In March 2011, we added to and amended various areas of our supporting advice information which have been incorporated into the full supporting advice PDF. See the bottom of this page for an overview of the changes.
The purpose of this information is to provide a resource for those working in higher education and practice to support and implement the NMC standards for pre-registration nursing education. It includes key messages, advice and examples of new and different approaches to practice. It is designed to be read in conjunction with:
  • Standards for pre-registration nursing education
  • Standards to support learning and assessment in practice
  • Explanation of terms
  • Pre-registration nursing education in the UK

The information also needs to be considered alongside NMC quality assurance processes. We have used the term ‘approved education institutions’ (AEIs) when referring to the universities, the term ‘practice learning providers’ to refer to practice organisations and the term ‘programme providers’ when jointly referring to both.

The standards reflect new ways of structuring and delivering programmes and changes in the ways that practice learning will be undertaken. For many programme providers, these changes will require a cultural shift and new approaches. Although this might be challenging, the standards have been designed to provide real opportunities for introducing new and innovative ways of delivering programmes, while protecting the public and those who use nursing services.
Expectations for new programmes differ from previous expectations. There is now more focus on:
  • widening access and accreditation of prior learning (APL) 
  • meeting the needs of students with disabilities
  • progression criteria for each programme part
  • the ratio of theory to practice learning, and the requirements for each part of the programme
  • learning in community and other practice settings in each part of the programme
  • direct and indirect supervision
  • interprofessional learning and assessment
  • the involvement of service users and carers in the programme
  • basic skills to meet anyone’s care needs, irrespective of the student’s intended field of practice
  • meeting the complex needs of service users in the student’s respective field
  • ensuring the field specific focus increases throughout the programme, and that students are able to meet all their competencies within the context of their chosen field by the end of the programme.

The NMC standards and guidance are designed to give programme providers considerable scope to determine the nature and content of each part of the programme and to decide which learning opportunities will be needed so that competencies can be met within the context of the field by the end of the programme. This flexible approach brings challenges, but it also enables new ways of thinking that support different and innovative approaches to design and delivery that are not constrained by previous programme structures and models.

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Annexe 1: Application of SLAiP to SPNE

Overview of March 2011 changes 

In March 2011, we amended various areas of our supporting advice information and added an annexe as follows.

Section 1: Safeguarding the public and Section 2: Equality and diversity
  • Updated links to the revised guidance on good health and good character for approved education institutions, students, nurses and midwives
  • Added a link to our new guidance on raising and escalating concerns
Section 3: Selection, admission, progression and completion
  • Amendments to progression and completion on transcript of achievement
Section 4: Support of students and educators
  • Amendments to support of students in practice in relation to direct and indirect supervision
Section 8: Assessment
  • Amendment to equal weighting of practice and theory contributing to the final award.
New annexe
  • Added annexe 1 regarding the application of SLAiP to SPNE