Standards & Guidance

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Principle 5: collaboration with others


This principle focuses on collaboration, team-working, communication and documentation.



  1. Professional relationships with colleagues are based on mutual respect and trust.
  2. Nurses and midwives share responsibility with colleagues for providing safe, quality healthcare. They work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients.
  3. Nurses and midwives recognise that effective and consistent documentation is an integral part of their practice and a reflection of the standard of an individual’s professional practice. They support the ethical management of the documentation and communication of care.
  4. Nurses and midwives recognise their role in delegating care appropriately and in providing supervision.

Standards of conduct

  1. You must communicate and work with colleagues to provide safe, quality healthcare to patients. You must consult with the patient and refer them to the appropriate healthcare professional for further treatment if this is required. This should be done in a timely manner to ensure continuity of care.
  2. Your documentation and communication of care should be carried out in a clear, objective, accurate and timely manner within a legal and ethical framework. This includes the appropriate use of information technology and social media.
  3. You should address differences of professional opinion with colleagues by discussion and informed debate in a timely and appropriate manner.
  4. If the safety or wellbeing of a patient or colleague is affected or put at risk by another colleague’s actions, omissions or incompetence, you must first take appropriate action to protect people from harm. You should then immediately report the conduct to your manager, employer and, if necessary, the relevant regulatory body.
  5. You must support junior colleagues and nursing, midwifery and other healthcare students in the learning and ongoing development of their professional values, practice and conduct.
  6. In your role of guiding and directing student nurses or midwives you must take responsibility for the care they provide. This involves supporting learning, teaching, supervising, assessing practice and taking action to address concerns where they are identified.
  7. You should ensure that the patient understands the role of the student nurse or midwife and that the student is supervised by a registered nurse or midwife.
  8. You are accountable if you decide to delegate a nursing or midwifery task to someone who is not a registered nurse or midwife.
  9. If you delegate tasks or roles, you should provide comprehensive and effective assessment and planning, communication, monitoring and supervision, and evaluation and feedback.

Supporting  guidance

We have published the following professional guidance documents. These are key sources for this principle.

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Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Nurses and Registered Midwives

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