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An evidence-based toolkit to support grading of pre-registration midwifery practice

02 April 2019
12 min read
Volume 27 · Issue 4


Grading of practice has been incorporated into the Nursing and Midwifery Council's midwifery education standards since 2009. The literature identifies that grading practice can be fraught with challenges not least related to subjectivity, inconsistency, lack of transparency and grade inflation. An established group of UK-wide lead midwife educators recognised these challenges and through completing a three-phase project, developed an evidence-based practice assessment toolkit which aims to facilitate consistent, robust and objective grading of student practice. It is suggested that this toolkit may be useful to those developing practice assessment documentation or writing evidence to reflect a student's progress and achievement in practice

It is well documented (Heaslip and Scammell, 2012; Bennett and McGowan, 2014) that grading practice is not an easy task and can be open to subjectivity, ambiguity, confusion and grade inflation (Donaldson and Gray, 2012). Midwives have a responsibility to support and educate student midwives in practice (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), 2018a). This may include making a graded assessment of practice (NMC, 2009), but all midwives will need to contribute measurable evidence that focuses on the student's performance during their period of ‘practice supervision’ (NMC, 2018b). This article explores some of the specific outcomes of a three-phase project that led to the development of a practice assessment toolkit. This toolkit may be used as a guide when developing practice assessment documents or to assist those writing evidence of student progress and assessment (Fisher et al, 2019a). A key emphasis of the toolkit is that ‘student assessments are evidence based, robust and objective’ (NMC, 2018b:9).

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