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Blog: Educating students - what the new roles in our standards mean

Sue West, Senior Nursing Education Adviser, talks about the new roles set out in the Standards for student supervision and assessment, and their impact in education and training

Our new standards affect anyone working to educate the nurses, midwives and nursing associates of the future. We’ve had a lot of questions about the new roles set out in those standards, and I wanted to share some more information about them. As someone educating students, I really hope you’ll find this useful as you start to think about introducing these roles.

I also want to say thank you to the 400 people who took part in our webinar last week. It was a great chance to talk through what these new roles are and how you, as mentors or practice teachers, may go about introducing them. We will be hosting more webinars in the future, so please keep an eye out and sign up.

What are the new roles?

Practice supervisor

Practice supervisors are there to support and supervise students in the practice learning environment. All students must be supervised while learning in practice environments.

Practice supervisors will need to have the relevant knowledge and skills to help students to learn, become competent and achieve the new standards of proficiency for their programme. 

Practice accessor

Practice assessors assess and confirm that a student has achieved their practice learning in a placement or a series of placements.

The practice assessor can be a registered nurse, midwife, nursing associate, or qualified prescriber, depending on what course of study the student is on.

Academic assessor

Academic assessors collate and confirm student achievement in the academic environment for each part of the programme. They work with a nominated practice assessor to make recommendations for progression for the student they are assigned to.

How to prepare your colleagues

There are lots of different ways to use the new roles, and we don’t prefer any one model over another. So if you’re at an approved education institution (AEI), you and your practice learning partners will need to decide which model to adopt for student supervision and assessment.

Then, you’ll need to look at who from within the multi-professional team is appropriate to supervise and assess students, bearing in mind they can now be any registered health and social care professional.

It is important that AEIs and their practice learning partners work in collaboration to prepare training and support for people undertaking these new roles – so it’s worth thinking about this sooner rather than later.

We have a lot of information to help you prepare for these new roles. Please take a look at our supporting information.


Some of the people reading this blog might have a mentor or teaching qualification. You need to know that once the new standards for student supervision and assessment are introduced, we’ll no longer set the standards to support learning and assessment in practice.  

We’ll also stop annotating the teacher qualification on our register (at the moment if you have a teacher qualification that we recognise, you’ll get a note next to your name on the register). But if you already have a teacher annotation or you’re working towards one, we won’t remove it.

We recognise that there have been lots of questions about the new standards of proficiency for registered nurses. So, we’ve developed some frequently asked questions that we hope will be useful.

A chance to innovate

We’ve written the new standards so that AEIs have more chance to be innovative and to try new ways to improve the experience you provide to students. As someone in an AEI or a practice learning partner, you just need to make sure that our standards are met, students are supported to meet their learning outcomes, and that you are upholding public safety.  

I hope you find this information useful, but you can always ask the team questions. We’re happy to help.

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