Supporting a Student in Placement

Supporting a Student in Placement


Action Planning

Action Planning


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Assessment - what it means

Role of the assessor

The role of the assessor is to assess the student's clinical practice and professional suitability against identified learning outcomes.

Types of assessment

  • Formative - focus on the student's potential. This method offers the opportunity to formulate action learning plans so assessment criteria can be met
  • Summative - focus is on the student’s actual achievement
  • Continuous - the assessor needs to give constructive feedback throughout the assessment period
  • Episodic - feedback is given at milestones throught the assesment period

Ways to assess

Direct observation - the student works under supervision from a registered nurse or health practitioner. Observation takes place as part of everyday working role of student. The placement assessor decides whether the student has achieved acceptable levels of performance in line with professional standards for competence (i.e. NMC and HPC).

Work product - these are sources of evidence produced by the student within the practice placement. These demonstrate the student’s clinical ability. Examples include:

  • Care/treatment plans
  • Care/treatment assessment plans
  • Witness statements

Questioning and answering - allows the mentor to assess the student’s underpinning knowledge and level of understanding

Student self assessment - Students must be able to demonstrate their ability to self assess

Each outcome should be assessed using two methods of assessment - one of these methods should be direct observation.


  • All students of the same grade to be assessed in the same way
  • Assessment criteria used is objective
  • Assessments should be reproducible and consistent


  • The assessment used measures what it is supposed to measure
  • Assessment is relevant to the student’s training programme
  • Type of assessment used is achievable
  • Placement assessor follows established criteria e.g. NMC/HPC Standards of Proficiency

Action planning

Students who are unsuccessful in their practice assessments will need action planning to enable them to resit the assessment. Watch the video below to see how some practice educators address this issue.

Assesment resources

The Duffy Report on failing students is an excellent resource for understanding why some students struggle in practice.