Please check our commonly asked questions before contacting us to save you time. 

These are the questions we get asked most often about joining the register as a nurse or midwife if you trained outside the UK.

We have different information for nursing associate applications.

Starting your application

Eligibility and how to apply

Before you start your application, please read our guidance and check you meet our eligibility criteria. You can also use the pre-application checklist to get a personalised list of the evidence you will need to provide in your application.

We cannot advise if your qualification is acceptable as we need your training regulator to confirm that your qualification would allow you to register with them.

I don’t have any work experience as a nurse, midwife or nursing associate. Can I apply?

We no longer require applicants to have any registered practice in their home country or abroad before applying to join our register.

Please read our guidance and check you meet our eligibility criteria. You can also use the pre-application checklist to get a personalised list of the evidence you will need to provide in your application.

I started the wrong application and need to change it

Please do not sign up for another account if you have applied to the wrong part of the register in error, as your account request will be flagged as duplicate and will not be approved.

You will need to contact us to request that we cancel your existing application. Then you can start a new application under the same account with the same log in details.

We're not able to transfer any of your documents from one application to another.

I have a duplicate account

If you've received a message on your account saying we may already have your details on our system, it could be because:

  • you’ve previously applied to us as a nurse, midwife or nursing associate and already have an active NMC Online account
  • you’re currently applying for registration via the EU process
  • you’re already on our register.

If you started an application via the overseas route after October 2019 and already have an active NMC Online account, please contact us to let us know you want to cancel or change your application type. You don’t need to create a new NMC Online account to do this.

If your account is flagged as duplicate as it is similar to the details we already hold on our system to another applicant, one of our officers will review the account. Please do not sign up for another NMC Online account as it won’t be approved.

I can't log in to my account

If you created a NMC Online account after October 2019 and you're having trouble with your login details, please reset your password. You must use the same email address you signed up to NMC Online with.

I want to give someone access to my application status

You can nominate an individual, agency representative or employer to have access to your application status. They will get a read-only view of your application tracker so they can see the current stage and status. They won’t be able to make changes on your behalf. 

Find out more about sharing your application status.

Can I register an additional qualification?

Subsequent registration is not open for overseas applicants currently. We'll update our website when we're ready to accept applications for subsequent registration. Thank you for your patience.

When will I get my PIN?

We aim to review your application within 30 days of your file joining the assessment queue.

If you started your application after October 2019, your application will be placed in the assessment queue after we've received your registration application and supporting information (such as character, health and language references), and after you have successfully completed both parts of Test of Competence, if applicable.

I started an application through our EU/EEA route before 1 January 2021

The UK left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020. It then entered into a transition period, which came to an end on 31 December 2020.

If you started an application through our previous EU/EEA route and paid your assessment fee by 31 December 2020, your application will progess through that route. Find out more if this applies to you.

If you trained in an EU, EEA or EFTA country, but you did not start an application or pay the assessment fee before the transition period ended, you'll need to start a new application via our trained outside the UK route.

References and evidence

Do I need to provide a DBS check?

If you’ve lived in the UK for three months or more, you’ll need to provide a Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) check.

How to get a police clearance

As part of your application, you will need to provide a police clearance from each overseas country you have lived in for 12 months or more (in total, not necessarily consecutive) in the last ten years.

The application process for police clearances or criminal records checks varies from country to country. We can't help you to get a police clearance, but GOV.UK has published a guide on how to get police clearances from overseas.

If you can't get a police clearance

If you are unable to provide a valid police clearance after reasonable efforts, please provide us with an explanation and a most recent police clearance, if you have one, along with a copy of your exit visa.

If we need any further information or documents we will contact you once we have reviewed your file.

Who can provide my character reference?

If you're registered at the time you’re submitting your application or have been in the last three years, please provide details of your regulator so that they can provide your supporting declaration. If you have active registration with more than one regulator, you may provide any of the active ones.

Find out how to provide character evidence.

My verifier has indicated that my ‘details do not match’. What does this mean for my application?

If we have received the verification back from your regulator or training institute indicating your information details did not match their records, your application will be routed to our evaluation queue.

If we need any further information, one of our case officers will contact you after we review the feedback received from your referee.

English language

What evidence of English language do you accept?

There are several types of evidence we will accept to demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge of English to practise in the UK:

  • Evidence type 1: We accept two language tests as evidence of your ability to communicate effectively in English: the Academic version of International English Language Test System (IELTS) and the Occupational English Test (OET).
  • Evidence type 2: A pre-registration nurse, midwife or nursing associate qualification which was taught and examined in English.
  • Evidence type 3: Recent practice of at least one year in a majority English speaking country.

Find out more about providing English language evidence.

From 19 September 2020, we’ll accept the new OET on computer test, which allows candidates to take the OET on a computer at a test centre instead of a paper test. From 10 October 2020, we'll also accept OET@Home test as evidence of English language competency.

What is the validity of English language tests?

English language tests are valid for two years from the test date.

If you started your application after October 2019, the test needs to be valid at the assessment of your paper work. Under our new process, the assessment stage is after you have completed both parts of Test of Competence and submitted your online application and supporting evidence.

My IELTS or OET number comes up as invalid on NMC Online

If you are using an OET candidate number, please add the number in the following format including dashes (-), for example, 123-456-789.

If you are using a TRF number for IELTS, please add zeros (0s) to the end to make it up to an 18 digit number.

Combining IELTS or OET scores

See our accepted English language tests page for information and examples of combining IELTS or OET scores.

Test of Competence

I haven't received an invitation to take my Test of Competence

We'll invite you to take your Test of Competence after we have received confirmation of your qualification from your training regulator. Your tracker should then show you in the Application Preparation stage.

Our emails may go into your junk email folder so make sure you check this regularly. To stop this from happening, add ‘’to your safe senders list.

If you would like us to resend the invite to you, please contact us.

I can't log in to my Pearson Vue account

We do not have access to your Pearson Vue account so we can't help you to log in. Please contact Pearson Vue for support.

When can I get my OSCE results?

Your OSCE results will be available to view in your application portal within five working days of your test.

Contact us

If you can't find the answer to your question on our website, please email us.

We'll reply as soon as we can - usually within five working days. It may take longer if we're working through a large number of queries.

Please do not send your message to more than one team or mailbox as this will delay our response.