The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) recently announced it is changing the English language test requirements for nurses and midwives, trained in the EU/EEA. The changes will increase the flexibility for nurses, who want to work in the UK, whilst ensuring they have the necessary standard of English language required.
Under the previous rules nurses were required to achieve the IELTS Academic Test Level 7 in reading, writing, speaking and listening in a single sitting. Under the new system they are still required to achieve Level 7 in all areas of the exam, but this can now be done over two sittings of the tests. Both tests must be within six months of each other and no single score must be below 6.5 in any of the areas across both tests. IELTS scores are still valid for two years.
If you took IELTS in May, for instance, and didn’t achieve Level 7 in each area of the test (reading, writing, speaking and listening), you can now sit the test again within six months of your first exam. You can use the scores from both tests to satisfy the NMC requirements. However, no individual score can be below 6.5.
NMC Chief Executive and Registrar Jackie Smith said:
IELTS Level 7 provides us and the public with assurance that nurses and midwives applying to join the register from outside the UK meet the appropriate standard of English language required to work in the UK.
“We are mindful of the staffing pressures in the health service and after listening to feedback from stakeholders we have introduced changes to our process.
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