The nursing and midwifery council (NMC) will determine what those changes are. We are here to keep you informed and updated with changes within the industry. As of 2023, two major changes will take place.
The minimum scores will be standardized when they accept the combined score and extend the period from 6 months to a year; and there will also be circumstances where applicants will be able to provide additional information from their current employers as evidence of their English language proficiency. These changes will take effect as early as January 2023.
Combination of Test Scores: There are two language tests that are accepted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council: the academic International English Language Test System (IELTS) and the Occupational English Test (OET). The required passing scores have not changed across the four domains.
Table 1: Current required scores for English language tests
If you were unsuccessful in the first sitting, you are able to retake the test and combine the scores from the two test certificates. Each applicant must still achieve the required test scores for each domain; to combine 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. This means you’ll be able to combine your scores as long as you achieve 6 (IELTS) or C / 250 or above (OET) in writing, and 6.5 (IELTS) or C+ / 300 or above (OET) in the other three domains. That will be known as the minimum score.
Table 2: New minimum scores for each part of the test
Supporting: As of 2023, supporting documentation from your employer demonstrating your ability to communicate effectively in English in a practice setting if you:
- Miss out on a score in one of the four domains by 0.5 in the IELTS (6 for writing and 6.5 in the other domains) or half a grade in the OET (C / 250 or above in writing and C+ / 300 or above in the other domains); or
- were trained and assessed in English in a country where English is not the majority spoken language.
It is required that you have worked for your employer for a minimum of 12 months within the last two years in practice in a health and social care setting in the UK. A manager will need to be an NMC-registered professional and use this form to provide evidence of your English language competence, along with having a senior NMC registered professional countersign it from the same institution.
“It’s important to note that while we’ll carefully consider supporting information from your employer, we cannot guarantee that we’ll accept you onto the register,” as stated on the website of the nursing and midwifery council.