Supporting and assessing students: your role

Supporting students in practice requires the use of a humanistic approach to the education of adults where the practice teacher/mentor's role is one of facilitation.

They facilitate students moving from observation to supported practice to practice under supervision. They also enable students to move back to observation in order to revisit aspects of knowledge and skills.

The practice teacher/mentor uses the framework of observation, supported practice, and practice under supervision to structure teaching and learning, which involves:

  • observation: designed for students with limited community experience as well as the analysis of the student's needs
  • supported practice: working alongside a practice teacher or mentor
  • supervision: working with a structured caseload receiving regular supervision meetings with the practice teacher or mentor

To assess students the sign-off practice teacher, with feedback and assistance from the trainee practice teacher or mentor, will:

  • develop a learning contract in partnership with the student
  • facilitate practice experience
  • focus attention on the specialist knowledge, theories, principles, models and skills
  • act as a sound role model
  • monitor the student's progress in practice on a fortnightly basis to explore growing competency
  • assess the student's practice and reflect on the use of Personal and Professional Attributes in practice
  • hold and record fortnightly supervision with the SCPHN student in order to assess the practice element of each module
  • identify concerns and work with University staff in developing and implementing an action plan
  • sign-off students as competent to practice summatively on completion of specific modules and at the end of the SCPHN programme
  • work in conjunction with student practice teachers and mentors to provide an appropriate learning experience

The assessment process must contain the following stages:

The document below outlines the interpersonal skills assessment:

Supporting the failing student

Occasionally, students do not meet the required standard and it is necessary to fail them. In this event, it is important that students know why they have not met the pass criteria and that they have been given an opportunity to improve at the formative stage.

It is, therefore, essential to:

  • have robust and transparent processes in place
  • investigate why your student may be having difficulties
  • compile comprehensive documentation as evidence
  • use support networks (see Supporting Mentors and Students in Practice)
  • pick up problems early
  • use Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely, (SMART) objectives
  • set clear review dates
  • make clear action plans
  • SCPHN action plans supporting the underachieving student (Word Document)

If concerns still continue following the review of an action plan, it is important to fill in a 'Cause for Concern' form which you will find in the student's practice assessment booklet.

This form must not be removed from the document. For an example of this and the process to follow please see our flow chart document. It is important that you have discussed your concerns with the student and supported his/her development with an action plan before completing the cause for Concern form. Exceptions to this are when there is a serious untoward incident when the HEI must be informed immediately and a Cause for Concern form completed. Constructive feedback is essential for student development. Do not wait for formative or summative stages to inform a student of your concerns.

It is essential that evidence is provided to support your concern when submitting a 'Cause for Concern' form to your education champion.