Assessment for progression

Last Updated 24/10/2023

The academic assessor must work with a nominated practice assessor to provide recommendations for student progression.

A recommendation for progression should be made when the student comes to the point at which they will progress from one part of the course to the next. We do not specify at what point progression must take place. It will be up to the AEI, with their practice learning partners to decide what this means. The programme must be delivered and designed in such a way to enable the two roles to work together for progression at defined points in the programme

The recommendation for progression must be done by the academic assessor with a nominated practice assessor. Each assessor brings their expertise and scope of practice to the assessment process. Equal weighting must be given to theory and practice learning in this process, with no compensation in assessments across theory and practice.

By ‘no compensation’ we mean that a student’s good achievement in practice must not in any way mitigate poor achievement in the academic environment, and vice versa.

The purpose of this is to ensure that there is a joined-up approach to progression, and that it is based on an understanding of the student’s achievements across theory and practice.

When contributing to the recommendation for progression academic assessors should take into account the student’s achievement over the whole period for which they are making the decision, e.g. an academic year. They should also consider the student’s achievement in previous parts of the programme (if any) and how they have progressed over the programme.

The recommendation should be evidenced based, fair, and objective, calling on relevant evidence.

While it will be the responsibility of the nominated practice assessor to make an overall assessment of achievement in the practice learning environment, the academic assessor should also be mindful of the student’s achievement in practice when working with the practice assessor for a recommendation for progression.

Apart from performance across theory and practice learning, academic assessors must also consider if the student displays the required conduct and professional values expected of their professional, regulated role.

We do not specify how the recommendation should be made or how the practice and academic assessor work together, only that it must be a fair, objective, evidenced based decision that was done in a collaborative manner and took account of both theory and practice with no compensation between the two.

All decisions and recommendations should be properly evidenced and supported by correct documentation and record keeping processes.

How this process is managed will be the responsibility of the AEI, with its practice learning partners to decide, working with the practice and academic assessors.

Academic and practice assessors should ensure that recommendations are made in line with local policies and      procedures. We do not state what these are as they may differ from area to area. It may be that the recommendation for progression is made to the relevant AEI board which makes the final decision, or it may be that the practice and academic assessors make the final decision.

In addition, we do not specify how the two assessors communicate, only that it should be timely and allow for an evidenced based recommendation on progression to be made.

If there are differences in the way in which the academic and practice years are organised, the AEI, with their practice learning partners, must manage this to ensure that communication takes place in a timely manner.

The AEI, with its practice learning partners, should also have in place mechanisms for managing disagreements about student progression, for example through appeals or complaints. This includes disagreements between the practice and academic assessors, and disagreements from the students.

These mechanisms should ensure that public protection is upheld and student assessments and recommendations are fair, evidenced based and objective.

Relevant NMC standards for this section

Standards for student supervision and assessment

7.5: a nominated practice assessor works in partnership with the nominated academic assessor to evaluate and recommend the student for progression for each part of the programme, in line with programme standards and local and national policies

7.9: communication and collaboration between practice and academic assessors is scheduled for relevant points in programme structure and student progression

Standards framework for nursing and midwifery education

R5.11: assessment is mapped to the curriculum and occurs throughout the programme to determine student progression

R5.15: assessment of practice and theory is weighted appropriately to the programme, and

R5.16: there is no compensation in assessments across theory and practice.