What is the Nursing and Midwifery Council?

The Nursing and Midwifery Council regulate nurses and midwives in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The NMC ensure that skills and knowledge of the profession are up to standard, also maintaining a register of all who are allowed to practice in the UK.

In March 2015 new UK legislation (The Health Care and Associated Professions Order 2015) was approved which introduced new requirements relating to English language competence for certain professions including nurses and midwives.

The NMC ran a consultation period between 1st June 2015 and 21st August 2015.

The NMC has now published new requirements of evidence of language competence for all EU Trained nurses and midwives wishing to join or re-enter the register from 18th January 2016.

As of the 18th January 2016 all EU trained nurses and midwives will need to provide evidence they have the necessary knowledge of English as a prerequisite for registration with the NMC.

All EU trained applicants to the nurses or midwives part of the register must complete and provide evidence of the International English Language Test (IELTS) before finalising their application with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

You must complete the academic version of the IELTS test and achieve

  • At least 7.0 in the listening and Academic reading sections
  • At least 7.0 in the Academic writing and speaking sections
  • At least 7.0 (out of a possible 9) overall
  • NMC will not accept applicants who score lower than this standard.

In July 2017 the NMC relaxed the IELTS requirement slightly
allowing nurses to combine two IELTS test certificates

Applicants may provide two IELTS test certificates to meet the above requirements, but must not have scored below 6.5 in any categories, in either of the test sittings.

The two test sittings must be taken within six months of each other to be considered.

IELTS scores are valid for two years.

We will not accept applicants who score lower than this standard.

For example: if an applicant took an IELTS test and sat the test again within six months, they can use the scores from both tests to satisfy our requirements. However, no individual score can be below 6.5.

 

Example scenarios

Example 1

Test 1

  • Listening – 7
  • Reading – 7.5
  • Writing – 6.5
  • Speaking – 7

Test 2

  • Listening – 6.5
  • Reading – 7
  • Writing – 7.5
  • Speaking – 8

This application would be accepted.
The applicant has scored 7 in all categories, and no score is lower than 6.5.

 

Example 2

Test 1

  • Listening – 6
  • Reading – 7.5
  • Writing – 6.5
  • Speaking – 7

Test 2

  • Listening – 6.5
  • Reading – 7
  • Writing – 7.5
  • Speaking – 7.5

This application would not be accepted.
The applicant has a score lower than 6.5.