What do the new NMC (2018) standards mean for me?

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has introduced new Standards of Education entitled ‘NMC Realising Professionalism: Standards for education and training’ (NMC, 2018). These replace the 2008 Standards for Learning and Assessment in Practice (SLAiP) and move away from the current arrangements of 1:1 mentor support and assessment requirements of students.

Implementation of the new standards will commence in September 2019 with the introduction of new programmes leading to registration for Nurses, Nursing Associates and ultimately Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (SCPHN) and Midwives. The NMC recognises that traditional methods of supervision and assessment of health care students, specifically nursing and midwifery has been labour intensive (NMC, 2018). This has initiated a move towards exploring alternative approaches to supervision and assessment ensuring students receive high quality multi-professional learning experiences without compromising patient safety and patient care.

The new NMC standards regarding supervision and assessment will be adopted by most universities in our region from September 2019 and for some universities from September 2020. 


All NHS Trusts and health care providers who support student nurses have had to respond to the new standards and prepare staff for the related roles of Practice Assessor and Practice Supervisor. Consequently there is now new approved training available on LEaD and red/green ‘buttons’ on relevant staff members’ training accounts that will allow verification of the ability to undertake the roles.

The Mentorship role will be changing. Student nurses will be supported by Practice Assessors and Practice Supervisors under the new standards. There will be a transitional phase, when the old standards will be relevant for some students already enrolled on existing programmes.  

Do I need more training?

Yes. Current Mentors/Sign Off Mentors will attend a ‘Mentor Transition to new NMC Standards’ update prior to becoming Practice Assessor/Practice Supervisor. The training will support the development of your skills in coaching. This is available through LEaD (Course code SH-MR1801)

What is a Practice Supervisor?

A Practice Supervisor engages the student through the use of coaching to direct students own learning. They provide feedback to the Practice Assessor on the students’ progress and achievements of proficiencies.

They can supervise more than one student i.e. group format or 1:1. 

Training is provided which is designed for those Registered Nurses who have not already attained an accredited Mentor qualification and for other registered health care professionals who will be undertaking the role. It is available through LEaD. (Course code SH-VC1824)

What is a Practice Assessor?

A Practice Assessor will make and record objective evidence based assessment of student conduct, proficiency and achievement, drawing on feedback from Practice Supervisors, student records, direct observations, student self reflection and other resources.

A Practice Assessor will be a qualified and experienced Registered Nurse. They can assess more than one student but on a 1:1 basis.

Can I do both roles?  Yes, but not to the same student.