NMC launches consultation on English language requirements

Published on 17 June 2022

We’ve launched a new consultation giving people the chance to have their say on proposed changes to our English language requirements. The consultation will run for eight weeks from today (17 June 2022).

Effective communication is vital for high-quality care. That’s why all nurses, midwives and nursing associates joining our register have to demonstrate strong English language skills.

We regularly review all our regulatory standards and requirements. We know some people have concerns about whether our current English language requirements are fair and reliable for everyone. It’s a priority for us to make sure they are.

We’re now launching a consultation on our current English language requirements. It follows several months of collaboration with professionals, partners and stakeholders to gather initial views and build a clear evidence base for change.

What we’re consulting on

We’re consulting on two areas. First, our approach to testing. Secondly, whether we should consider accepting other evidence of English language competence. This might include employer references, evidence of unregulated practice in UK health and care settings, or postgraduate qualifications that people have studied in English.

Have your say

Everyone can share their thoughts by filling out our online survey, which only takes about 15 to 20 minutes. The consultation is open until 12 August 2022.

Matthew McClelland, Executive Director of Strategy and Insight at the NMC, said:

“Safe, effective and kind care relies on nursing and midwifery professionals being able to communicate clearly and safely with each other, and with people using services. That’s why it’s so important that everyone joining our register has strong English language skills.

“We also want to make sure there are no unnecessary barriers to people joining our register, no matter where they trained or how they became competent in English.

“We’re grateful to everyone who’s shared their initial views with us about the fairness and reliability of our current approach, and what they’d like to see change and why. Now it’s open to everyone to have their say through our consultation. We’ll use the feedback to shape recommendations to our Council in September.”

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