Transition Training for the New NMC Standards for Student Supervision & Assessment

A UCLan guide to applying the SSSA in practice for clinical staff who were previously ‘mentors’.


This session would normally be delivered face to face but due to the pandemic outbreak this document contains all the session content as well as links for further reading. If you have any queries about practical applications of the new Standards for Student Supervision & Assessment (SSSA) that are not covered by this content or the further reading links provided please don’t hesitate to contact me using details at the bottom of the document.


In September 2019 the NMC’s new SSSA were brought into effect. A full PDF of the SSSA is freely available by clicking here. As well as directing how support is to be provided for students on clinical placement, which is mainly what this information covers, you should be aware that the NMC also establish and regulate programme standards that students are to achieve in order to be assessed as proficient and ready for admission to the register. This applies to all pre and post registration programmes of study. Therefore you will hear the terms ‘new programme’ and ‘old programme’. The students on ‘new programmes’ are now following a new curriculum design that has been designed around the new NMC Standards Framework for Nursing & Midwifery Education. During this change-over period you may also come into contact with some students who are on the ‘old programme’. Below is a summary of where Uclan’s programmes are up to.

 **Please bear in mind that this information pertains to Uclan students & programme change-over times will differ between universities**

Pre-registration nursing (validated)

Sept 2017

  • Bsc Year 3 – New Programmes except for approx. 30 students remaining on old programme
  • Msc Year 3 remain on old programme

March 2018 

  • New programme at start of Year 3

Sept 2018 

  • New Programme Year 2 & 3
  • Msc – old programme

March 2019 

  • New programme Year 2 & 3

Sept 2019

  • Bsc – Bsc New programme
  • Msc – New two year programme

NMC Non-Medical Prescribing Programmes (validated) New programme commenced September 2019

New programme commenced September 2019

Nursing Associate

New programme commenced December 2019 (validated)


New programme to commence September 2020 (subject to validation)


New standards not yet published. Students to remain on old system of mentorship / practice teachers for 2019 / 2020 academic year

Please now take some time to go through this presentation. Pay particular attention to the section headed New Roles in Practice Learning which detail the changes from mentor/associate mentor to practice assessor and practice supervisor.


After reading through that presentation you should have a reasonably clear idea on whether you will now be a practice assessor or practice supervisor (or both). If you haven’t already done so now would be a good time to download and complete a self-declaration form available at the bottom of this page. If you have the previous experience & training to fulfil both roles you only need to complete a practice assessor declaration….this encompasses both roles. Keep one copy for your own professional portfolio & provide another copy to your manager. This form has been specifically developed for clinical staff so that:

  1. They can justify and record their role in practice learning as per NMC requirements and…
  2. Managers/team leaders can keep a register of assessors & supervisors
  3. A few more important points that should be made clear regarding the new roles:

    • Each student requires both an assessor and a supervisor. You cannot do both roles for the same student. If you are a ‘lone worker’ you will need to discuss with either colleagues or your manager or local education team about how you will fulfil this requirement. For example: if you and another colleague both have a student at the same time you could have an ‘exchange’ programme set up. You may act as assessor & have your own student with you for 3 days/week & then act as supervisor while having your colleague’s student 2 days/week. Vice versa for your colleague.
    • The requirement whereby a student must spend 40% of their clinical hours with their old-system ‘mentor’ is no longer in place. There is no minimum hours requirement set by the NMC.
    • The NMC are aiming to make this round of the SSSA more flexible, recognising that students can learn from all healthcare professionals and doing so enhances a student’s learning with a wider picture of healthcare as a whole. Although this has always been the case, the new SSSA have actually put this in writing to provide a structure where this will happen as a matter of course.
    • A named Academic Assessor is attached to your clinical area not the student. The academic assessor will be a lecturer who has a relevant clinical background to your speciality. If a student is placed with you and you don’t yet know who your academic assessor is please discuss with your manager or either contact myself or any of the other contacts provided at the bottom of this document.
    • For students that are on a summative placement, progression from one part (or year) of the course to the next now has to be agreed between the practice assessor and academic assessor. The NMC has put this measure in place recognising that both theoretical and practice elements of any course carry equal weight. A student cannot progress, despite the fact they may be doing well academically, if in practice learning they are failing to achieve. This measure is now in place to also mitigate the ‘failure to fail’ phenomenon. Further reading about this is available
    • Signing off a student as fit to progress is to be done within the Ongoing Achievement Record (OAR). This document is embedded within Online PARE, please refer to the Online PARE section further down which will show you how to locate it. The OAR follows the student through the whole course in order to maintain continuity & record keeping.
    • The initial and mid-point meetings can be completed by a practice supervisor if the student’s practice assessor is happy that this is appropriate. However, the final meeting must be completed by the practice assessor.

Online PARE

**If you do not have an Online PARE account already please make it a priority to now organise one. This needs to be done either through your line manager or local practice education team. If your line manager is unfamiliar with the process they can email or call 01925 534168**

Online PARE (Practice Assessment Record & Evaluation) is an electronic assessment document for the students you will be supporting. With the exception of students that remain on the ‘old programmes’ all students will now have their achievements recorded this way. The pictures below will give you an idea on how to navigate through the PARE but it’s essential that once you have an account you log in & go through the demo link for Uclan. The assessor/educator demo link is here.

Once you are logged into the PARE demo link you will see this page. Please note you can review your profile on the left hand side and then click onto the practice assessment document (red arrow).