There are a number of standards that relate to who the practice assessor is and what they do. However, the following standards are of particular relevance for this section:
Standards for student supervision and assessment
Approved education institutions, together with practice learning partners, must ensure that:
7.10 practice assessors are not simultaneously the practice supervisor and academic assessor for the same student, and
7.11 practice assessors for students on NMC approved prescribing programmes support learning in line with the NMC Standards for prescribing programmes
Standards for prescribing programmes
Approved education institutions, together with practice learning partners, must:
4.5.1 In exceptional circumstances, the same person may fulfil the role of practice supervisor and practice assessor for that part of the programme where the prescribing student is undergoing training in a practice learning setting. In such instances, the student, practice supervisor/assessor and the AEI will need to evidence why it was necessary for the practice supervisor and assessor roles to be carried out by the same person
When we state that the practice assessor is ‘not simultaneously the practice supervisor and academic assessor’ for a student, we mean that they cannot take all three roles on for the same student for the same period of time. For example, if a practice assessor has been assigned to a student for a placement, they could not then be the practice supervisor for that student on that placement. The AEI, with its practice learning partners, should be able to show how this was achieved.
But, we have allowed for some flexibility for prescribing courses, and sometimes a practice assessor on a prescribing course can also be a practice supervisor for the same student for the same period of time. This should only be the case in exceptional circumstances, for example on very short courses or in remote locations. In such circumstances the provider should be able to show us why this was necessary.
The AEI and its practice learning partners should be able to demonstrate that their decisions uphold public protection and that it enables students to meet their learning outcomes in a safe and effective way.
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