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Practice based learning

Once for Wales 2020

Introduction of the new NMC Education Standards in Wales

Simon Cassidy talks about the Once for Wales 2020 approach


The all Wales Pre-Registration Nursing and Midwifery Group is leading on a ‘Once for Wales 2020’ national approach to implementation of new UK Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards for education (2018). The Group includes representation from service users and carers, NMC Approved Education Institutions, Health Boards/Trusts in Wales, Chief Nursing Office, RCN Wales and other key stakeholders.

The first cohort of students to embark on the new NMC pre-registration nursing proficiencies and post-registration prescribing programmes in Wales will in commence September 2020 subject to successful NMC approval of programmes. Midwifery proficiencies are expected in March 2020 with programme approvals commencing in 2021. There are also imminent standards for Return to Practice, Specialist Community Public Health Nursing and Specialist Practitioner Qualification programmes.

Overall project objectives include:

  1. A national approach to implementation of NMC Standards for education (2018) in Wales which includes key stakeholder representation and partnerships to co-produce new programme elements, curriculum content, and governance of practice learning and support mechanisms.

  2. A consistent approach across Wales for nationally agreed elements including:
    1. A Practice Assessment Document to identify student proficiency in practice.
    2. Guidance for identification, preparation, allocation and ongoing support of practice supervisor, practice assessor and academic assessor roles.
    3. An Educational Audit document to review the quality of practice learning environments.
    4. A student evaluations mechanism for feedback on practice learning experiences.
    5. A selection and recruitment principles document detailing the values expected of prospective candidates applying for nursing and midwifery programmes.
    6. An Action Planning Protocol to support students who do not meet required levels of proficiency in practice. 
  3. A smooth transition of new supervision and assessment arrangements across Wales including preparation of the existing workforce to adopt practice supervisor, practice assessor and academic assessor roles in supporting students on pre and post registration nursing and midwifery programmes.


Collaboration and involvement of key representatives continues to be a critical part of the process of implementing the new nursing and midwifery programmes. Local and national discussion forums, partnerships and curriculum planning groups are contributing to the development of future systems, approaches and documentation to support the introduction of programmes across Wales.

Learning and future work:

A series of 34 workshop events hosted by Universities and Health Boards were conducted across all regions of Wales during January, February, March and April 2019. 1034 key stakeholders were represented including service users and carers, students, nurses, midwives, Specialist Community Public Health Nurses, university lecturers and professional leads. Feedback from these forums has also provided detailed information on all Wales elements in the lead up to the first approval events for pre-registration nursing and post-registration prescribing programmes.

Once for Wales 2020

Innovations from around the UK

For more information contact:

Simon Cassidy
Programme Manager Education
Health Education and Improvement Wales
Phone: 07970406957
Twitter: @Once4Wales2020

You can also find more information on the new Once for Wales 2020 webpage