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Context of Practice


This framework defines three main requirements to be considered by both organisations employing nurses or midwives and individual registrants that underpin and ensure the safety and effectiveness of any decision to delegate tasks and duties. They are:

  • Care and Practice Environments

    Care and Practice Environments

    Are organised to support effective decision making processes. This requirement includes:

      • ensuring safe nurse/ midwife staffing ratios
      • appropriately skilled and developed staff to meet required standards(1)
      • appropriate provision of resources to meet required standards
      • appropriate organisation of care or practice
      • appropriate environments for practice, care and treatment to be provided.


    (1) Each ‘task’ will have a described optimal standard of process and procedure which must be achieved to ensure safety, quality and person-centredness.

  • Organisational Governance arrangements

    Organisational governance arrangements are in place to support effective delegation decisions.

    This requirement includes:

      • provision of policies and procedures
      • accessibility for staff to organisational policy and procedure documents including clinical and professional standards
      • accessibility of appropriate job descriptions
      • accessibility of appropriate learning and development opportunities for all staff
      • processes for immediate raising and escalating of concerns.
  • Professional Legislative and Regulatory requirements

    Professional, legislative and regulatory requirements that confer responsibility and accountability on registered and non-registered staff across and between organisations are considered. This requirement includes consideration of:

      • the NMC and other regulatory codes in decision making
      • accountability for decisions to delegate
      • accountability for deeming the delegatee competent at the point of decision making
      • accountability for confirming that the delegated task has met the required standard of outcome
      • the scope of non-delegable tasks and duties for example: midwifery practice, prescribing and detention under mental health legislation.