Call for evidence to assess nurses' place on the shortage occupation list

immigration passport stamp

05 / 11 / 2015 3.09pm

Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is gathering evidence for their partial review of the shortage occupation list, to assess whether there is a national shortage of nurses. 

We are engaging with employers to collate nursing workforce data and build a robust submission to MAC on behalf of employers in the NHS. 

A survey for HR / nursing directors will be available week commencing Monday 16 November about the supply and demand of qualified / registered nurses in all areas of nursing (adult, mental health, child and learning disabilities). Please help us by completing this survey to the best of your knowledge.  

We would also urge employers to submit their own evidence of nursing shortages at a local level directly to the MAC. There is a risk that the interim measure to include nursing on the shortage occupation list will be revoked if we cannot robustly demonstrate nursing shortages are on the scale that we know exists. 

Responses must be with the MAC by 31 December 2015. They can be sent directly to If you would be happy to share your response with the workforce supply team at NHS Employers, please also copy your submission to

More detail about MAC and nurses on the shortage occupation list

In February 2015, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) recommended against the inclusion of nurses on the shortage occupation list, this was based on the evidence available at the time. 

The fact that the monthly limit on restricted certificates of sponsorship (RCoS) has been reached for each of the last five months since June 2015 means that it has been very difficult for employers to use the resident labour market test route. This is because the salary thresholds used so far to allocate certificates when the limit has been reached are beyond what most employers offer to overseas nurses. 

On 15 October, the Home Secretary agreed to the temporary inclusion of nursing on the shortage occupation list. This is an interim measure whilst the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) conduct a review of nurse supply and demand to determine if nursing should be included on the list beyond this interim period. 

The full call for evidence documentation can be downloaded on

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