Your mentor journey starts here

This toolkit is intended to facilitate the recruitment of mentors with personal values that contribute to the development of the future workforce, ensuring that they have the skills to both deliver safe and effective patient care and become the competent, compassionate, caring professionals envisaged by the Francis Report (2013)

  • The 6 C’s

    A three year vision and strategy called Compassion
    in Practice launched by the Chief Nursing Officer
    for England in 2012 was aimed at building a culture
    of compassionate care for nursing, midwifery
    and care staff.

    The strategy is based around six values - care, compassion, courage, communication, competence and commitment referred to as the 6 C’s.

    The vision is to embed these values throughout the NHS to deliver high quality compassionate care and to achieve excellent health and wellbeing outcomes.

    Through role modelling you will be able to support and encourage learners to adopt these values and incorporate them into their everyday practice.

    Watch the video below for an overview as to how
    you can embed the 6 C’s into your practice.

  • Preceptorship Period

    Nurses and Midwives who intend to take on the role of mentor must have developed their own knowledge, skills and competence beyond registration through continuing professional development i.e. been registered for at least one year.

    Within the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Professional Code (2015) all nurses and midwives must  support students’ learning to help them develop their professional competence and confidence. This role without any formal mentor preparation is often referred to as a “Buddy” and is good experience towards becoming a mentor.

  • Qualified Mentor

    A mentor’s role according to the NMC is to facilitate learning, and supervise and assess students in a practice setting (NMC, 2008). Going beyond teaching knowledge and skills it also involves being an excellent role model and demonstrating leadership skills.

    It is essential for students to be mentored by practitioners who have a strong professional identity in order to develop the student’s own required knowledge, skills, behaviours and ethical grounding. This Master-Apprenticeship relationship encourages learning from and through each other in a spirit of collaborative enquiry. There are studies which have demonstrated that there is the potential for poor practice to be perpetuated by students working with weak mentors who are struggling with their own self esteem.

    “What you see in your role model-mentors will live with you for life” (Willis Commission, 2012)

    This toolkit is to be used to select practitioners ready to take on this important role of supporting others as advocated by the Willis Commission (2012) focusing on knowledge, skills and motivation.

  • Quality Learning Environments

    The most successful learning experiences take place in positive practice environments where high standards and good outcomes are achieved because organisational and individual learning are valued and encouraged. Investment in creating positive practice environments pays off by enhanced staff recruitment, retention and effectiveness, which leads to safer practice and better care (Willis Commission, 2012).

    Mentors are pivotal in contributing to a supportive learning environment through the facilitation of quality learning experiences taking into account a student’s individual needs and requirements.

    This toolkit is to be used to identify potential
    mentors with the right values and behaviours to
    take on this role to support students within a
    quality learning environment.

  • Learners Fit for Practice & Purpose

    Learners need to be passionate about becoming a nurse or midwife. They should have good manners, be self-aware, show courage, humanity and humility.

    The ability to be an independent learner and seek learning opportunities is fundamental to effective development. However, they need to be mentored by excellent mentors who have strong professional identities and are excellent role models.

    Although it is expected that the mentor must take responsibility for facilitating the learning experience (NMC, 2008), it is a two way process and student expectations and attitudes, personal characteristics and behaviours are all fundamentally important in ensuring a positive learning experience (Corrin, 2013).

    Please click here to listen to a selection of students and junior Doctors talk of their experiences of mentorship and supervision.


    The NHS aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism in the provision of high quality care that is safe, effective and focused on patient experience.

    Source: The NHS Constitution (2013).

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