Wednesday 25 May 2022 6:29 AM UTC
LONDON May 25: At a meeting on 26 May, the National Midwifery Council will consider approving a consultation on proposed changes to the NMC’s English language requirements, with a view to implementing any resulting changes from October this year.
It plans to consult on three specific changes – the scores it accepts for language tests, whether it can accept evidence of non-registered practice in English supported by an employer reference or other evidence, and whether it can accept non-nursing or midwifery postgraduate qualifications taught and examined in English.
It also plans to consult on whether the English language requirements should be the same for internationally trained nurses, nursing associates and midwives.
The NMC currently accepts three types of English language evidence – recent achievement of the required score in accepted English language tests; completion of a pre-registration nurse, midwife or nursing associate programme that was taught and examined in English, and included clinical interaction in English; and recent practice for one year in a majority English speaking nation.
The consultation of the English language requirements will take place until September 2022.
The NMC will then use feedback from representatives, employers, test providers and professionals on their register who have direct lived experience of the English language processes to understand the impact of the current guidance and identify areas where improvements can be made.
In the coming months NMC will be holding a public consultation on the proposals supported by the external advisory group.
If the recommendations are accepted then hundreds of internationally qualified nurses those who are on Band 2, 3 and 4 for more than three years will be recognised as a registered and qualified nurses.
At present the Nursing and Midwifery Council of the UK requires that international nurses demonstrate proficiency in the English language by:
A current achievement of the required score in one of the English language tests it accepts. Applicants may combine two test scores if taken within six months of each other.
Completion of a pre-registration nurse, midwife, or nursing associate program that was taught and also examined in English, and included clinical interaction in English
Recent practice for one year in a majority English speaking nation
However, many nurses cannot meet the required score to practice as nurses even though they hold post-graduate qualifications taught in English or have worked in the health sector already. There have also been concerns raised about some countries whose primary language is English but are not recognized among the list of accepted English-speaking countries.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council has thus formed an external advisory group to help identify any potential amendment to the requirements. It has asked its council to accept a public consultation on the proposal which will consist of three specific changes:
A change in the accepted score including how applicants can combine scores across test sittings and the minimum score required
Whether it can accept evidence of non-registered practice in English supported by an employer reference or other evidence.
Whether it can accept non-nursing or midwifery post-graduate that are taught and also examined in English
Dr. Agimol Pradeep, liver transplant coordinator at King’s College Hospital, and Dr. Dilla Davis, nursing lecturer at the University of Salford, have been campaigning on behalf of numerous India-trained nurses who have not been able to pass the test despite working as healthcare assistants in the UK.
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