This paper presents the findings of a small scale evaluation examining nursing and midwifery mentors and nursing lecturers perceptions of the Nursing and Midwifery Council 'sign off' mentor role (NMC, 2008). For this evaluation 114 new sign off mentors, 37 preparation for mentorship students and 13 nursing and midwifery lecturers within a Higher Education Institute (HEI) in the United Kingdom participated in the evaluation project. Nursing and midwifery students were not included in this initial evaluation. The initial findings suggested that all participants viewed the introduction of sign off mentors positively; offering a more robust mechanism for ensuring students were competent, helped to protect the public, and offered an increased level of support for students themselves. Concerns were raised about varying levels of support available for sign off mentors and some Stage 2 mentors' abilities to assess competence. Several participants felt the 1 h protected time per week per final placement student would be difficult to implement, whilst anxieties were also expressed about levels of responsibility for ensuring fitness to practice alongside concern that some mentors may leave sign off mentors to manage and identify under-achieving students.
- Mentorship; Practice assessment; Sign off mentor; Student education