The OSCE test centers are getting opened on the 20th of July, the NMC has announced. This is a very optimistic move from the NMC’s end and would enable the nurses to appear and complete their OSCE in a safe and socially distanced environment.
OSCE is the second and the final test of competence conducted by the NMC for the nurses and passing the same would enable them to get enrolled in the NMC’s permanent register. The candidates who have joined the temporary register and supported the NHS frontline can now book their OSCE and enter the permanent register upon passing the test.
There are three OSCE test centers in the UK and the nurses who are already in the UK will be able to book their tests from now onwards. These centers were closed since March 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.
A pass in the OSCE will ensure that the nurses meet the required standards and can practice independently without conditions or supervision.
Although the NMC was trying to consider several other options to facilitate the nurses in the transition to the permanent register, the OSCE test has been decided and concluded as the best, quickest, and the most effective option that ensures that the set standards are met for permanent registration.
The NMC recognizes that the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds) candidates comprise a major chunk of the nurses appearing in the OSCE. It is important that these candidates have a sense of safety and comfort while taking their OSCE test and while at the workplace.
The NMC has also assured that a working group will be established to work with the NMC and its partners in assessing and planning the test centers' capacity and demand and support accordingly in the coming months.
The Director of Professional Regulation of the NMC UK, Emma Broadbent is delighted and said that,
“I’m delighted to be able to announce the reopening of the OSCE test centers for overseas nursing and midwifery professionals wishing to join our permanent register. Our test center partners have worked incredibly hard over recent weeks to carry out rigorous Covid-19 risk assessments and to ensure that testing can resume in a safe, socially distanced way.
Overseas nursing and midwifery professionals are a vital part of the UK’s health and care workforce and getting these test centers back up and running a key step on our journey to a new normal and are essential to ensuring highly skilled professionals can join our register in a timely way.
I am incredibly grateful to those who have joined our temporary register to support the response to Covid-19 and to those who are looking to come to work in the UK in the future. I look forward to welcoming them on to our permanent register in the weeks ahead.”