• Competence is inferred from performance (Uys, 2003; Fukada, 2018) which is safe, compassionate and confident.

  • Competence has an associated number of assessment criteria which are underpinned by evidence-based practice and determined by statutory, regulatory and organizational requirements.

  • Assessment of competence is an on-going process which begins during hiring and orientation to the work place. 
  • Assessment of competence continues throughout the nurse/midwife’s career.

  • The holistic assessment of competence must be verified through a range of evidence, which includes professional knowledge, practice, behaviors and technical skills.

  • Evidence of competence is embedded in practice and can be measured directly, for example through observation of a nurse or midwife performing a role, and indirectly, such as through simulated performance or a written or verbal description of the performance (see page 12, Nursing and Midwifery Confirmation of Clinical Competence Evidence).

  • Assessment of competence must take account of the legal, ethical and professional aspects of the delivery of care such as critical thinking and appropriate behaviors in the work setting.

Nurses and midwives evidence their competence through their overall performance of care that is compassionate, confident and safe.

Compassionate
Recognizing patients’ needs and providing patient centered care that is morally and ethically acceptable, with consideration for a patient’s preference and individual needs (Bramley and Matiti 2014, NMER, 2019, Perez-Bret et al 2016).
Confident
An important quality of a nurse to consistently deliver efficient care, with certainty and competence, rooted from experience and correct practice (Missen et al 2015, NMER 2019).
Safe
Practicing in an environment that protects patients and healthcare provider from physical and emotional harm, using well-functioning resources and following evidence-based standards to ensure efficient and high-quality patient care (Gun-Britt et al 2016, NMER 2019).