An additional meeting of the Healthcare Education Group was held on Monday 23 April, where Anne Trotter, Assistant Director Education and Standards at the NMC, discussed changes to the Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses and the proposed new education framework: standards for education and training, programme standards for pre registration nursing and standards for student supervision and assessment which were consulted on during the last two years. Anne presented the process of consultation and how the NMC developed the final products.  The slides are available here.

Following on from the presentation Anne then took questions from the group. In attendance were representatives from the majority of our membership universities, as well as HEE and OfS.

The first question focussed on transition arrangements, specifically when and if a university should move students on their current programmes to the new standards. The NMC position is that these decisions are down to the universities themselves, after conversation with their practice providers but that any such proposal would be included of the QA of the new nursing programme. Another factor for practice placement providers is managing multiple higher education institutions who may transition at different times and the impact this has on timing of moving to the new standards for student supervision and assessment. Also, differing levels of resource at HE institutions and their placement partners will impact their speed at completing the switch.

The second question considered the complexity of the placement footprint in London. Liaison could be difficult with such a broad range of providers in implementing the supervision and assessment changes that stem from separating the supervision and assessment roles. The implications for the implementation and management of the Pan London Assessment Tool were highlighted. An additional concern was to ensure trusts are continuing to support the mentorship model to cover the cohorts currently moving through the system or agreeing when to switch to the new standards.

Also discussed was

·         Inter-professional supervision and assessment for prescribing nurse and midwife students

·         The 4 fields of nursing and the need for students to understand more about meeting the needs of people across all fields within their programme

·         The cap on the number of simulation hours has been lifted, though Anne Trotter emphasised that compliance with the EC Directive needs to be maintained

·         If learning overseas forms part of the nursing programme the AEI would need to demonstrate how we can be assured that all standards will be met.

 Anne recognised that there are still many detailed questions re the validation and quality assurance processes that are still to be defined. The QA framework is expected to be published in the summer and guidance will be provided shortly.