Proposed changes to NMC language test requirements

Scrub nurses

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will consider proposed changes to the requirements for overseas nurses taking the International English Language Test System (IELTS) in its council meeting on 28 November.

The NMC has received feedback that despite being able to communicate to a high level in English, many nurses and midwives taking the IELTS test were just missing out on achieving a level 7.

Under the proposal, nurses and midwives will still be required to achieve a minimum overall level 7 in the ILETS test, but a level of 6.5 in writing alongside a level 7 in reading, listening and speaking will be accepted.

The NMC is proposing these changes as part of their extensive review of international registration. If approved, the proposed changes will take effect in the coming weeks.

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."

Why Register?

Great reasons to register with NHS Employers

  • A personalised website
    Manage your profile and select topics of interest to you
  • Access your dashboard
    Bookmark useful content to help you quickly find what you're looking for
  • Get involved
    Contribute to our Talking Points discussions, comment on and rate our webpages
  • Keep up to date
    Receive the latest newsletters and media summaries

Log In