Here’s What You Need To Know About The NMC’s LENIENT Update.
In order to work as a nurse or midwife in the U.K., you must pass the NMC’s language test requirements. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the U.K.'s professional regulator for nursing and midwifery professions. It was established in 2002, to protect and keep the public safe by ensuring that the nurses and midwives who wish to work in the U.K. are qualified, competent, and well-experienced in their chosen profession. The exam also ensures that workers will be able to communicate well with their patients and colleagues and establish trust among them. The NMC sets standards for these healthcare practitioners’ education, training, and performance. It also maintains their registration that they are eligible to practice within the U.K.
Last September 28, the Council announced the approval of the proposed changes in the English language requirement for nurses and midwives aiming to join the register. The NMC stated that these changes will be implemented in early 2023. However, the exact implementation date is still in talks. Currency, takers are required to get these scores if they’re aiming to join the register: You need to get a score of at least 6.5 in Writing and at least 7.0 in Listening, Reading, and Speaking for IELTS. For OET, you need at least C+ in Writing and at least B in Listening, Reading, and Speaking.
These tests are quite challenging and crucial for nurses, but this is considered one of the main ways how you can show your ability to communicate well in English when applying to join the NMC register. The NMC allows you to resit and combine your scores from two test certificates if you didn’t pass the first time. However, you can’t combine test scores if you achieve less than 6.5 for IELTS or C+ for OET in any part of the test. These scores are already the required score for writing. Therefore, there’s no flexibility for this part of the test.
WHAT’S NEW? Starting in early 2023, in combining test scores, you’ll need to get no less than 0.5 (IELTS) or half a grade (OET) below the required score for every domain. The new minimum scores accepted for each test are at least 6 in Writing and at least 6.5 in Listening, Reading, and Speaking for IELTS. For OET, you need at least C (250 to 290) in Writing and at least C+ (300 to 340) in Listening, Reading, and Speaking.
This will be implemented by the NMC to make sure you don’t score too far below what is required in any test sitting. Currently, you must retake your test within six (6) months of sitting the first test to combine your scores; the good news is that the NMC will extend this period to 12 months to have more time to prepare before retaking the test.
These lenient changes will really be helpful so that more and more aspiring UK healthcare workers can join the NMC. Yet, thorough preparation is still encouraged in order for you to pass your language tests even on the first try. There are institutions and even readily available materials with the tap of a finger to help you. IELTS and OET’s official websites have a lot of available assistance to guide and support you in taking your exam. There’s no easy way when it comes to achieving your dreams. Yet, you are truly the one who can and will make that happen. Best of luck in pursuing your career in the U.K.!