Changes to the NMC overseas registration process


05 / 8 / 2014 5.26pm

Changes to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) overseas registration process will take effect in October 2014 for applicants educated from outside of the European Union and European Economic Area.

The new process will replace the overseas nursing programme (ONP) and adaptation to midwifery programme (AMP). From October 2014, applicants will be tested for competence through a new two part process:

  1. Part one - computer based multiple-choice examination which will be accessible in many countries around the world for applicants to access in their home countries.
  2. Part two - practical objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) will always be held in the UK.
  3. The new process will also not require applicants to complete a period of supervised practice, therefore the importance of establishing a quality and well structured induction and socialisation period will be more critical. Find out what employers are doing to support their workforce from overseas and to address the cultural differences in our series of case studies (see related links).
The cost of the tests has yet to be agreed, we will keep employers informed as more information becomes available.

Implications for sponsorship / immigration status

Unlike the current registration process, an applicant may not require a sponsor or employer to complete the process. Applicants will be able to enter the UK via the business visitor  route of the immigration system to take the OSCE. If an individual enters the UK as a visitor to sit the OSCE (which will be possible from October), they must return overseas to switch into Tier 2 and apply using a restricted CoS. 

However, if the individual already has a job offer / employer sponsor, they could come to the UK in Tier 2 to begin with and sit the OSCE before starting work. In this instance the date of the OSCE assessment should be considered as the start date on the CoS.

Transitional arrangements for applicants who apply to join the NMC register before the changes take effect:

  • Applications processed before October 2014 will continue to be processed using the NMC current arrangements. Applicants will receive a decision letter requiring them to complete the ONP or AMP withing two years from the date of the decision letter.
  • In October 2014, non-EU/EEA educated applicants who have been issued with a decision letter prior to September 2014 will be informed of the new test of competence and offered a choice of accessing the current programme or the test of competence.
  • For applications received from October 2014, the test of competence will be the only route to registration for non-EU/EEA educated nurses and midwives.
For further information about the application process and the new test of competence please visit the NMC website.

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