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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

N.M.C Sign Off Mentor Criteria FAQs

Common questions asked about the Sign Off Mentors role

(All advice is taken from the Standards to support learning and Assessment in Practice (NMC 2008a).

  • Completion of Sign-Off Mentor Status

What is the role of a sign off mentor?

The role of sign off mentor and or a practice teacher is to make judgements about whether a student has achieved the required standard of proficiency for safe and effective practice for entry to the NMC register. It is also important that a sign off mentor recognises that 1 hr protected time must be evidence each week on off duty rotas as part of the role when supporting a final placement or progression point student.

Are there differences for sign off mentor in nursing and a sign off mentor in midwifery?

Yes there are please see the following explanations below to support you.

When is a sign off mentor required in nursing?

Sign off mentors are required currently only for students on their final placements (end of their programme of study) However please note they are also they are required for Return to Practice Students.

When is a sign off mentor required in midwifery?

Sign off mentors are required for all students on pre registration midwifery programmes.”All midwives who undertake a mentor preparation programme are required to have met the additional sign off criteria (para 2.1.3 NMC Standards to support learning and Assessment in Practice (NMC 2008a) including having been supervised on at least 3 occasions for signing off proficiency by an existing sign off mentor during the programme. The preparation workshop can provide evidence for two practiced supervisions leaving the third to take place within the clinical area under the supervision of the designated sign off mentor. This means that midwifery mentors Stage 2 must attend a sign off workshop Book Courses following successful completion of a mentorship module.

What about supervisor of midwives programmes?

All midwives undertaking the supervisor of midwives programmes are required to have an allocated supervisor of midwives who is also a sign off mentor.
Please note: The NMC recognises that many supervisors of midwives are working in senior roles and may mentor student supervisors of midwives infrequently.However it is acknowledged that in their role they are using many of the skills of a sign off mentor on an ongoing basis. It is therefore agreed that those supervisors of midwives who only mentor student supervisors of midwives are required to mentor at least 1 student in the three year period prior to triennial review.

How do I become a Sign Off Mentor?

Firstly have you successfully achieved a mentorship qualification?. Also have you had that qualification for at least a year and mentored/supported a variety of learners? If you have the above requirements discuss with your manager attending a sign off mentor preparation workshop. The dates can be found on theTrust intanet Book Courses.

This workshop supports two of a total of three supervised practices required by the NMC. Therefore after attending the workshop you would still have one more supervised practice to achieve. This is done by a designated /agreed current sign off mentor in your clinical area who oversees your practice in supporting a final placement learner.

Only once you have successfully completed that third supervision can you be added onto the PLSS database as a sign off mentor.

All mentors and sign off mentors should evidence having supported learners by maintaing recordings in your mentor document of evidence. Mentor Portfolio Document
This document is used to evidence your time supporting learners over a three year period in preparation for triennial review.

How do I link with my manager in relation to the sign off mentor process?

Discuss with your manager regarding attending a sign off mentor preparation workshop. Your manager should have an understanding of who the sign off mentors are within the clinical area and which mentors are appropriate to be put forward for a preparation sign off workshop Book Courses. It is strongly advised that before attending a workshop you discuss with your manager who your overseeing supervising sign off mentor will be. After completing the workshop you should share the supervision document that you receive with your supervising sign off mentor and manager so that they understand the booklet. We also advocate that your manager is aware of your mentor document of evidence, that this is up to date and will be submitted at the workshop for the facilitating PEF to observe. This document is also used for the triennial review process as evidence.