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Guidance for Mentors

Guidance for Supporting Mentor Preparation Students (UEA NAM Norfolk)

Guidelines for Mentors supporting mentorship programme students

The Mentorship Programme has been developed from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (2008) (NMC) Standards to support learning and assessment in practice NMC standards for mentors, practice teachers and teachers. (The standards) The standards set out competencies and the mentorship programme student will achieve these by successful completion of the programme. The competencies are set out in eight Domains which are:-

  • Establishing effective working relationships

  • Facilitation of learning

  • Assessment and accountability

  • Evaluation of learning

  • Creating an environment for learning

  • Context of practice

  • Evidence-based practice

  • Leadership


Supporting the Mentorship Programme Students

The student will require a qualified mentor to support them whilst they are undertaking the programme and to assess them in practice. The student will need to support a pre registration student to achieve the requirements of the programme, acting as an associate mentor. The mentorship practice assessment document is contained in the Structured Portfolio which the student will receive on day 1 of the programme. There is a section for each of the NMC (2008) eight domains and the student is required to demonstrate achievement of each of these in both theory and practice. As the student's mentor you will be assessing their achievement of outcomes in practice, these outcomes are derived from the NMC competencies. The process is similar to pre registration student assessment in that it will begin with a preliminary interview, progress will be determined at an intermediate interview and successful achievement confirmed at the final interview. A learning contract should be completed, ideally, at the preliminary interview. The student will discuss with you how they will demonstrate their achievement of each the domains. The learning contract should be completed to demonstrate that discussion has taken place and the evidence required has been agreed. The contract should also include how the mentorship student will be assessed. The learning contract is situated in the programme handbook and when completed and achieved will form part of the portfolio overall evidence.


What kind of evidence will demonstrate achievement of the domains?

This is very much for you to agree with the mentorship student. You will need to complete the practice section for each of the domains in the structured portfolio by writing comments in each section to show how it has been achieved. The outcomes are detailed in the NMC Standards to support learning and assessment in practice (2008) page 20/21 They are reproduced in the structured portfolio and below: Competence and outcomes for a mentor Mentor competencies are achieved by successful completion of an NMC approved mentor preparation programme. The outcomes are as follows:


Establishing effective working relationships

  • Demonstrate an understanding of factors that influence how students integrate into practice settings.

  • Provide ongoing and constructive support to facilitate transition from one learning environment to another.

  • Have effective professional and interprofessional working relationships to support learning for entry to the register.

Facilitation of learning

  • Use knowledge of the student's stage of learning to select appropriate learning opportunities to meet individual needs.

  • Facilitate the selection of appropriate learning strategies to integrate learning from practice and academic experiences.

  • Support students in critically reflecting upon their learning experiences in order to enhance future learning.

Assessment and accountability

  • Foster professional growth, personal development and accountability through support of students in practice.

  • Demonstrate a breadth of understanding of assessment strategies and the ability to contribute to the total assessment process as part of the teaching team.

  • Provide constructive feedback to students and assist them in identifying future learning needs and actions. Manage failing students so that they may enhance their performance and capabilities for safe and effective practice or be able to understand their failure and the implications of this for their future.

  • Be accountable for confirming that students have met, or not met, the NMC competencies in practice. As a sign-off mentor confirm that students have met, or not met the NMC standards of proficiency in practice and are capable of safe and effective practice.

Evaluation of learning

  • Contribute to evaluation of student learning and assessment experiences, proposing aspects for change resulting from such evaluation.

  • Participate in self and peer evaluation to facilitate personal development, and contribute to the development of others.

Creating an environment for learning

  • Support students to identify both learning needs and experiences that are appropriate to their level of learning.

  • Use a range of learning experiences, involving patients, clients, carers and the professional team, to meet defined learning needs.

  • Identify aspects of the learning environment which could be enhanced, negotiating with others to make appropriate changes.

  • Act as a resource to facilitate personal and professional development of others.

Context of practice

  • Contribute to the development of an environment in which effective practice is fostered, implemented, evaluated and disseminated.

  • Set and maintain professional boundaries that are sufficiently flexible for providing interprofessional care.

  • Initiate and respond to practice developments to ensure safe and effective care is achieved and an effective learning environment is maintained.

Evidence-based practice

  • Identify and apply research and evidence-based practice to their area of practice.

  • Contribute to strategies to increase or review the evidence-base used to support practice.

  • Support students in applying an evidence base to their own practice.


  • Plan a series of learning experiences that will meet students defined learning needs.

  • Be an advocate for students to support them accessing learning opportunities that meet their individual needs, involving a range of other professionals, patients, clients and carers.

  • Prioritise work to accommodate support of students within their practice roles.

  • Provide feedback about the effectiveness of learning and assessment in practice.

As a supporting mentor you are assisting the mentorship student to successfully achieve the mentor programme and you are assessing them to determine they have achieved the outcomes in practice.

The following are some suggestions of how you might determine the mentor student's achievement of the outcomes. You might:

  • Discuss how the mentorship student will identify their student's learning needs and how they will create or facilitate learning opportunities.

  • Meet to discuss the ward welcome pack or suggest an update.

  • Observe the mentor student facilitating learning with a pre registration student.

  • Guide the mentor student on the supporting evidence the pre registration will produce to demonstrate their learning.

  • Wish to see some of the written evidence they are including in the structured portfolio and use this to guide a discussion.

  • Observe the mentor student delivering a teaching session and review their teaching plan and observe them teaching.

  • Consider looking at drafts of written feedback for preliminary, intermediate and final interview as the mentor student will be acting as an associate mentor.

  • Ask the mentor student to discuss with you the failing student and how, if faced with this, they would manage performance.

The mentorship Programme runs over 12 weeks. The mentorship student will be aware of the submission date for the programme assessment and all work both theory and practice should be complete in order to submit at the correct time.

If you have any queries at any time during the period you are supporting the mentorship student you might talk with the link lecturer but please do not hesitate to contact any of the mentor programme team. We would be very happy to help.

Contact details:

Dave Huggins, Module Leader, Tel No: 01603 597049, Email:

Jayne Needham, Midwifery Lead, Tel No: 01603 597078, Email:

Steve Wilkinson, Module Leader, Tel No: 01603 597012, Email:

General enquiries: