When completing assessment documentation, you are accountable for the decisions you make. Therefore, you should be detailed, systematic and comprehensive in collating the evidence that is required to inform your judgement. When assessing student competencies, there may be just a signature box to complete within the assessment document, an identified space to write a rationale for a particular decision or a general comment box following a set of competencies within a specific learning domain. These spaces should always be utilised fully to justify the decision you make.
Assessment can be seen to be interpretive and somewhat subjective, so drawing on appropriate evidence when writing your comments can lead to increased confidence in your assessment. This can be discussed openly and honestly with the student. Price (2012) suggests that there should be no surprises for the student when it comes to the final placement interview if effective continual assessment (including regular discussions and constructive feedback) has been implemented.
If you are completing these learning materials as part of an NMC mentor preparation programme, you should appreciate that from day 1 as a nurse mentor you must understand the assessment process and student documentation. Discuss these with your clinical educational lead, university link tutor and supervisor to ensure that you fully understand the various requirements and processes for initial, intermediate and final assessment.