Mentor Preparation Course

From September 2007, preparation of new mentors must comply with the Nursing and Midwifery Council Mentor Standards detailed in the NMC (2008) Standards to Support Learning and Assessment in Practice. This programme is organised in conjunction with the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, and will be offered to private sector organisations which provide pre-registration practice placements.

All mentor preparation programmes must be approved by the NMC. There are different options for mentor preparation available. A non-accredited or a 30 credit module, NHS-3137 ‘Mentoring, Learning and Assessment in Practice’ on the BSc (hons) Healthcare Science programme. A 20 credit Masters module is in the process of going through the scrutiny and approval process.

The programme is 10 days in length, comprising 5 days protected learning time, of which 3 days are face to face with 2 days directed reading and exercises. The remaining 5 days are practice based learning. The student mentor works with a student under supervision of an experienced mentor. The experienced mentor should meet the NMC standards and be identified on the ‘live’ mentor register in the clinical practice area.  The supervising mentor will guide and assess student mentor competence against NMC mentor standards (NMC 2008)

It would be expected that both components of the programme will normally be completed within 3 months.

Rationale and Aims

The programme complies with the Nursing and Midwifery Council Standards and outcomes for mentors to ensure quality of learning and assessment in practice of pre-registration student nurses, specialist practice nursing students, advanced nursing practice students and midwifery students.  (See NMC document, 08.06 Standards to support learning and assessment in practice, NMC standards for mentors, practice teachers and teachers 2008)

Meini Prawf dethol / Selection Criteria

Nurses and midwives seeking admission to the mentorship programme must meet the following criteria to attend the programme:-

Must have been registered for at least one year full time, or the equivalent if part time and have developed their knowledge and skills and competence beyond registration.

Must be on the same part or sub part of the NMC nurses register or Midwives register as the student they will be judging.

Must hold professional qualifications equal to, or at a higher level than, the students they are supporting and assessing.

Have the approval of their manager in order to confirm at least 5 days of protected time to undertake the programme.  It is the responsibility of the line manager to assess the registered nurse’s suitability to become a mentor based on their practice working alongside student nurses in practice.(stage 1,NMC 2008.  

Deilliannau Dysgu / Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate effective relationship building skills sufficient to support learning as part of a wider inter-professional team, for a range of students in practice learning environments.
  2. Facilitate learning for a range of students, within a particular area of practice where appropriate, encouraging self-management of learning opportunities and providing support to maximise individual potential.
  3. Assess learning in order to make judgements related to NMC standards of proficiency for entry to the register or for recording a qualification at a level above initial registration.
  4. Determine strategies for evaluating learning in practice settings, to ensure that the NMC standards of proficiency for registration have been met.
  5. Create an environment for learning where practice is valued and developed, and provides appropriate professional and inter-professional learning opportunities and support for learning to maximise achievement for individuals.
  6. Support flexible learning within a context of practice that reflects health care, educational policies and evidence based practice, and that promotes interprofessional care within set and maintained boundaries.
  7. Apply evidence-based practice to their work, and contribute to the further development of the existing knowledge and practice evidence base.                                                                                                                        
  8. Demonstrate leadership skills for education within practice settings.
  9. Utilise knowledge of pre-registration curriculum and assessment strategies to inform the teaching, learning and assessment in practice.

