Updates to the OSCE and accompanying materials

Midwifery OSCE assessments – June 2023

Midwifery OSCE assessments

As part of the ongoing development of the Test of Competence OSCE for midwifery, we have made some changes to the existing assessments and released a small number of new stations which will come into use from Monday 26 June.  These changes will ensure a wider coverage of the standards, code of practice and blueprint and forms part of our routine maintenance to keep the test valid and reliable. 

Candidates will still sit a 10 station OSCE but these changes will mean that there will be a greater selection of skills that could be assessed which will make the assessment less predictable. We will continue to develop new stations covering different skills and scenarios, so it is important that candidates and those supporting them incorporate the NMC blueprint and standards into their preparation for the test.

The new stations are:

APIE stations 

  • Antenatal
  • Postnatal

Clinical skills stations 

  • Birth
  • Postnatal Sepsis
  • Unexpected Breech Birth
  • Neonatal blood glucose monitoring
  • Intramuscular injection
  • Removal of urinary catheter

Evidence Based Practice

  • Induction of labour at term

Professional Values

  • Safeguarding women and children

In addition to these changes the existing stations have been updated.  Systematic Examination of the Newborn has been amended to require candidates to carry out two aspects (heart, eyes hips or testes) as opposed to one aspect and it has been split from the postnatal check.  There are also other small changes to the existing stations to bring them into line with the latest best clinical practice and to ensure that the APIE stations flow more logically and are clearer and there is no duplication of tasks for candidates.   

The marking criteria available to trusts and candidates have also been updated as we are seeing higher numbers of candidates attempting to rote learn the marking criteria. This is problematic as they no longer approach the assessment with an open mind and in some cases find the assessment challenging when presented with new or different scenarios.The updated marking guidance are more holistic and will give trusts and candidates the key points that that all candidates will be assessed on.  They should be used by candidates to confirm understanding of the different skills that they need to demonstrate across the OSCE but the standards, code, and blueprint should form the basis of all teaching and learning.   

All candidates who sit their assessment prior to 26 June 2023 will not be presented with the updates covered above.  All candidates who sit on or after 26 June will experience the changes we have made.

Midwifery OSCE announcement – December 2023

As part of the ongoing development of the OSCE we have made some changes to the existing midwifery materials. When we introduced our new and revised test content in June 2023, feedback and ideas were shared with us on how we could strengthen and improve the candidate experience.

We have introduced the IV flush and VIP station. Following the feedback, we have re-introduced the marking schemes for all midwifery stations as we do for nursing. We have updated the charts and diagrams in the mock examination to reflect the changes we have made in the diagrams and charts that candidates use in the live exam. We hope this will provide candidates with the opportunity to use this as part of their ongoing preparation and learning for the test of competence.

Over the coming days the following documents will be updated and published on our website reflecting all of our 2021 materials:

  • Midwifery Station Timings – to include the IV flush and VIP station which has been set at 12 minutes. We have not reduced any of the timings across any aspect of the test at this time.
  • Midwifery Marking Criteria – to include the IV flush and VIP station.
  • Midwifery Mock OSCE
  • Supporting Documents

The changes to the above documents will be implemented from 11 December 2023 (excluding the IV flush and VIP station).

To give employers and candidates time to prepare and incorporate this skill into their learning and preparation programmes, the IV flush and VIP station will not be implemented until 15 January 2023.

ACER, our new test development partner, have recently taken on the test of competence work. They have reviewed many areas of the midwifery test and we have made some minor changes and updates which do not impact the preparation that employers are providing to candidates or change the level of preparation candidates need to do prior to the exam.


On 2 August 2021, we introduced the Test of Competence, to reflect our new standards for nurses and midwives.

We held some webinars covering different aspects of the Toc providing further information and outlining the changes we made to the CBT and OSCE. You can download slides from each of the webinars here.

Candidate information booklets

These booklets give an overview of the CBT and OSCE, what candidates should expect on the day and how they can prepare.

The CBT and OSCE information booklets for all nursing fields apply to adult nursing, children’s nursing, learning disabilities nursing and mental health nursing pathways.



Test specifications

Test specifications show how the test is designed, what it will assess and how, and how results will be produced and presented.

The test specification for all nursing fields apply to adult nursing, children’s nursing, learning disabilities nursing and mental health nursing pathways.

Test blueprints

These blueprints show how the relevant standards of proficiency and associated skills and procedures may be tested in either the CBT, OSCE or both parts.

Other support materials


You can find CBT practice tests on Pearson VUE's website. They are accessible to all and do not need to be booked.

Taking these practice tests will help you check your understanding and readiness for the new CBT and learn more about the question format, style and level of difficulty.


These are our five approved OSCE test providers websites where candidates can find all information related to booking their exams and locating the test centres:

OSCE support and preparation documents across all fields of nursing and midwifery

The following documents will support your preparation for the OSCE. We highly recommend you take the time to read these.

We have provided links to a number of documents that will support you in preparing for the OSCE.

As part of your learning and preparation, you should refer to the reading lists, understand and apply the NMC Code to all aspects of your practice, and access our useful documents as mock OSCE materials and station timings. By the time you sit the OSCE, you should be competent at practising at the level of a newly qualified nurse or midwife in the UK and your approach to the stations should reflect the actions you would take in a contemporary UK clinical setting.

We have also provided marking criteria for the relevant fields.  Please note that this should only be used to supplement your education and learning.

If you have any questions about any of these documents, please contact the NMC Test of Competence team at toc@nmc-uk.org.

OSCE documents across all fields