Practice assessor preparation

Reference: PA1-C

Last Updated 19/12/2018

These are the standards that set out what we expect of practice assessor preparation:

Standards for student supervision and assessment:

Approved education institutions, together with practice learning partners, must ensure that practice assessors:

8.1 undertake preparation or evidence prior learning and experience that enables them to demonstrate achievement of the following minimum outcomes:

8.1.1 interpersonal communication skills, relevant to student learning and assessment

8.1.2 conducting objective, evidence based assessments of students

8.1.3 providing constructive feedback to facilitate professional development in others, and

8.1.4 knowledge of the assessment process and their role within it

8.2 receive ongoing support and training to reflect and develop in their role

8.3 continue to proactively develop their professional practice and knowledge in order to fulfil their role, and

8.4 have an understanding of the proficiencies and programme outcomes that the student they assess is aiming to achieve.

All practice assessors must have some form of preparation before taking up their role. This preparation can be done in different ways, but must ensure the practice assessor meets the outcomes we set out above.

Practice assessors do not need to have additional training if they have previous experience and learning that they can show has helped them to meet our outcomes. It will be up to the AEI, with their practice learning partners, to decide what would be acceptable in these circumstances, as long as they can provide evidence that it upheld public protection and met our standards.

Training may be in specific areas, such as training in equality and diversity, making non-biased decisions, or reasonable adjustments. Anything that is necessary for practice assessors to do their job should be considered ‘core’ training.

In addition to any initial training needed the practice assessor should be provided with ongoing support and training to develop in their role as needed.

The practice assessor also has a responsibility to proactively develop and remain ‘up to date’ with their own professional practice, and to think about how their previous experience may enable them to perform in this role. For nurses, midwives and nursing associates who are practice assessors this can mean, amongst other things, reflecting on their role in student learning and assessment when they revalidate. This may also be true for those practice assessors who are from another regulated profession, such as pharmacists. Professionals who are not registered with us may want to seek advice from their professional body on this.

The understanding of proficiencies may differ depending on the student, the stage of learning, the course outcomes, and whether the practice assessor is assessing the student for one, or a series of placements.

The AEI, with its practice learning partners, is responsible for making sure the right support, education and training is provided. They should be able to give evidence that the preparation upholds public protection and enables practice assessors to properly assess students. More information on the AEI’s responsibilities can be found within the new Quality Assurance framework.

Practice assessors, particularly those from professions not regulated by us, may feel they need to find out more information about the training required. They can do this by talking to the AEI and its practice learning partners, their professional bodies, and by referring to our standards and supporting information.

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