It comes as a great relief to share that there were very positive developments recently at the
Nursing and Midwifery Council at Portland Square.
The NMC Council submitted and approved a proposal to revise the regulator's English language
requirements for applicants for registration with international training. The regulator said it hoped
the changes "a fair and reliable method" to ensure professionals can communicate "safely
and effectively"; in English.
"This move is designed to provide greater flexibility to allow more people to join the UK Nursing
In short, the move aims to provide greater flexibility to accommodate more people on the UK
Nursing Register without compromising the high standard of English language skills required for
nursing. As a result, many nurses qualified abroad fail the NMC's language tests and are unable to
register despite years of working as medical assistants in the UK. Currently, people joining the
register must demonstrate their English proficiency by studying English, working in an English-
language role as a nurse or midwife, or taking a recognised English language test (the International
English Language Test).
While the NMC won't change the overall score required for language tests, it has approved technical
changes it says will make the system more flexible from next year. It will " the minimum
score it will accept when individuals are asked to combine two English language test scores and
extend the period during which applicants can combine their test scores from 6 months to 12
months. It will allow employers to provide "evidence" of English proficiency if the
applicant has practiced English in a country where English is not the primary language, or if the
individual "near misses"; an English language test.
The two changes are aimed at giving a group of employees who are stuck in unregistered positions
after failing a language test and whose pay grades do not match their skills, qualifications or
experience, a greater chance of registering. For years, there have been concerns that the standard of
English required to pass the test is too strict and that many native English speakers struggle to pass
This news can only be good for the workforce, career development and, most importantly, patient