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Supporting and assessing ODP students: your role

On this page you'll find a summary of supervisors' and assessors' responsibilities when working with operating department practitioner (ODP) students.

As a supervisor or assessor, it is important to ensure that student ODPs:

  • are supernumerary
  • are on the duty rota for health and safety reasons
  • are actively engaged in hands-on delivery of care as appropriate
  • are allocated a practice assessor
  • receive ongoing feedback regarding performance and achievement
  • participate in the 24-hour cycle of care.

At the same time, we do acknowledge that students have responsibilities. These are clearly stated in their practice assessment booklets.

Your role in student assessment

The assessment process must contain the following stages:

Supporting the failing student

Occasionally, students do not meet the required standard and it is necessary to fail them. In this event, it is important that students know why they have not met the pass criteria and that they have been given an opportunity to improve at the formative stage.

It is therefore essential to:

  • have robust and transparent processes in place
  • investigate why your student may be having difficulties
  • compile comprehensive documentation as evidence
  • use support networks
  • pick up problems early
  • use Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely, (SMART) objectives
  • set clear review dates
  • make clear action plans.

See the documents below for examples of completed action plans.

Action plans supporting the underachieving student (PDF download)

Action plans to support students who are progressing well (PDF download)

Cause for concern

If concerns still continue following the review of an action plan, fill in a 'Cause for Concern' form which you will find in the student's practice assessment booklet.

This form must not be removed from the document. For an example of this and the process to follow please see our flow chart document.

It is important that you have discussed your concerns with the student and supported his/her development with an action plan before completing the Cause for Concern form. Exceptions to this are when there is a serious untoward incident when the HEI must be informed immediately and a Cause for Concern form completed.

Constructive feedback is essential for student development. Do not wait for formative or summative stages to inform a student of your concerns.

It is essential that evidence is provided to support your concern when submitting a 'Cause for Concern' form to your education champion.