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How does the New Test of Competence affect International Nurses?

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NMC has announced the new Test of Competence (ToC) to be introduced on Monday 2 August 2021.

The new ToC will reflect new Future Nurse and Future Midwife standards, ensuring that all those delivering care in the UK will meet the same high standards, regardless of where they are trained or how long they’ve been out of practice. Other changes we previously announced include:

  • Splitting the computer-based test (CBT) into two parts - Part A will cover numeracy and Part B will cover nursing or midwifery theory

  • The new practical part of the test, the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) will have ten stations rather than six. It will assess additional skills as well as the candidate’s values and behaviours, and evidence-based practice.

As part of their commitment to uphold the highest standards of care, the new ToC makes sure professionals who trained overseas, and some professionals who want to re-join the register after time away from practice, have the right skills and knowledge to practise safely.

Linda Everet, Interim Deputy Director, Professional Regulation, said,“I am pleased to announce the launch date for our new test of competence as part of our wider efforts to ensure our nursing and midwifery professionals deliver the safe, kind and effective care we all want to see. We also know how important it is that people taking the new test get the support they need. That’s why we’ve worked closely with our partners, employers and recruitment agencies to get the right support and guidance in place so that people with the right skills and knowledge can join our register as quickly as possible.”


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