Working with our partners, we've developed a new, streamlined overseas registration process.

We launched this for nursing associates on Monday 28 January 2019 and for nurses and midwives on Monday 7 October 2019.

What has changed?

New online application form

We’ve moved our online application form into NMC Online to make it more straightforward to apply.

Instead of having to download and post paper forms to us, candidates can complete their application and upload supporting documents and evidence through NMC Online.

We'll also ask their referees for supporting declarations directly to cut down on having to go back and forth to get things right.

Candidates will be able to track their application's progress throughout.

Streamlined requirements 

We've considered the evidence we need to allow us to assess each candidate's ability to practise safely and effectively.

Where we can, we've streamlined our requirements while making sure that we still have good levels of assurance over a candidate’s competence.

Identity

Our identity requirements provide continued assurance that the person applying to the register is who they say they are.

Candidates under the new process will need to provide:

  • a valid passport
  • evidence of name changes, if relevant

Under the old process, candidates are required to provide their birth certificate as well.

Qualification

Our eligibility criteria under the new process recognises that candidates are trained, qualified professionals.

Candidates under the new process will need to provide a qualification certificate for each part of the register that they are applying for, rather than full transcripts and a form to accompany the transcript of training.

Registration

Registration in a candidate’s country of training is no longer a pre-requisite for entry onto our register. This brings overseas candidates in line with the UK application process.

The easiest way for a candidate to show that their qualification will or has allowed them to register in the country they trained in is to provide evidence that they've registered their qualification in their country of training.

If they're registered or have been before, we'll ask for confirmation from their relevant regulator.

If they haven’t been registered, we'll ask for confirmation from both their training institute and the relevant regulator that their qualification would lead to registration to the equivalent part of the register they are applying for.

Under the old process, candidates are required to provide certification from each country they have been registered.

We also removed our requirement for 12 months' post registration experience.

Health

We‘ve brought the health declaration in line with our revised health and character guidance.

Candidates under the new process will be asked to declare whether they’re capable of safe and effective practice. This might include where they have a health condition and/or disability that is being managed.

If a candidate declares a health condition and/or disability that is being managed, we'll ask for a supporting declaration from either their medical practitioner or occupational health department.

Under the old process, all candidates are required to provide a good health declaration from their medical practitioner.

Character

Candidates under the new process will be asked to provide a supporting declaration about their character.

If they’re registered or have been in the last three years, we’ll ask for a supporting declaration from their current or most recent regulator.

If they haven’t been registered in the last three years, but have previously held registration we’ll ask for a supporting declaration from their most recent regulator, but we’ll also need a more recent supporting declaration as well.

In this instance, and for those who have never held registration before, they’ll need to provide a different supporting character declaration. Depending on the candidate’s circumstances, we may ask for this from their training institute, former healthcare employer, NMC or other UK healthcare registrant.

We've also aligned our police clearance requirements with UK Visas and Immigration requirements. This means that candidates under the new process will need to provide:

  • a police clearance from each country that they have lived in for 12 months in the past ten years while over the age of 18
  • a UK DBS certificate if they’ve been in the UK more than three months at the time of their application

Under the old process, candidates are required to provide a certificate of good standing from each country (or state) where they practised and/or been registered.

Language

On 5 December 2018, we updated our English language requirements to accept an overall score of 7.0 on the International English Language Test System (IELTS) with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 7.0 in listening, reading and speaking.

Improved guidance and support

We’ve redesigned the way we present guidance on our website so that candidates, and those who support them, have a better understanding of our requirements, what we ask for and why, and the process they can expect to follow.

This information is clearer, easy to read and accessible across a range of devices.

We’ve also created a pre-application checklist tool for candidates to check how ready they are to apply and see what evidence they need to prepare. They can download and share their checklist results with others, like employers or recruiters.

Test of competence

We’ve made a number of changes over the past year:

  • Updated OSCE resit policy - candidates now only have to re-sit the part of the OSCE that they failed
  • Improved preparation materials - we've aligned OSCE preparation materials across our three test sites, produced 'top tips' for candidates and introduced a mock examination and marking criteria to support candidates preparing for the OSCE examination
  • Reduced cost - we reduced the overall cost of the test of competence by more than 20 percent - the cost of the CBT reduced from £130 to £87; the full cost of OSCE from £992 to £794 and the resit cost of the OSCE from £496 to £397

Early in 2020, we're launching a new test of competence in line with our future nurse standards. The company that is designing the new test will produce a range of materials to help candidates prepare.

We're also creating a new ‘assurance panel’ to oversee the quality and consistency of the test - this will be made up of a group of experienced nurses, midwives and other health and care professionals.

If you’re starting or continuing an application

We’ve updated our website with guidance on our registration process for nurses and midwives.

We have different guidance on our website if you: