There is good news in store for nurses and midwives who wish to work in the UK! The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has announced that from November 1st 2017 they will start to accept OET scores as proof of English language proficiency for overseas trained nurses who wish to register in the UK.

OET, run jointly by the UK’s Cambridge Assessment English (part of the University of Cambridge) and Australia’s Box Hill Institute, is specifically designed for healthcare professionals and uses true-to-life communication scenarios, similar to the ones healthcare professionals encounter every day.

From 1 November 2017 the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will formally recognise OET – the Occupational English Test – for overseas-trained nurses and midwives who need to prove their level of English proficiency for registration in the UK. As a result, nurses feel more confident taking a test that uses familiar healthcare vocabulary and is based on situational contexts that they would commonly encounter at work. For instance, the speaking skills of a nurse would be assessed via a face-to-face role play that uses a typical nursing scenario, with a trained interlocutor who plays the part of a patient or carer.

OET scores are already accepted by authorities in Australia, Dubai, New Zealand and Singapore, and this well-established test is widely used in the registration of overseas-trained healthcare professionals. Nurses and midwives who have obtained their qualifying degrees outside UK and wish to use OET as proof of proficiency for NMC registration must achieve Grade B across all four sub-tests. The NMC will only accept results from the February 2016 test administration onwards. The Occupational English Test is offered every month in over 40 countries.

OET CEO Sujata Stead stated that: “Regulators and employers can feel confident that healthcare professionals who have achieved the required level in OET for their profession can communicate effectively in the healthcare workplace.”
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