New NMC Test of Competence to launch 2 August

Published on 01 July 2021

Find out more about the launch of the new test

We are pleased to announce that our new Test of Competence (ToC) will be introduced on Monday 2 August 2021.

As part of our commitment to uphold the highest standards of care our ToC makes sure professionals who trained overseas, and some professionals who want to re-join the register after time away from practice, have the right skills and knowledge to practise safely.

The new ToC will reflect our new Future Nurse and Future Midwife standards, ensuring that all those delivering care in the UK will meet the same high standards, regardless of where they are trained or how long they’ve been out of practice. Other changes we previously announced include:

  • Splitting the computer-based test (CBT) into two parts - Part A will cover numeracy and Part B will cover nursing or midwifery theory
  • The new practical part of the test, the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) will have ten stations rather than six. It will assess additional skills as well as the candidate’s values and behaviours, and evidence-based practice.

Over the last few months we’ve published a range of supporting resources, including seven webinar recordings, to help candidates, employers and recruiters to prepare for the new ToC. In April, we published details of how the transition from the current ToC to the new ToC will work. Today, we have added guidance on how to book the new CBT.

Linda Everet, Interim Deputy Director, Professional Regulation, said:

“I am pleased to announce the launch date for our new test of competence as part of our wider efforts to ensure our nursing and midwifery professionals deliver the safe, kind and effective care we all want to see.

“Over the last two years, we’ve introduced world class new standards for our professionals trained in the UK. Our new test of competence will now reflect these standards and will ensure that no matter where in the world people are trained, or how long they’ve been out of practice, the public can be confident that professionals working in the UK meet our high standards.

“We also know how important it is that people taking the new test get the support they need. That’s why we’ve worked closely with our partners, employers and recruitment agencies to get the right support and guidance in place so that people with the right skills and knowledge can join our register as quickly as possible.”


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