Fraud case puts hundreds of nurses’ competency tests in doubt
Hundreds of NMC registrants will be asked to retake the test and 48 will be under further investigation after ‘proxy testers’ found at Nigerian test centre
An investigation into a nursing test centre in Nigeria has uncovered widespread fraudulent activity with dozens of UK registrants suspected of obtaining their results fraudulently, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has confirmed.
Investigation found evidence of proxy testers
The investigation into Yunnik Technologies test centre also uncovered hundreds of applicants to the NMC register who are believed to have obtained fraudulent results.
It comes after Pearson VUE, which runs a computer-based test (CBT) of competence programme on behalf of the NMC, alerted the regulator of ‘anomalous’ data at the test centre in May this year. In total, more than 1,950 candidates took their CBT at the centre.
An initial investigation found evidence of ‘proxy testers’ at the site, indicating someone has taken the test on behalf of someone else. Of the 515 professionals on the UK register who took their test at the centre, 48 are suspected to have gained fraudulent or incorrect entry to the register.
Each of them will now be referred to an investigating committee to determine if they gained fraudulent entry to the register. They will be offered three chances to take and pass a new CBT and will be given the opportunity to provide the investigating committee with information about the circumstances in which they took the initial test at Yunnik.
If they are found to have fraudulently gained registration, they will be removed from the register.
All registrants tested at the Yunnik centre will be required to retake the test
All other CBT results are being treated as invalid. The remaining 467 professionals on the register who took the test at the centre will need to resit the test.
Additionally, 669 individuals out of 1,440 who have applied to the UK register after taking their test at the centre are suspected to be fraudulent applicants, according to the NMC.
They will be required to obtain a new CBT result to complete their application, which will then be assessed by the NMC to consider if they meet the regulator’s character requirements for safe and effective practice. The remaining 771 applicants will also have to resit the CBT.
All candidates will have their retake fees covered
NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe said: ‘We understand this continues to be a distressing time for people facing uncertainty about their application or place on our register. We’re committed to managing these concerns in the safest and fairest way we can.’
Pearson VUE vice-president for Europe, Middle East, and Africa and Asia Matthew Poyiadgi said: ‘Pearson VUE fully supports the NMC in the actions taken to uphold the integrity of the competency test.
‘For all testing companies, threats to test integrity are rapidly evolving and attempted proxy testing is an unfortunate, periodic occurrence.’
Pearson VUE will cover all the candidates’ exam fees. If someone refuses to resit the CBT or fails after three retake attempts, they will be referred to an investigating committee.
In other news