The Nursing and Midwifery Council of the UK has asked its Council to approve two key changes to the English language requirement when it meets on 28 September of this year. This follows an eight-week consultation that received more than 34,000 responses across the globe. The consultations were based on first, the approach to testing. Second, other evidence of English language competence should be considered.
After carefully considering the consultation responses, the NMC is proposing to:
- standardize the minimum scores to accept when combining test scores and extend the period for combining test scores from six to 12 months.
This proposal will allow a bit more flexibility for people who need to resit a test while maintaining the high standard of English language proficiency that the public has a right to expect.
Secondly, the NMC proposes to:
- enable employers to provide supporting evidence of English language proficiency.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council plans to accept supporting evidence where an applicant has:
- trained in English in a country where English is not a majority spoken language; or
- narrowly missed passing the English language test.
According to the NMC, this proposal will allow employers to provide objective information and evidence to the Council about someone’s use of English in a health and social care setting in the UK, including evidence from interactions with people who use services. This proposal will provide greater flexibility for people who are already contributing to the health and social care in the UK without affecting the high standard of English language skills needed to deliver safe, kind, and effective care.
When approved by the council, the implementation of the proposed changes will commence in January 2023.