Introduction to our Standards of Student Supervision and Assessment

Reference: INT1

Last Updated 17/11/2021


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All nursing and midwifery students take part in supervised practice learning as part of their nursing, midwifery or nursing associate education programme. This supporting information will help you use our standards for the supervision and assessment of nursing and midwifery students.

This information is aimed at everyone who has a role or interest in the practice supervisor, practice assessor, and academic assessor roles, and the practice supervision and assessment of nursing, midwifery and nursing associate students. 

Our guidance sets out possible ways that our standards may be met but it’s not a series of standards and expectations for what ‘must’ be done. Our standards can be met in other ways, as long as the  they’re fulfilled, upholds public protection and supports students to meet their learning outcomes and our standards.

We set the standards for nursing, midwifery and nursing associate education and training, and standards for supervision and assessment that approved education institutions (AEIs) have to meet, as well as the standards for specific programmes. Responsibility for the day-to-day quality management lies with AEIs in partnership with practice learning partners.

What are our Standards of Student Supervision and Assessment (SSSA) 

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These standards set out the roles and responsibilities of practice supervisors and assessors, and how they must make sure students receive high-quality learning, support and supervision during their practice placements.

They also set our expectations for the learning, support and supervision of students in the practice environment. As well as setting out how students are assessed for theory and practice learning.

How our standards are used by practice supervisors and assessors

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Practice supervisors

Practice supervisors must use our SSSA standards to make sure they’re giving their students the best possible support.

Practice supervisors are role models for safe, effective and inclusive practice, enabling students to learn and safely achieve proficiency and autonomy in their professional role.

Find out more about practice supervisors

Academic and practice assessors

All students have a different nominated academic assessor for each part of their education programme. They’re also assigned a nominated practice assessor for practice placements, in line with local and national policies.

Assessors must also use the SSSA standards to conduct evidence-based, robust and objective assessments which confirm that students have the right knowledge and skills to practise safely. They’re based on an understanding of student achievements across theory and practice.

How our SSSA standards help students

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Our standards allow students to feel empowered and to take responsibility for directing their own learning. They should work closely with their supervisor to identify the available learning opportunities to help them meet our standards of proficiency.

Students should be able to plan, with their supervisor, the clinical experiences that they need to enable them to meet our standards of proficiency.

Our standards can help students feel like they’re a recognised member of the practice team to promote proficiency and confidence for their future role.

Our SSSA webinar

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This webinar will help you learn more about the SSSA: how they support students to meet their standards of proficiency, and to deliver safe and effective care.

Watch our webinar

Download webinar slides

Read the answers to your questions about SSSA

Standards that relate to our Standards of Student Supervision and Assessment

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Standards that relate to supervision and assessment for nursing and midwifery students can be found across all our new standards documents including:


Want to download and print whole sections of SISSSA? Visit the downloads page.