Axia Digital is again sponsoring the annual NET networking for education and health care conference being held at Churchill College, Cambridge.

The conference is the first one to take place since the launch of the new Nursing standards and there are several presentations highlighting the work of the pan area groups, which are now developing regional practice assessment documents across the country.

Creating pan area assessment documents based on the pan London document now appears to be a given. Indeed, there is momentum to create a national document. Several partnerships are also planning to have a digital version of the new assessment document(s) when they are finalised.

The session on ‘Partnership Working’ at the conference demonstrated how much progress had been made with pan area projects. It is a major step forward that nurse practitioner and academics are taking control of the process of introducing the new standards rather than having the process dictated to them.

It also highlighted some of the opportunities that would be presented by having a comprehensive data set of assessment practice, that would be easier to access and review because it was online. There was a commitment at the workshop to not only replicate the paper document but to explore innovative approaches to assessment.

Some of the challenges were also acknowledged. Various presenters made a plea to ensure that there was a consistency with respect to the roles of those involved in assessment. In our experience this is particularly necessary for academic staff, who are often caught between the demands on them from their host Universities and their students/mentors. Digital assessment potentially provides an answer because it does reduce the time checking portfolios, as well as enabling those portfolios to be accessed throughout the year. However, those benefits are only delivered if there is clarity about the role of what is to be called the academic advisor.

Chris Peat our Customer Services Director who is attending the conference comments,

‘It is great to hear how partnerships are being established across the UK. We welcome these developments and we are here to let Universities know that we can support whatever approach to digital assessment that they decide to adopt, whether it be as individual university, as part of an area-based pan assessment group or a mixture of both.’