Cynnwys / Content

  • Effective professional and interprofessional working relationships that support learning for entry to the register, and education at a level beyond initial registration.
  • Supporting students moving into specific areas of practice, or a level of practice beyond initial registration, identifying their individual needs in moving to a different level of practice.
  • Enabling students to relate theory to practice whilst developing critically reflective skills.
  • Setting effective professional boundaries whilst creating a dynamic and constructive mentor-student relationship.
  • Being able to assess practice for registration, and at a level beyond that of initial registration.
  • Providing constructive feedback to students and help them identify future learning needs and actions. Manage failing students so that they may either 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.
  • Being accountable for confirming that students have met, or not met, the NMC standards of proficiency in practice for registration – and at a level beyond initial registration – and are capable of safe and effective practice.
  • Enabling students to access opportunities to learn and work within inter-professional teams.
  • Initiating the creation of optimum learning environments for students at registration level and for those in education at a level beyond initial registration.
  • Recognising the unique needs of practice and contribute to development of an environment that supports achievement of NMC standards of proficiency.
  • Supporting students in exploring new ways of working, and the Impact this may have on
  • Providing constructive feedback to students and help them identify future learning needs and actions. Manage failing students so that they may either 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.
  • Being accountable for confirming that students have met, or not met, the NMC standards of proficiency in practice for registration – and at a level beyond initial registration – and are capable of safe and effective practice.
  • Enabling students to access opportunities to learn and work within interprofessional teams.
  • Initiating the creation of optimum learning environments for students at registration level and for those in education at a level beyond initial registration.
  • Recognising the unique needs of practice and contribute to development of an environment that supports achievement of NMC standards of proficiency.
  • Supporting students in exploring new ways of working, and the impact this may have on established professional roles.
  • Advancing one’s knowledge and practice in order to develop new practitioners, at both registration level and at a level beyond initial registration, to be able to meet changes in practice roles and care delivery.
  • Disseminating findings from research and practice development to enhance practice and the quality of learning experiences.
  • Providing practice leadership and expertise in the application of knowledge and skills based on evidence.
  • Demonstrating the ability to lead education in practice.
  • Facilitating a language sensitive learning environment.
  • The contribution of clinical governance to the creation and maintenance of a learning culture including an appreciation of the significance of the Equality Act (2010).
  • Requirements of the NMC standards including role of the Mentor and Sign Off Mentor.

Dulliau Addysgu a Dysgu / Teaching & Learning Methods

Lectures, discussion, debate, reflective exercises, role play; senario based exercises, directed reading with exercises tutorials, practice based learning to achieve competencies and mentoring.

Cymwyseddau Clinigol / Practice based competencies

Identify factors that influence learning environments and the implementing of strategies that enhance positive and inhibit negative influences on the learning environment.

Plan student learning to meet the individual student’s learning needs.

Demonstrate accountability for confirming that students have or have not met the NMC competencies in practice.

Strategaeth Asesu / Assessment Strategy

(i) Ffurfiannol / Formative

Completion of five day classroom contact time for the mentorship prepartion programme.
On-going feedback throughout the programme.

(ii) Crynodol / Summative

Successful achievement of all practice based competencies. The competency document should demonstrate evidence of

 ‘... the knowledge, skills and competence required to meet the defined outcomes.’ (NMC 2008, p19)

The supervising mentor will assess the student mentor’s performance and competence in relation to achievement of the learning outcomes in practice, based on the mentor domains (NMC 2006, 2008).

In addition, midwifery student mentors must also achieve the additional criteria to become a sign off mentor to successfully complete the programme. That is, to be supervised and assessed by an experienced ‘sign off mentor’ on at least three  occaisions,( two of which may be simulated), the third time when signing off proficiency of  midwifery student (NMC 2010).

The register of mentors held by the practice placement will be annotated to indicate whether an individul on the register is a mentor, sign off mentor or practice teacher and whether the individual is a midwifery mentor.  The register will be jointly reviewed twice a year by the practice placement providers and Higher Education Institutions.

Guidelines for 5 Day Practice-Based Learning

A named experienced mentor on the mentor register, will be responsible for supervising practice based learning and competency assessment

Following completion of the 5 days protected learning it is important to discuss the NMC mentor domains and competency assessment document with your supervising mentor in practice. Together you will identify your learning needs and plan how these are going to be addressed.  The supervising mentor should identify the nature of his or her support and assessment.  Periodic meetings with your mentor will give opportunity for review and feedback. It is your responsibility to produce evidence that will support achievement of competencies and link theory with practice. Some reflection on your experience in mentoring a student would be helpful.

