NMC to reopen OSCE test centres this month

Hospital nurse care

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has announced that from 20 July, objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) test centres will reopen.

The move will allow nursing and midwifery professionals trained outside the EEA to complete their tests in a socially distanced way, and tests can be booked at any of the three UK test centres from today (2 July).

Temporary register

Test candidates who have joined the temporary register to support during the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to progress to the permanent register by taking the test, and will receive priority booking.

Candidates can stay on the temporary register and work while they await their test. Once they have been accepted on to the permanent register, conditions on their practice will be removed. 

There is no scheduled date for closure of the temporary register at the moment, but when it does close staff will revert to being candidates and will be required to pass the OSCE before they can practice as a nurse, midwife or nursing associate.

Staff will also be able to remain on the temporary register if they fail their OSCE up to two times. However, the NMC may consider removal from the temporary register if candidates fail a third OSCE or if their first or second OSCE attempt results in a failure that raises serious concern about their clinical competence. Employers will be notified in these cases.

Risk assessments

The NMC has recognised that many candidates for the OSCE are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, and that they have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Risk assessments have been conducted to ensure tests can take place in a safe manner, and supporting BAME staff has been a key consideration in those assessments.

Find more information

You can read the NMC's announcement on its website, and further information in the updated OSCE section.

We have also updated detail in our restarting international recruitment section.

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