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NMC to accept English language tests at home for overseas-trained nurses

OET home-testing offers greater choice for nurses who want to work in the UK, says regulator
A man looking at a computer screen. The NMC will allow home-based English language testing for overseas-trained nurses from October 2020

OET home-testing option offers greater flexibility for nurses who want to work in the UK, says regulator

Overseas-qualified nurses wishing to work in the UK will soon be able to take the required English language test in their own home.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has announced that from October 2020 it will accept an Occupation English Test (OET) taken on a computer in a candidates own home. Previously the exam could only be taken in person at test centres.

Language test at home covers reading, writing, speaking and listening

The OET@Home test will use the same format and material as those taken at test centres, covering reading, writing, listening and speaking.

The home test will cost about 325, the same as a test centre OET, with results provided after

OET home-testing option offers greater flexibility for nurses who want to work in the UK, says regulator

A man looking at a computer screen. The NMC will allow home-based English language testing for overseas-trained nurses from October 2020
Picture: iStock

Overseas-qualified nurses wishing to work in the UK will soon be able to take the required English language test in their own home.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has announced that from October 2020 it will accept an Occupation English Test (OET) taken on a computer in a candidate’s own home. Previously the exam could only be taken in person at test centres.

Language test at home covers reading, writing, speaking and listening

The OET@Home test will use the same format and material as those taken at test centres, covering reading, writing, listening and speaking.

The home test will cost about £325, the same as a test centre OET, with results provided after 14 days.

NMC director of professional regulation Emma Broadbent said the regulator welcomed the extra flexibility home-based testing would offer overseas-trained nurses.  

‘I am pleased we are able to offer greater flexibility for candidates to demonstrate they meet our English language standards,’ she said.

Greater choice for overseas-trained nurses

The NMC only permits overseas-qualified nurses to join the UK register if they pass the OET or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or if their preregistration nurse training was conducted in English.

Bookings for the OET@Home test will open in late September, with tests to be held from mid-October.

The IELTS exam will still be carried out in test centres.

OET chief executive officer Sujata Stead said the new option will give nurses greater choice and convenience when applying to work in the UK.

‘The pandemic has further highlighted the need for foreign-educated nurses with communication skills in English to provide high quality and safe care,’ she said.


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