Changes to language test requirements for nurses and midwives

Writing on paper

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has accepted the proposed changes to the requirements for overseas nurses and midwives taking the International English Language Test System (IELTS).

There will still be a requirement of an overall 7 for international registration, however as of the 5 December 2018, the NMC will accept level 6.5 in writing, alongside a level 7 in reading, listening and speaking. 

Candidates with IELTS results under two years old that meet the new requirements will be considered by the regulator. 

The NMC has said that the change is in line with its commitment to better, safer care and will ensure that only nurses and midwives with the right skills, knowledge and command of English are able to register to work in the UK. 

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: "Good communication between nurses, midwives and patients is of paramount importance to the safety and care of patients.

"We are really pleased that the NMC continues to carefully progress reforms to the system of language testing, and believe these recommendations balance the need to protect the public with improved access for much needed nursing talent."

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