Standards for prescribing programmes

Part 3 of our standards for education and training

These standards set out the entry and practice learning requirements, curriculum, length of programme, methods of assessment and the level of award for NMC-approved nursing programmes. They have been designed so that students can get the most out of their education and learn the skills they need to become safe, effective and kind professionals.  

Our standards for prescribing programmes have been in effect since 28 January 2019. We updated the Standards for prescribing programmes in April 2023 following the change of the simulation standard and definition within all programme standards. 

On 30 April 2024 we made a small change to standard 1.1. This change was in response to queries we have received and the revised wording clarifies that applicants need to be on the NMC register at the time of starting their programme, not at the point of beginning their application. 

Read our information on becoming a prescriber to find out more about the entry requirements of prescribing programmes. 

If you want to print the standards without using too much ink and paper, we have printer friendly versions available below:

Our pre-2023 standards for prescribing programmes can still be used until January 2025. However, we encourage AEIs to make relevant changes to their programmes in line with our updated standards as soon as they can.

Find our pre-2023 standards for education and training here.  

If you can't find what you're looking for, feel free to email

Why our standards are important

Our education and training standards help nursing, midwifery and nursing associate students achieve the NMC standards of competency for prescribing practice and programme outcomes.

All nursing, midwifery and nursing associate professionals must practise in line with the requirements of the Code, the professional standards of practice and behaviour that nurses, midwives and nursing associates are expected to uphold.

The standards for education and training includes the standards framework for nursing and midwifery education, standards for student supervision and assessment, and programme standards specific to each approved programme.

Our Standards for education and training are set out in three parts:

We’ve adopted the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s prescribing competency framework as our standards of competency for prescribing practice.

This competency framework sets out what the professionals on our register need to know and be able to do by the time they register their prescribing qualification with us. The requirements of the competency framework will be the standards we consider safe and effective prescribing practice for all prescribers on our register.

Our standards framework

Our standards for prescribing programmes follow the student journey and are grouped under the following five headings:

  • Selection, admission and progression 
    Standards about an applicant’s suitability and continued participation in a pre-registration nursing associate programme
  • Curriculum 
    Standards for the content, delivery and evaluation of the pre-registration nursing associate education programme
  • Practice learning 
    Standards specific to pre-registration learning for nursing associates that takes place in practice settings
  • Supervision and assessment 
    Standards for safe and effective supervision and assessment of students on pre-registration nursing associate education programmes
  • Qualification to be awarded 
    Standards which state the award and information for registering the student’s award with us

Supervision and assessment for nurse and midwife prescribing students

Under these standards, prescribing students can be supervised and assessed by any registered healthcare professional (including a nurse or midwife) who is an experienced prescriber with suitable equivalent qualifications for the programme the student is undertaking.

This role was previously only held by a medical doctor registered with the General Medical Council (known as Designated Medical Practitioners).

How these standards were developed

Since 2016 we have been developing our standards with input from stakeholders across the UK.

Find out more about how the standards were developed.