NEBDN’s Accreditation Standard 2 – Qualification Delivery and Development, clearly defines that Course Providers must ensure that the delivery and development of the qualification/s is done so in line with all NEBDN and GDC specified requirements.
Course Providers have a real opportunity to work in collaboration with clinical practice based placements and Witnesses who are appropriately prepared, to allow students’ learning needs to be linked to specific experiences within a practical context. This results in a good working relationship across all stakeholders involved in the Students’ learning journey, creating more positive outcomes for the patient.
It is the responsibility of Course Providers to deliver NEBDN’s qualifications and develop individuals who will demonstrate the outcomes the GDC requires and that meet the requirements of the European Directive on dental training. In doing so, Course Providers and Clinical practice-based placements should make sure that they take account of the following:
- Patient needs and protection are a priority in delivering education and training, particularly relating to direct interaction with Students.
- Learning opportunities and experiences prepare Students adequately for the transition to vocational practice or further training.
- Developments in oral health need and the role of registrants in promoting the health and well-being of the public.
- Technological and clinical advances.
- Have an awareness that the qualification for registration only represents the first stage in the development of the dental professional, and training must prepare students to carry out reflective practice and self-directed learning to keep their knowledge and skills up to date throughout their professional lives. Adhering to any regulatory requirements regarding lifelong learning, CPD and revalidation.
- The importance of dental team working, with opportunities for Students to train and work with other dental professionals.
- That meaningful patient feedback is actively sought and recorded to be used to inform Student development.
- Students now learn and are assessed in a range of environments such as hospitals, primary care and community dental services. Course Providers must ensure anyone involved in the supervision and training of students is adequately trained to carry out the role, both clinically and as appropriate in terms of assessment and reporting of student progress.
- All staff involved in the delivery and assessment of dental and DCP training must be familiar with and understand the GDC Preparing for Practice document.
- Students must have the opportunity to practise on a sufficient number and a wide range of patients, of all ages and including those with special care requirements, with a wide range of treatment needs, simple and complex – in order to achieve the outcomes.
- Students must have demonstrated to the Course Provider that they are clinically competent where the outcomes required this.
- Students must be trained in accordance with appropriate requirements in relation to dealing with medical emergencies.
The NEBDN Quality Auditors will make formal contact with all Course Providers on a quarterly basis to offer any support/advice that may be needed. Auditors will use a range of indicators, including results data to identify any concerns and may implement action plans to support Course Providers with any issues.
NEBDN has a duty to monitor the provision of both the Record of Experience (RoE) and the Post Registration Record of Competence (RoC). The Tutor, Witness and Internal Moderator (IM) sign to say that the candidate has completed the eRoE and RoC to the standards which have been clearly defined by NEBDN. The monitoring will be done in form of annual sampling as part of the annual audit process.
The RoE/RoC will be retained on PebblePad for 7 years following completion of the qualification, and will be accessible to the Student, Course Provider and NEBDN. This information is held for NEBDN auditing purposes.
NEBDN’s Accreditation Standard 3 – Administration, Supervision and Support of Students, clearly defines that Course Providers must ensure that all Students must have appropriate supervision within the clinical and educational environment. The Course Provider and Witness must support students to improve their performance.
Dental professionals are part of a wider dental and healthcare team and should aim to deliver high quality patient care that puts patients’ needs first. Therefore, supporting students with their education and training plays an integral role in this. Witnesses provide support and guidance in their practice area and have a unique opportunity to act as role model. Helping to shape the values and behaviours of students and to instil professional integrity. Good mentoring will depend on well-planned learning opportunities and the provision of support and coaching for students. NEBDN does however, acknowledge that this can be a challenging role as it is voluntary and provided alongside the delivery of care in a busy and challenging environment. It is essential that Witnesses are fully aware of the responsibilities and expectations required throughout the Students’ programme of study. This will mean working collaboratively with the Student and Course Provider.
A key part of the training for Students is their Record or Experience (RoE) or Record of Competence (RoC), it documents their development over the course of the programme, and they need the help of a Witness to support them to complete it.
Key elements of the role:
- Supporting the application of theory into practice.
- Observing practice and performance within the Witnesses boundaries and providing constructive feedback.
- Encouraging reflection on practice, performance and experiences.
Whilst this is a voluntary role, it is a role that can be very rewarding and presents great opportunities to develop members of the dental team such as a Senior Dental Nurse or Dental Therapist. The key to success is making it work in practice to ensure consistency and a standardised approach.
Depending on the Student’s placement, they may have access to multiple Witnesses, this may mean that a Witness may only support the Student with one practical assessment, or it may be multiple. Regardless of this, the key responsibilities and expectations will be the same. It is important to note that the registration of any person supporting a Student is at risk if they knowingly make a false declaration within the RoE or RoC. Any professional who witnesses any part of the RoE or RoC is, in their opinion, declaring the level of competency for the Student to independently complete the task. Should a Student’s performance be questioned by the professional body in the future, a Witness may be called upon to justify their decision.
Who can be a Witness?
All Witnesses must meet the following requirements:
- Have a working knowledge of the qualification the student is studying.
- Be occupationally competent in the area of expertise – this should be credible and clearly demonstrable through continued learning and development.
- Must be registered with an appropriate professional body for example the GDC or GMC (for certain Post Registration qualifications).
- Must have an induction with the Course Provider, this can be face-to-face, by phone or other suitable means of communications.
- The Witness is not required to hold an assessor qualification.
The Role of the Witness
The role of a Witness is to provide confirmation and testimony of the Students competence in the relevant procedure or activity. All of which are clearly mapped to GDC learning outcomes set out in the qualification content. The testimony must relate directly to the Students performance in the workplace and can only be signed off by the Witness who has directly observed the task.
It is the Course Provider’s responsibility to assess the Students overall performance against the set criteria provided by NEBDN, to ensure a standardised learning programme has been followed. Therefore, the final decision relating to the Students Record of Experience/Record of Competence is still the responsibility of the Course Provider.
Why does NEBDN require Witnesses?
All Students need to complete tasks in the clinical placement/workplace whilst being observed by a Witness in real time. It is a form of observation by a suitably qualified individual rather than the Course Provider making and assessment without observing the task.
How does a Witness sign off Student performance?
The Witness will need to provide feedback on the Student’s activity alongside the Student either on a mobile device or a computer using NEBDN’s educational platform PebblePad. There is no need for the Witness to have an account directly with PebblePad, the entry will be completed via the Students account. However, once the entry is completed it can be instantly saved and locked down by the Witness at the time of entry so that it cannot be changed or amended by the student post activity. This must be completed within a maximum of 14 days of the activity taking place. Click here for a step-by-step guide as to how a Witness validates a procedure or activity
Witness information and training tools
Each activity within the RoE/RoC is designed to demonstrate evidence of the Students level of competence during the treatment of patients. There is the potential that multiple competencies may be demonstrated during the treatment of one patient. To support you with this process, NEBDN has provided two training videos, which can be found on YouTube at:
It is important to note that the training videos available specifically relate to The National Diploma in Dental Nursing Qualification only.