We're building on the changes we've made so far to introduce an application process that is simpler and quicker for candidates.

We plan to launch a new, streamlined overseas registration process for nurses and midwives at the end of September 2019. 

New online application form

We’re moving our online application form into NMC Online to make it more straightforward to apply. Candidates will get their own NMC Online account where they'll be able to track their application's progress throughout.

Instead of having to download and post paper forms to us, candidates will be able to complete their application and upload supporting documents online.

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

Streamlined requirements 

We've looked at 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.

For example, instead of routinely asking for training transcripts, we’ll confirm that the candidate holds a qualification that has, or would, lead to registration in their country of training.

We've also looked into where we can re-use evidence for more than one purpose to avoid duplication, and aligned our requirement for police clearances with those for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

Improved guidance and support

We're redesigning 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 will be clearer, easy to read and accessible across a range of devices. 

We're also creating a pre-application checklist tool for candidates to check how ready they are to apply and see what evidence they need to prepare. They'll be able to download and share their checklist results with others, like employers or recruiters.

New test of competence

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.


What we've changed so far

Where we could do so quickly and safely, we've already acted on feedback and made improvements to the process.

Test of competence

  • 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 £90; the full cost of OSCE from £992 to £794 and the resit cost of the OSCE from £496 to £397

Registration requirements 

  • Updated English language requirements - we now 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
  • Removed 12 months' post registration experience requirement