A student should be identified for you to mentor under the guidance of you supervising mentor. Prior to the student commencing, it is important that you identify the students’ stage on the course, learning outcomes and competencies to be achieved. This will together with the students’ self-assessment and action plan help you formulate a plan for mentoring the student.  The placement checklist in RCN Guidelines for Mentors of Nursing Students and Midwives: an RCN toolkit (2007) can form a useful guide   In addition to these you may wish to consider the NMC mentor domains.

If you need further support or guidance in the work based learning component of the programme contact your programme tutor, link tutor or practice educator.

Following completion of the competency booklet it should be sent to the School of Healthcare Science for verification by the programme tutor. On your successful completion of the programme this will be recorded and a certificate issued, together with your competency document for you to include in your professional portfolio.

Only when a successful completion certificate has been received can the mentors name be entered onto the mentor register.

Mentor Resources

Aston, L., Hallam, P. 2011 Successful mentoring in nursing. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Bailey, Chambers, R. Donovan. 2004 The good mentoring toolkit for healthcare. Abingdon: Radcliffe

Canham, J. Malden, J. 2002. Mentorship in community nursing: challenges and opportunities.  MA. Blackwell Science.

Cardwell, P. Corkin, D. 2007. Mentorship: the art and science. Paediatric Nursing.
19. 4 31-32.

Clynes,M.P, Raferty, S. 2008  Feedback: An essential element of student learning in clinical practice. Nurse Education in Practice, 8, 405 – 411.

Davis, S., 2007 Mentoring; understanding the new standards.  Practicing Midwife, 10. 6. 16-19.

Elcock, K., Sharples, K. 2011 A nurse’s survival guide to mentoring: London: Churchill Livingstone Elsvier.

Gopee, N. 2015, Mentoring and supervision in healthcare. London: Sage
Kinnel, D.,Hughes P. 2010  Mentoring nursing and healthcare students. London: Sage.

Launer, J. 2006. Reflective practice and clinical supervision; making sense of supervision, mentoring and coaching. Work-based learning in primary care. 4. 3. 268-270.

Practice Education Group, 2009  Mentoring: A resource for those that facilitate  practice education. Oxford. Oxford Brooks University, School of Healthcare Science. www.practicebasedlearning.org

McKenzie, K. 2004. Mentoring: it’s a two-way street. RCM Midwives Journal. 7. 12. 526-528.

Morton-Cooper,  A. 2000. Mentoring, preceptorship, and clinical supervision: a guide to professional roles in clinical practice. Oxford. Blackwell Science.

Murray, C., Rosen, L., Staniland, K.,(eds)  2010 The nurse mentor and reviewer. Update book. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2004. Standards of proficiency for pre-registration nursing education. London. NMC.

Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2008. Standards to support learning and assessment in practice; NMC standards for mentors, practice teachers and teachers. London. NMC.

Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2009, Standards for Pre-registration Midwifery Education. London: NMC

Nursing and Midwifery Council.  2010. Standards for Pre-registration Nursing Education. London: NMC

Nursing and Midwifery Council 2010. NMC Circular 05/2010. Sign off mentor criteria. London: NMC

Richmond, H. 2006, Mentoring in Midwifery. RCM Midwives Journal. 9. 11 434-437.

Rose, M., Best, D. (eds) 2005. Transforming practice through clinical education, professional supervision, and mentoring. Edinburgh. Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.

Royal College of Nursing, 2007 Guidance for Mentors of nursing students and midwives: An RCN toolkit . London: RCN.

Walsh, D. 2014. The nurse mentor’s handbook: Supporting students in clinical practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Hyd / Duration

10 days, with the programme normally being completed within 3 months. 

Students may be transferred to another cohort if they are unable to complete the 10 day programme in the period allotted for their cohort subject to BU/SHCS rules and regulations.