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Assessment for progression

Reference: PA3-E

Last Updated 18/12/2018

A nominated practice assessor must work with the nominated academic assessor to provide recommendations for student progression, as set out in the following standards: 

Standards for student supervision and assessment:

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

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

Standards framework for nursing and midwifery education

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

5.11 assessment is mapped to the curriculum and occurs throughout the programme to determine student progression

5.15 assessment of practice and theory is weighted appropriately to the programme

A recommendation for progression should be made when the student comes to point at which they will progress from one part of the course to the next. We do not specify at what points progression must take place. It will be up to the AEI, with their practice learning partners to decide what this means. It could be at the end of each academic year, at the end of a series of placements, or a placement. 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 a nominated practice assessor with the nominated academic 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, as it set out in the following standard:

Standards framework for nursing and midwifery education:

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

5.16 there is no compensation in assessments across theory and practice learning.

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 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 practice assessors should take into account the student’s achievement over the whole period for which they are making the decision, e.g. a placement or a 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 a number of evidenced sources as listed in the section on fair assessment.

While it will be the responsibility of the academic assessor to collate and confirm the students’ academic achievement, and to bring that aspect to this process, the practice assessor should also be mindful of the student’s achievement in the academic environment when working with the academic assessor for a recommendation for progression.

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

We do not state which nominated practice assessor must work with the academic assessor for recommendations for progression, only that it must be done. For example it may be that the practice assessor who is assigned to the student for the final placement in a year takes on this role, or there may be an additional practice assessor who looks at the student’s achievement across a whole practice year.

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

The following standards set out our expectations for the process of making recommendations for progression:

Standards for student supervision and assessment

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

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

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.

Practice and academic 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 practice and academic assessor 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 students.

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

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