The Nursing and midwifery council of the UK issued a recent update on the English language competency requirements for health professionals seeking to migrate to the UK.  

With over 34,000 responses from the general public, professionals, businesses, and essential partners, there has been a significant modification in the English language criteria for the registrants. The final plans were accepted, and the changes will take effect by January 2023.

If you’re looking to join the NMC register, one of the primary ways you may show that you can communicate effectively in English is through English language testing. Occupational English Test (OET) and the academic International English Language Test System (IELTS) are the two language exams that are currently accepted.

So, what’s new?

The revision offers more flexibility in the English language criteria, a massive relief for experienced and skilled applicants who struggle to meet the language requirements.

As per the revision, you can retake the test and combine your two test certificates’ results if you didn’t get the desired score in the first attempt. You cannot combine test results if you receive an IELTS score of less than 6.5 or an OET score of C+ or above for the other three test modules. There is no scope for flexibility in the writing part of the test because this is already the required score.



To combine test scores, you must score at least 0.5 in IELTS or half a grade in OET below the necessary mark for each domain. In other words, you can connect your results as long as you receive a score of 6.5 (IELTS) or C+ / 300 or higher in the other three domains and a writing score of 6 (IELTS) or C / 250 or higher (OET). This shall be considered the minimal score, ensuring that you score at least the acceptable grade in any exam sitting.



You must retake your test within six months of taking the previous one to combine your marks. To provide additional flexibility and time to study before retaking the test, this shall be extended to 12 months.

Beginning in 2023, if you can demonstrate your ability to speak effectively in English in a practice setting, additional supporting evidence from your employment is considered

  • If you  score in one domain 0.5 in the IELTS (6 for writing and 6.5 for the other domains) or by half a grade in the OET (C/250 or higher in writing and C+ / 300 or higher in the different parts);
  • You were trained in English in an English – speaking country where English is not a majority-spoken language.

Also, you must have spent the previous two years working for your company in a UK health and social care environment for at least 12 months. A standardised NMC form for employers shall be filled out to maintain uniformity and prevent bias. The manager must be an NMC-certified professional and employ this form to demonstrate English language proficiency. It also requires the countersignature of another senior NMC-registered professional employed by the same company.

Professionals seeking to join the register must continue to submit their applications following the present guidelines until the revised suggestions take effect.

Every revision shall be updated on Tiju’s academy website, and make sure you look up the recent updates.

To improve your knowledge level and the chance of succeeding in OET would be significantly high if you go along with the daily grammar challenge of Tiju’s Academy. If you want to participate in that, please go to the,

Facebook page: Tijusacademy.

Tiju’s Academy: The Best OET Online And Offline Training Institute In Kerala, India. For more details, Click Here:

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