NMC announces further improvements to help overseas applicants
10 September 2019
Nurses, midwives and nursing associates applying to join the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register from overseas are set to find the process easier and cheaper than ever before.
As part of the professional regulator’s commitment to improving its approach to overseas registration, the latest changes have been designed to offer a more efficient and streamlined experience and help ensure qualified nursing and midwifery professionals can get into practice where they are needed.
Coming into effect in October 2019, key improvements include:
- Moving from a paper to an online application system from 7 October that provides applicants with a personal account to track their progress instantly.
- Streamlined requirements to confirm a candidate’s competence – for example, instead of asking for training transcripts, the NMC will confirm they hold the qualification that would lead to registration in their home country.
- A redesigned guidance page on the NMC website, including easy read guidelines and a new pre-application checklist tool that can be shared with employers and recruiters.
- A further reduction in the cost of the computer based test (CBT) that overseas nurses, midwives and nursing associates must take to work in the UK. This will be reduced from £90 to £83 from 1 October – a 36% reduction in the total cost since 30 March 2019
Unnecessary delays in registration can mean applicants aren’t able to practice in their chosen profession and it can put them at risk of losing work or, sometimes, having to return home.
The NMC is making these changes to ensure that highly-skilled nursing and midwifery professionals can join the UK workforce as quickly as possible in order to carry out their role of delivering better, safer care for people using health and care services.
The NMC has seen a significant increase – rising from 2,720 last year to 6,157 in March this year – in the number of nurses and midwives joining the register for the first time from outside of the EU.
This follows a number of changes in recent years made by the NMC to better support applicants through the registration process, which included an updated practical examination (OSCE) resit policy (allowing candidates to re-sit only the portion of the exam they failed), improved preparation materials (including a mock examination and marking criteria) and updated English language requirements.
NMC proposes changes to English Language Tests
Proposed change to IELTS requirement to be considered by NMC’s Council next week.
Under the proposal, nurses and midwives will be required to continue to achieve a minimum overall level of 7 in the IELTS test, but in future a level 6.5 in writing would be accepted alongside a level 7 in reading, listening and speaking.
The NMC has consulted widely with stakeholders and heard that despite being able to communicate to a high level in English, many nurses and midwives taking the IELTS test were just missing out on achieving a level 7.
You can read more about it by following this link