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Mentorship and assessment in health and social care settings

A course designed to prepare practitioners to support learners in the workplace

Who should study this course?

This interprofessional course is for any practitioner who facilitates learning and/or assesses learner achievement in a health and social care workplace.

What does it cover?

The course prepares practitioners to supervise anyone in a learning situation, by helping them to: determine diverse and rich learning opportunities in their workplace to support and develop others examine `teachable' `assessable' and `learning' situations in their workplace develop practical skills that aid mentoring and assessment in the workplace evaluate the values and ethical principles that underpin mentorship and assessment.

How does it relate to practice?

Focusing on mentorship in the workplace this course will enable practitioners to become effective and valued supporters of practice-based learning. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on real, everyday situations where students: analyse how mentorship and assessment is influenced by context apply the principles and methods of assessment to practice-based learning identify and evaluate the sources of support and feedback for mentorship engage in and reflect upon learning of self, peers and learners to facilitate personal development, and contribute to the development of others.


What do students gain?

Students who pass this course will gain 30 points at Higher Education Level 3 (SCQF level 9) which can count towards an Open University degree. K320 has been approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a recognised course of mentor preparation to meet its Standards to support learning and assessment in practice (2006).

Financial support

Health and social care sectors have undergone major upheavals over the past few years, budgets for training and people's personal budgets continue to be very tightly squeezed. But the good news is that financial assistance funds are available to help individuals power their own learning ­ and many of our courses can be accessed at no cost at all to individuals or to organisations! One in three students on health and social care courses receive financial assistance towards course fees and the cost of personal computing. Individuals on low wages/with low household income can apply for financial assistance to meet some or all of the costs of studying with us. Individuals who are not eligible for financial assistance may still be entitled to a discount on fees through their membership of a professional body (such as RCN) or of a trade union (such as UNISON). To find out more about financial assistance visit In addition, we have partnerships with two Strategic Health Authorities through which funded places are available on this course for health and social care staff in the East Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber. For further details, please contact [email protected]

How much studying is involved, and at what level?

Students will need to set aside approximately seven hours a week over a period of six months to study the course. This time will include support from their tutor in four on-line tutorial forums and four on-line tutor group forums linked to course materials and activities, as well as individual study time. Students will need to make arrangements with their employer to have access to an appropriate person to support the application of their course learning in their workplace.

How is the course assessed?

There are three written assignments across the course requiring students to relate their learning to mentoring practice. The examinable component is an end-of-course project that focuses on the student's plan for continuing mentor development after completing the course. The student's tutor gives individual teaching and guidance through distance learning with personalised and comprehensive feedback on their assignments.

Additional information for employers

Nurses and midwives planning to seek NMC recognition as a mentor must have current NMC registration. They will also need to negotiate with their employer five days' practice learning, and the appropriate person who supports them in their work setting must be registered in the same part of the NMC register. This course has been mapped against the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF). All six core dimensions, and other specific dimensions of the KSF are relevant to a mentor's abilities that relate to: supervision/mentoring evidence-based practice development leadership partnership working

What to do next

Places on the course can be reserved on-line or by phone ­ act now to reserve your place. You can find out more about the course approach by visiting and type K320 into the search engine. Or register by phone on: 0845 300 60 90

The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).

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