Preparation for the assessor role
All assessors must have some form of preparation before taking up their role. This preparation can be done in different ways but must ensure the assessor meets the required outcomes we set out in our standards.
Assessors may 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, diversity and inclusion, making non-biased decisions, or reasonable adjustments. Anything that is necessary for academic assessors to do their job should be considered ‘core’ training.
In addition to any initial training needed the academic assessor should be provided with ongoing support and training to develop in the role as needed.
Academic assessors must also hold or be working towards the qualifications required by their academic institution. We do not specify what these will be, it will be up to the AEI to decide.
Current knowledge and experience
The assessor’s knowledge and experience should enable them to make objective, evidence-based assessments of the student’s achievement in practice, for the period they are assigned to them.
What this means will depend on a number of different factors including the student’s learning outcomes, their stage of learning, and for practice assessors whether or not they are assessing a single placement or a series of placements or practice learning experiences.
It’s the AEI’s responsibility, with its practice learning partners, to determine what this might mean, provided they can show that public protection is upheld and that student assessments are fair and evidenced based.
Remaining up to date
Assessors also have a responsibility to proactively develop and remain ‘up to date’ with their own professional practice, and to think about how their own previous experience may enable them to perform in this role. For nurses, midwives and nursing associates who are assessors, this can mean, amongst other things, reflecting upon their role in student learning and assessment when they revalidate. This may also be true for those 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 about this.
In order to collate and confirm student achievement and make recommendations for progression for a student, both the practice and academic assessors must have an understanding of the proficiencies and course outcomes the student is hoping to achieve. What this will mean may differ, depending on amongst others, the student’s course outcomes, and their stage of learning.
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 provided upholds public protection and enables academic assessors to collate and confirm student learning and make recommendations for progression. More information on their responsibilities can be found within the new Quality assurance framework.
Assessors, particularly those from professions not regulated by us (which may be the case in for example prescribing programmes), may feel they need to find out more information about the role, the requirements for undertaking it, the preparation required for it and the support they can expect when carrying it out. 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.
Relevant NMC standards for this section
7.4: practice assessors maintain current knowledge and expertise relevant for the proficiencies and programme outcomes they are assessing
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 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
9.3: academic assessors maintain current knowledge and expertise relevant for the proficiencies and programme outcomes they are assessing and confirming
10.1: are working towards or hold relevant qualifications as required by their academic institution and local and national policies
10.2: demonstrate that they have achieved the following minimum outcomes:
10.2.1: interpersonal communication skills, relevant to student learning and assessment
10.2.2: conducting objective, evidence based assessments of students
10.2.3: providing constructive feedback to facilitate professional development in others, and
10.2.4: knowledge of the assessment process and their role within it
10.3: receive ongoing support and training to reflect and develop in their role
10.4: continue to proactively develop their professional practice and knowledge in order to fulfil their role, and
4.3: receive relevant induction, ongoing support and access to education and training which includes training in equality and diversity