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Teaching and assessing roles/courses

This page describes the roles of preceptors, mentors, lecturers and practice educators.

Mentors and teachers are vital to the preparation of the next generation of practitioners, and there are several roles that nurses, midwives and specialist community public health nurses can consider inluding the following.

Preceptors

Preceptorship is about supplying guidance and support to individuals who are new to their role.

For example, in a transitional period from student to registered practitioner some people may find the first few months a daunting prospect. The same may apply to someone returning to practice or entering a different role by way of a new registerable qualification.

The preceptor will be there to offer guidance support, help and advice according to the individuals needs.

Preceptors would have qualified at first level in their particular branch and would normally have experience in the area of practice as the practitioner requiring support

Entry requirements

Whilst there are no formal qualifications associated with being a preceptor, individuals will need preparation for the role.

The preparation should ensure that the preceptor:

  • Has knowledge in the practitioners education and practical experience (including the content of the return to practice programme for those returning after a break) to be able to identify their learning needs
  • Is able to help the practitioner apply knowledge to practice
  • Understands how practitioners integrate within the new practice setting and what problems this can represent for the individual and the team
  • Acts as a resource to facilitate the practitioners professional development

Mentors

A mentor will be responsible for the students learning in the practice setting, the quality of that learning and the assesment of competence to demonstrate the extent to which learning outcomes have been met.

Mentors:

  • facilitate student learning across pre-registration and post-registration programmes
  • supervise, support and guide students in practice
  • implement approved assessment procedures

The term ‘assessor’ is often used to denote a role similar to that of a mentor.

Entry requirements

To become a mentor you will require:

  • current registration
  • professional and academic qualifications relevent to care delivery
  • full-time or part-time experience

Enrolled (2nd level) nurses may also be admitted to mentor programmes.

A mentor’s skills are transferable but the mentor must develop and demonstrate a sound knowledge and accomplished skills in the new area of practice.


Practice educator

A practice educator will lead the teaching and development of practice in the practice setting and will have management responsibilites of both resources and teaching strategy.

The practice educator will provide guidance and support to mentors and other health care professionals involved with students and will provide a link between the practice setting and the higher education institution.

A practice educator enjoys equal standing with the lecturer.

Entry requirements

In order to enter a programme leading to a recordable teaching qualification, the registered practitioner will be required to have:

  • an entry on an appropriate part(s) of the NMC register.
  • complete a period of full-time experience (or equivalent part-time experience) in relevant professional practice which should have been in areas where students were gaining practice experience
  • acquire additional professional knowledge which must be relevant to the intended area of teaching/practice and at no less than first degree level

Lecturer

The lecturer is responsible for the leadership/directorship of classroom teaching in higher education institutions. They will provide module leadership, personal tutorship and be involved in developing professional knowledge.

The lecturer will also be resonsible for identifying appropriate learning resources.
The role is similar to that of the practice educator in the pratice environment and both roles have equal standing.

Entry requirements

In order to enter a programme leading to a recordable teaching qualification, the registered practitioner will be required to have:

  • an entry on an appropriate part(s) of the NMC register.
  • complete a period of full-time experience (or equivalent part-time experience) in relevant professional practice which should have been in areas where students were gaining practice experience
  • acquire additional professional knowledge which must be relevant to the intended area of teaching/practice and at no less than first degree level

 

For more information

1)  About the standards required for these posts, please visit the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) website - www.nmc-uk.org
2)  About courses, please contact the appropriate faculty/department at your nearest university

This article was originally published by NHS Careers