolio for that year will be inserted in the portfolio. For students to progress from year to year within the BSc (Hons) course, students must achieve all learning and practice outcomes at the end of Year 1, at the end of Year 2, and for the final practice learning period of the course in Year 3 all learning and practice outcomes must be achieved.

At the end of the programme, the completed Portfolio will be submitted for sign off by the sign-off mentor.

Completing assessments 

The Practice Learning and Assessment Document (PLAD) constitutes includes the following:
  • Essential information which the student should complete
  • Induction to practice - Students should be orientated to the environment and policies or specific directions discussed with them as indicated in the list in the PLAD. This should be signed by the mentor and student.
  • Competencies that are carried forward - Any outstanding competencies from the student’s previous placement will be documented in their PLAD and these must be achieved by the end of the placement.
  • Numeracy assessment – The result of the students assessment
  • Initial interview and record of specific learning outcomes - Students should have their initial discussion with their mentor in the first week of the practice learning opportunity. This should be signed and dated by both mentor and student
  • Feedback progress sheets – Any discussion relating to progress, achievements and areas for development and targets should be documented signed and dated by both the student and mentor.  
  • Student reflection on progress prior to midpoint interview – The student should complete this reflection before the planned midpoint interview identifying their progress and any strengths and areas for development.
  • Mid-point assessment and discussion competencies and core values should be scored and these used to inform the discussion and written comments. The scoring grid is set out in the PLAD. It should be signed and dated by both the student and mentor.
  • Action Plan – an action plan should be developed by the mentor and student following the mid-point interview reflecting any areas where progress must be consolidated and areas where improvement must be achieved by the end of the practice learning opportunity. The mid way scores should indicate areas where improvement is required. It should be signed and dated by both the student and mentor, and review dates identified.
  • Record of meetings/ link lecturer discussions – students should summarise any meetings they have attended and any discussions with their link lecturer.
  • Record of additional activities / visits –  this is to record if students have visited any other practice learning environments which have contributed to their learning, for example departments where service users are treated, or observing other health care professionals practice.
  • Record of service user or carer feedback – It is essential that students discuss obtaining service user/ carer feedback with their mentor prior to obtaining this. The mentor must sign the feedback rather than the service user/ carer to maintain confidentiality. Service users/ carers should feel comfortable to decline to participate
  • Student reflection on progress prior final interview – The student should complete this reflection before the planned final interview identifying their progress in relation to competencies and core values.
  • Final assessment of performance and discussion - A summary of the student’s performance should be given and the competencies and core values should be scored and these used to inform the discussion and written comments. The scoring grid is set out in the PLAD. Any outstanding competencies should have been achieved. Any sickness/absence should be recorded and any hours that have been made up recorded. Mentors should indicate whether a pass or fail has been achieved It should be signed and dated by both the student and mentor.
  • Record of practice hours – This should be completed by the student and signed by the mentor/ practice area manager. 
  • The personal tutor will meet with the student to review and summarise their progress.
  • The Verification of Competency Form (Year 3) this form enables sign-off mentors to confirm that students are competent in practice and eligible for entry to the NMC. It should only be completed by a sign off mentor.