The nursing team is made up of many different people bringing with them a range of skills, knowledge, and competence.
The person in overall charge of the nursing care is the registered nurse, but they cannot perform every intervention or activity and therefore they will need to delegate aspects of care to colleagues.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Code - Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses, midwives, and nursing associates (2018), sets out what is expected in terms of accountability and delegation for registrants.
This resource explains the principles of accountability and delegation relevant to all members of the nursing team whether you are a nurse, health care assistant, assistant practitioner, nursing associate or nursing student working within the UK.
This guide aims to support safe practice and gives some practical examples of how it might be applied in practice and should be read alongside the NMC Code.
The principles of accountability and delegation explained in this resource can be applied to any member of the nursing team in any setting, including the wider nursing support workforce. This may include roles such as health care assistants, assistant practitioners, nursing assistants, senior carers, care assistants, trainee nursing associates and nursing associates (England only), nursing apprentices, registered nurses and nursing students.
Accountability is the principle that individuals and organisations are responsible for their actions and may be required to explain them to others.
Delegation is defined as the transfer to a competent individual, of the authority to perform a specific task in a specified situation.
(Supplementary information to the NMC Code)