Change to English language requirements approved by NMC

By Hollie Ewers on 28 November 2018 NMC - Nursing and Midwifery Council Education

Proposals to change the requirements for overseas midwives and nurses taking the International English Language Test System (IELTS) have been given the go-ahead by the NMC.

Midwives and nurses will still be required to achieve a minimum overall level of 7 in the test. However, a level 6.5 in writing will be accepted alongside a level 7 in reading, listening and speaking.

The decision follows widespread engagement with key stakeholders, who told the NMC 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.

The change is in line with the NMC’s commitment to better, safer care and will ensure that only those midwives and nurses with the right skills, knowledge and command of English are able to work in the UK. The change will take effect from 5 December 2018, and IELTS results under two years old that meet the new requirements will be considered by the regulator.

The amendment is just one part of an extensive review the regulator is undertaking of its international registration processes.

In another announcement by the NMC today (28 November), the council has approved the draft midwifery education standards for public consultation. It plans to begin consulting on the proposals in February 2019.

This will include a number of UK-wide workshops for midwives, women, families, advocacy groups, educators, and other health and care professionals.

There will also be a range of online engagement events including interactive webinars and Twitter chats.

More information on the draft standards is available here