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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

COVID-19 supervision and assessment (Nursing and midwifery)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this webpage has been set up to signpost or host some resources that practice supervisors and practice assessors and students may find useful to access.

Supernumerary placements

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 saw a disruption to nursing and midwifery students’ practice learning across Scotland. The NMC initially published emergency standards for nursing and midwifery education to enable students within their second and third/final year to support the workforce. The majority of the emergency standards were phased out on 30 September 2020 in order to support students to return to their normal studies and supernumerary placements.

Within Scotland, the Scottish Government commissioned NES to develop a report on the ‘Provision of NMAHP Placements in the 2020-21 Academic Session’ and as a consequence the national strategic Rapid Action Placement Recovery Group (RAPOG) was established.

Subsequently a placement principles paper was developed to support nursing and midwifery students return to supernumerary placements. Supernumerary placements began to recommence across Scotland in August 2020.

Occupational risk assessment guidance developed to support students return to supernumerary placements in Scotland and guidance on the use of virtual/digital practice learning experiences can be accessed on the RAPOG webpage.

In response to the increasing cases of COVID-19 across the UK the NMC have again, on the 14th January 2021, reintroduced emergency education standards. The ‘Current emergency and recovery programme standards’ (NMC 2021). Following the announcement of reintroduction of these standards the Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland has published a response. The position in Scotland is that, currently there is no intention ‘to disrupt healthcare students’ programmes and learning’ and that the wish is for students ‘to retain their supernumerary status and their position in the clinical area as learners.’

The full letter can be accessed below.

The FNMPB capacity and capability sub-group have developed national guidance around the processes to be followed if changes to nursing and midwifery student placements are being considered.

Practice supervisor and practice assessor resources

The NMC recovery programme standards state that ‘all students will receive support, supervision and assessments in line with the standards for student supervision and assessment (SSSA, 2018). A PowerPoint  supporting the transition to the new roles with accompanying notes can be accessed below and the same presentation is also available in wevideo and vimeo format:

Practice placement providers, universities and NES colleagues have worked collaboratively to develop a Practice Supervisor and Practice Assessor e-Learning Resource. This learning resource has been developed for those involved in the support, supervision and assessment of pre and post-registration nursing and midwifery students. You can access this resource as well as other useful resources linked to Future Nurse and Midwife on our dedicated site on Turas

Teaching and learning in practice

Teaching in the clinical environment may be about supporting a colleague to use new equipment, learn a new procedure or develop underpinning theory around an aspect of care they are delivering. Understanding some principles of teaching practice [PPX] and theory can help ensure your teaching is effective. 

Guidance to support practitioners [PDF] to be able to provide high quality practice learning environments and experiences for students using digital platforms is available.

Guidance on how education providers [PDF] in both higher education institutions and further education colleges, in Scotland, in partnership with practice learning providers, may mitigate the potential risk of return to supernumerary practice learning experiences by using current COVID-19 Occupational Risk Assessment Guidance with all NMAHP students is available.

National Framework

Last updated: 27/09/2020

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