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									IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PROVIDERS OF PRE-REGISTRATION PLACEMENTS NMC Standards to support learning and assessment in practice – MENTOR STANDARD
Introduction The NMC published the standards to support learning and assessment in practice in August 2006. The full document contains three standards:  Mentor standard  Practice teacher standard  Teacher standard The document is available on the NMC website (www.nmc-uk.org), or via the mentor’s website (www.york.ac.uk/healthsciences/mentors). The standards, particularly the mentor standard, directly impact on the staff who support students in practice. This information focuses on the mentor standard only. These notes are intended to give an overview of some of the key implications that the mentor standard will have on staff and managers in areas that provide pre-registration placements for student nurses and midwives. Major Features of the Mentor Standard The NMC has developed the standard to strengthen the nature of support and assessment in practice. The main purpose of the NMC is to protect the public, and this aim is reflected throughout the requirements of the standard. The NMC periodically monitors and reviews programmes leading to registration or recordable qualifications. Visits to a sample group of practice placements by reviewers and interviews with mentors, managers and students in placement areas will be a central focus of these reviews. Local Register of Mentors Currently the University holds a register of mentors. Under the new mentor standard, the University will no longer hold the mentor register. Each placement provider must hold their own local register of mentors from September 2007. For smaller placement providers such as individual Care Homes, the list of mentors contained within the education audit document will provide much of the information required. For larger providers of multiple placements there may need to be a more complex central system in place. By September 2007, placement providers should ensure that their register of mentors includes the following for each mentor:  Mentor’s name  Part of the NMC register o Nursing – including field of practice (branch) o Midwifery o Specialist community public health nursing  Mentor’s Workplace (if you have more than one placement area)  Mentorship qualification (e.g. ENB 998, D32/33, MiP, FEW – for full details see mentor website www.york.ac.uk.uk/healthsciences/mentors)

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Date of last mentor update Whether the mentor is a “Sign-off” mentor (see below) Date of triennial review (see below)

Sign-off mentors All midwifery mentors will be designated as sign-off mentors. For the nursing parts of the register, sign-off mentors must be specifically identified as such on the mentor register held by the placement provider. Only sign-off mentors can be responsible for the final assessment of practice before the student can register with the NMC. A sign off mentor will therefore be required for:  All midwifery placements from September 2007  The final assessed placement of three year pre-registration nursing programmes (DipHE Nursing Studies and BSc Evidence-based Nursing) starting from September 2007. The first “sign-off” placements will therefore be in 2010.  The final assessed placement of the two year accelerated pre-registration nursing programme (PG Diploma) starting from September 2007. The first “sign-off” placements will therefore be in 2009.  ALL supervised practice placements for students starting Overseas Nurses’ Programmes from September 2007.  ALL students starting on Return to Practice programmes from September 2007. Care Homes providing placements for the two- or three-year pre-registration nursing programmes are unlikely to provide the final assessed placements for students. Therefore, sign-off mentors for these areas are not likely to be required. HOWEVER, Care Homes providing supervised practice for students on Overseas Nurses’ Programmes MUST ensure the students’ mentors meet the criteria below. Criteria for Sign-off Mentors The mentor:  is identified on the local register as a sign-off mentor  is registered with the NMC on the same part of the register and working in the same field of practice (branch) as that in which the student intends to qualify  is clinically current and capable in the field of practice in which the student is being assessed  has met the NMC requirements to remain on the local register  has a working knowledge of current programme requirements, practice assessment strategies and relevant changes in education and practice for the student they are assessing  has an understanding of the NMC registration requirements and the contribution they make to meeting these requirements  has an in-depth understanding of their accountability to the NMC for the decision they make to pass or fail a student when assessing proficiency requirements at the end of a programme. NB: Initially, placement providers will be able to nominate existing mentors who are making safe and effective judgements and annotate the register so that they are identified as sign-off mentors. Once this first “cohort” of sign-off mentors has been established, mentors who are new or returning to the local register of mentors will need to be SUPERVISED ON AT LEAST THREE OCCASIONS for signing off proficiency at the end of a final placement by an existing sign-off mentor, in order to become a sign-off mentor. Triennial Review Mentors must demonstrate their knowledge, skills and competence on an ongoing basis. In the new mentor standard, this becomes more explicitly the responsibility of the placement provider organisation

(mentor’s employer). The NMC suggests that the triennial review may become a part of the employer’s regular personal development appraisal. Placement providers must ensure that:  Each mentor is reviewed every 3 years (triennial review) to ensure that only those who continue to meet the mentor standard remain on the local register  Requirements to remain on the local register are met. I.e. o Mentored at least 2 students within the three year period o Participated in annual updating of mentorship skills (at least one annual update in every three years must be some sort of face to face group activity) Mentor Preparation Programme The programme for initial preparation of mentors has been revised according to the new mentor standard, and will replace the Mentorship in Practice (MiP) programme from September 2007. These qualifications will still be appropriate for maintenance on the local register of mentors. Advice on accessing places on the new programme is available on the mentor website (www.york.ac.uk/healthsciences/mentors). NonNHS placement providers may have access to funded places. Advice and Guidance for Mentors The new NMC mentor standard is clear that every mentor should have a network of support and advice available and accessible to them. Individual placements should have contact details for their link lecturer, and each locality will also have a practice-based Practice Placement Facilitator (PPF) for further support and guidance. Each student will have a personal academic supervisor who will normally know them well. Contact details for all available sources of support are available via the mentor website (www.york.ac.uk/healthsciences/mentors). Any mentor who has any concerns at all about the suitability of a student to progress should contact one of the above at the earliest opportunity.

The Department of Health Sciences at the University of York is keen to provide as much guidance and support as possible to placement providers for the implementation and ongoing management of these standards. If you wish to discuss any of these issues further please refer to the published standards document, or contact your link lecturer. Thank you

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