NMC English Language Requirement Questions & Answers session with Dr Agimol Pradeep (Videos)
Tuesday 7 February 2023 8:14 AM UTC
LONDON Feb 5: Dr Agimol Pradeep, who is the member of NMC English Language Review Expert Advisory Group, answers queries in regards to the new changes brought in by the Nursing & Midwifery Council of UK in a new video released today.
Agimol Pradeep is winner of the prestigious ‘Nurse of Year’ award from the British Journal of Nursing. University of Salford awarded a PhD Degree to Agimol for her research work entitled ‘Increasing Organ Donation’. She was awarded the MBE for meritorious service in organ donation. Dr Agimol Pradeep is also NMC English Language Review Expert Advisory Group Member.
Changes to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s English language requirements will start to be implemented at the beginning of February, it has been announced.
During a meeting of the NMC’s governing council the regulator said the new changes were set to be fully operationalised by the summer. The move follows an eight-week consultation, which received a record-breaking 34,000 responses, and approval from the regulator’s governing council last year.
To pass the English-language test, an applicant needs to achieve a score of B in the Occupational English Test (OET), or 7 in the alternative International English Language Testing System (IELTS) advanced exam, in each of the listening, speaking and reading parts of the test, and C+ or 6.5 in the writing domain.
Under the changes, the NMC will now accept combined test results as long as no part of the test is scored more than half a grade or point below the minimum required for the respective domains – which lowers the minimum score for writing to C or 6.
Additionally, the regulator is also extending the period in which a person can combine their test scores, from six months to 12 months, to allow for greater flexibility and more time to prepare before retaking the test.
The other change that will come into effect is that the NMC will allow applicants who have worked in a UK health or care setting for 12 out of the last 24 months to submit an employer reference as evidence of English-language proficiency instead of a test.
This option will be available to applicants who have trained in English in a “non-majority English speaking country”, and those who only just miss the required score on an OET or IELTS test.
During the meeting Matthew McClelland, executive director for strategy and insight at the NMC, said: “We do expect that whilst maintaining a really high standard of English score, which is required for safe and effective practice, this will allow more people to join the register.”
Mr McClelland added that test combining and allowing supplementary information if you have trained in English in a non-majority English speaking country, would “go live at the start of February”.
He said: “As always with changes like this, we’re testing the IT right up until the last minute, so we can’t give an exact date until we have the green light from that process, but as I say we’re expecting it in Feb.”
Meanwhile, accepting supplementary information from employers for people who have just missed out on a test score, “will come a little bit later in the year” due to technical changes that are required to implement the change, Mr McClelland said.
It comes as the number of internationally trained nursing staff in the UK is increasing rapidly, with nurses coming from abroad accounting for nearly half those who registered for the first time in the last six months, according to the NMC.
The regulator confirmed during the meeting that relevant individuals, who were either waiting to re-sit the test or who were appealing their test scores, will be notified of the changes, where appropriate.
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