Facilitating learning in practice
Facilitating learning in practice

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Facilitating learning in practice

Demonstrating your competence

The following activity is an opportunity to start to think about how to demonstrate to others your competence in all the outcomes and competencies required of the mentoring role.

Activity 4 Competence and outcomes of a mentor

Allow 30 minutes

Table 4 contains published information located in Section 2.1.2 of the NMC (2008) document Standards to Support Learning and Assessment in Practice, entitled ‘Competence and outcomes for a mentor’.

In this table you will find the eight domains and related outcomes and competencies defined by the NMC that practitioners need to demonstrate if they are seeking to take on the mentoring of pre-registration nursing students.

Table 4 Competence and outcomes for a mentor (NMC, 2008)

Domains Competence and outcomes required of a mentor
Establishing effective working relationships
  • Demonstrate an understanding of factors that influence how students integrate into practice settings.
  • Provide ongoing and constructive support to facilitate transition from one learning environment to another.
  • Have effective professional and interprofessional working relationships to support learning for entry to the register.
Facilitation of learning
  • Use knowledge of the student’s stage of learning to select appropriate learning opportunities to meet individual needs.
  • Facilitate the selection of appropriate learning strategies to integrate learning from practice and academic experiences.
  • Support students in critically reflecting upon their learning experiences in order to enhance future learning.
Assessment and accountability
  • Foster professional growth, personal development and accountability through support of students in practice.
  • Demonstrate a breadth of understanding of assessment strategies and the ability to contribute to the total assessment process as part of the teaching team.
  • Provide constructive feedback to students and assist them in identifying future learning needs and actions.

    Manage failing students so that they may enhance their performance and capabilities for safe and effective practice, or be able to understand their failure and the implications of this for their future.

  • Be accountable for confirming that students have met, or not met, the NMC competencies in practice. As a sign-off mentor, confirm that students have met, or not met, the NMC standards of proficiency in practice and are capable of safe and effective practice.
Evaluation of learning
  • Contribute to the evaluation of student learning and assessment experiences – proposing aspects for change resulting from such evaluation.
  • Participate in self- and peer evaluation to facilitate personal development and contribute to the development of others.
Creating an environment for learning
  • Support students to identify both learning needs and experiences that are appropriate to their level of learning.
  • Use a range of learning experiences, involving patients, clients, carers and the professional team, to meet defined learning needs.
  • Identify aspects of the learning environment that could be enhanced, negotiating with others to make appropriate changes.
  • Act as a resource to facilitate personal and professional development of others.
Context of practice
  • Contribute to the development of an environment in which effective practice is fostered, implemented, evaluated and disseminated.
  • Set and maintain professional boundaries that are sufficiently flexible for providing interprofessional care.
  • Initiate and respond to practice developments to ensure that safe and effective care is achieved, and an effective learning environment is maintained.
Evidence-based practice
  • Identify and apply research and evidence-based practice to their area of practice.
  • Contribute to strategies to increase or review the evidence base used to support practice.
  • Support students in applying an evidence base to their own practice.
  • Plan a series of learning experiences that will meet students’ defined learning needs.
  • Be an advocate for students, supporting them in accessing learning opportunities that meet their individual needs – involving a range of other professionals, patients, clients and carers.
  • Prioritise work to accommodate support of students within their practice roles.
  • Provide feedback about the effectiveness of learning and assessment in practice.

Select one domain (for example ‘Creating an environment for learning’) that has four associated outcomes/competencies. Next, consider what evidence you could provide – such as certificated learning, summary accounts of service-user interventions, testimonies, presentations, project work, observation or other sources – that allows you to demonstrate competence in each.

Make notes of your suggestions, remembering that any outcome/competence may require more than one source of evidence. Additionally, capture the rationale for why you are making these choices.


For the purpose of this week’s study, this activity is time-limited. At this stage you have only considered one of eight domains and the evidence sources selected would be unique to you given your practice, your probable interdisciplinary ethos, and the students and service users you interact with that provide unique opportunities for learning.

Mentorship programme

If you are using this study as part of an NMC mentorship preparation programme and have registered on to KG006 Facilitating learning in practice: mentorship portfolio assessment, you will need to consider not one, but all eight domains. Here are a few suggestions to consider that might help you to determine and manage your sources of learning and evidence:

  • Remember that some sources of evidence could be used against more than one outcome/competency. This is especially true if you are reflecting on and writing up interventions with service users in the form of a critical incident technique, for example.
  • Remember that it is sometimes necessary to use more than one evidence source to confirm your competence.
  • Keep your evidence current and get yourself into the habit of regularly reviewing what you have learnt and participated in that could be used as evidence sources.

As you consider each domain – and this will be a necessary activity as you consider your KG006 portfolio – remember to negotiate protected learning time for this practice-focused activity.

Well done! You have completed the last of the activities in this week’s study before the weekly quiz.


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