UK NMC Amends the English language requirements!

UK NMC Amends the English language requirements!

UK NMC Amends the English language requirements!

UK NMC to put forward three amendments in the English language requirements for overseas nurses. NMC is expecting to bring these changes in effect from January 2023 at the earliest. Until the new proposals come into effect, professionals looking to join the UK NMC register will need to continue their applications following the current English language requirements.

What are the amendments?

The two language tests: the academic International English Language Test System (IELTS) and the Occupational English Test (OET) and the four domains tested: Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking currently accepted by NMC will be continued.

The three amendments being:

1) The minimum scores accepted to combine the results are reduced.

                     If you don’t pass the first time, you can re-sit and combine scores from two test certificates. Currently, you can’t combine test scores if you achieve less than 6.5 (IELTS) or C+ (OET) or above in any part of the test. As per the amendment, you’ll be able to combine your scores as long as you achieve 6 (IELTS) or C (OET)  or above in writing, and 6.5 (IELTS) or C+ (OET) or above in the other three domains. 

Note: There is no change in the required test scores for each domain in IELTS/OET.

Changes in the minimum required score for combining two IELTS results

IELTS Modules Current Required Score New Minimum Score
Listening 7 6.5
Reading 7 6.5
Writing 6.5 6
Speaking 7 6.5

Changes in the minimum required score for combining two OET results

OET Modules Current Required Score New Minimum Score
Listening B C+
Reading B C+
Writing C+ C
Speaking B C+

2) The period of combining the results raised

To combine your scores, you must currently retake your test within six months of sitting the first test. This will be extended to 12 months to allow for greater flexibility and more time to prepare before retaking the test.

Current Period of Combining the results New Period of combing the results
6 Months 12 Months

3) Employer Letter Accepted

If you have worked for your employer for a minimum of 12 months within the last two years, in practice in a health and social care setting in the UK, supplementary supporting information from your employer that demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively in English will be accepted. The two criteria for accepting the employer letter are:

  • you narrowly miss out on a score in one of the four domains by 0.5 in the IELTS (6 for writing and 6.5 in the other domains) or half a grade in the OET (C in writing and C+ in the other domains); or
  • you were trained and assessed in English in a country where English is not a majority-spoken language.

A standard NMC form will be provided for employers to complete so that consistency can be assured and bias avoided. Your manager will need to be an NMC-registered professional and use this form to provide evidence of your English language competence. A more senior NMC registered professional who’s working for the same employer will also need to counter-sign it.

Note: The acceptance of a candidate submitting an employer letter to the NMC register is not guaranteed.

Source: NMC Official Website

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Comments (6)

  1. Theresa Marfo

    Will want to know if the new ammendments will cover an exams writing in October 2022 in January

    1. Mentor



    OET new Minimum score reduce to C+ in all tests but the writing test score increased C from C+?

    1. Mentor


  3. Amanpreet Kaur

    I got c in writing and b in other modules in two sitting. Still I need to show employer supporting documents?

    1. Mentor


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