NMC publishes materials to help candidates prepare for new Test of Competence

Published on 17 March 2021

Learn more about the upcoming changes

We've launched a dedicated information hub with everything candidates, recruiters and employers need to know about the new Test of Competence (ToC). It comes ahead of the launch of our new ToC, in August.

The Test of Competence ensures professionals who trained overseas and those who want to re-join the register after time away from practice have the right skills and knowledge to practise safely.

Since 2019 we have been developing a new ToC in partnership with AlphaPlus who are an education service business that specialises in standards, assessment and certification.

The new test will launch in August 2021 and will reflect our innovative new standards for nurses and midwives.

In preparation for the launch of the new ToC in August, we have created a dedicated information hub which has everything candidates, recruiters and employers need to know, including:

  • Test specifications and blueprints for the Test of Competence 2021
  • Candidate handbooks to help prepare taking the Test of Competence
  • Practice tests for the new multiple choice computer based test (CBT)
  • A pack of materials to help prepare for the practical examination (OSCE)

Alongside this, we've published a handbook for candidates from the EU who wish to take the EU aptitude test along with the test specifications, including a practice exam.

Our test centre websites will also contain information, including top tips, practice OSCEs and CBTs.

Find out more about the Test of Competence 2021 and the EU aptitude test.

Update on the future of OSCEs

The NMC's current contracts with OSCE test centres end in February 2022, so the NMC is now preparing to tender for new contracts in the coming weeks.

The NMC will evaluate submissions over the summer and plan to award contracts later this year, to allow good preparation time for February 2022.

As part of the procurement work, the NMC has considered feedback received from stakeholders around test accessibility and ways to bring further innovation.

Background info

  1. The new Test of Competence will go live in August 2021. Anyone starting the Test of Competence from then will take the new test. This includes professionals who wish to return to practice.
  2. Candidates who have taken either the current CBT or OSCE before the new test is introduced will have an 8-12 month transition window in which they can either complete the current test or restart with the new one. After the eight month transition, they will have to take the new test.

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