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Changes in the NMC's English language requirements to be effective from February 2023

The Nursing and Midwifery Council, UK is implementing yet another change to the minimum score requirements for registration. This move is aimed at providing a chance to join the Register for those with relatively lower score than the previous minimum requirement.

The council announced that these changes will be implemented as early as the start of February 2023. The move was made following an 8-week consultation which managed to receive a record-breaking 34,000 responses from various stakeholders and was approved by the governing council last year.

Under the new changes, the NMC gives more opportunities to candidates who otherwise would not have qualified due to a low score. This move offers wider opportunities to more candidates aspiring to register themselves with the NMC.

The present English language competence requirement is:
















The changes implemented to the existing score requirements are as follows:

  • Currently, combined scores from two tests (IELTS or OET) could only be used if they are within 6 months from each other. This has now been increased to 12 months.

  • You can now combine test results as long as the combined results are not more than half a grade or point below the minimum required for the respective domains. For example you can combine test scores for Writing domain as long as it does not drop below a C (OET) or a 6 in (IELTS).

  • If you have worked in a UK health or care environment in 12 of the last 24 months you can use an employer reference as proof of English language proficiency instead of a test.

  • Applicants who have not achieved the required IELTS or OET scores but have trained in English in a "non-majority English speaking country" will be able to utilise these options when completing their NMC Registration.

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