Definition: A period of structured transition for the preceptee during which he or she will be supported by a preceptor, to develop confidence as an autonomous professional, refine skills, values, attitudes and behaviours and to continue on a journey of lifelong learning (adapted from Department of Health (DH), 2010)

The Preceptorship Framework comprises three elements:

  • two preceptorship standards
  • an audit tool to support the monitoring of the standards
  • a self-assessment tool identifying the essential skill set for preceptors.

These elements have been developed to support the effective implementation of preceptorship within organisations employing nurses, midwives and scphns. The Preceptorship Framework should be used in conjunction with relevant legislative and statutory requirements, including organisational policies, procedures, systems and processes.

Standards for Preceptorship in Nursing and Midwifery

Standard Statement - Preceptorship Implementation

Standard Statement - Preceptorship Governance

Learning Agreement

In order to formalise the preceptorship process, it is recommended that a learning agreement is completed for each preceptee. This will enable the line manager, preceptor and preceptee to understand their individual roles in the preceptorship process and will provide a formal record to assist with auditing and evaluating the process. A generic learning agreement template is available to download here

Preceptorship Portfolio

The preceptorship process should not exceed a period of six months (except in exceptional circumstances). The preceptor should introduce the preceptee to the organisation’s portfolio documentation, which will be used to help the preceptee gather evidence to record learning and development and reflect on practice. The preceptee’s line manager is also responsible for encouraging completion of his/her portfolio. Preceptees may already have commenced an online portfoilio as a nursing or midwifery student at https://nipecportfolio.hscni.net.  This portfolio can continue to be used by the preceptee, just follow the onscreen instructions and enter NMC PIN details.

Audit and Evaluation

The Preceptorship Framework will be audited annually within organisations against the standards for preceptorship.