Overseas Nurses Offered new Computer-based English Test at Home

Starting October 10th, nurses and midwives who have taken their basic qualification overseas will be able to take a language test of English proficiency on their own computers at home. The NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council), UK, has announced it will accept results from a new computer-based way of completing the Occupational English Test (OET) from the comfort of the applicant’s own home.

In order to join the UK register, applicants have to meet the NMC’s English language standards, by getting minimum scores in the OET or the IELTS.

Having completed a successful pilot from OET, the NMC has announced it will be accepting the new OET@Home test scores to demonstrate English language competency from 10th October 2020 onwards. Instead of having to sit for the test at a test centre, candidates may now take the test on their computer at home. The OET@Home initiative uses the same test material, format, tasks and activities as the test venue centres.

The bookings for the new testing initiative will commence toward the end of September.

Additionally, starting 19 September, the NMC will be accepting the new OET computer-based test, which permits overseas nurses to take the test on a computer at a test centre instead of on paper.

Regardless of whether the OET is carried out on paper, on a computer at test venues or via the new home-based test, test fees and waiting time for results will remain the same.

However, the NMC has stated it will not be accepting the results of the IELTS at home test. They feel that its security measures are not comparable to those in place for the face-to-face test, and have stated that they do not meet the standards that are required for registration.

Stating that overseas nursing and midwifery professionals are an essential and valued part of the UK workforce, Emma Broadbent, director of professional regulation for the NMC, stated that she was pleased to be able to offer greater flexibility for candidates to demonstrate their English language proficiency.

OET nurses worldwide have been affected by the pandemic over the past six months, and have been greatly challenged in their pursuit of an overseas career. A multi-modal approach to test delivery with paper-based and computer-based testing at venues and home leads to greater choice and opens up more opportunities for them to pursue their dreams of working in the United Kingdom.

Due to the pandemic, there is an increased need for foreign-educated nurses with acceptable communication skills in English to provide high quality and safe care in the UK.

To know more about the OET@Home initiative, contact the counselors at MWT Education Consultancy.

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