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Pass rates and number of candidates

2018 data on test of competence for overseas applicants

Anyone trained outside the EU wishing to join our register must take a Test of Competence (ToC) as part of the application process to show they meet our high standards.


The ToC is made up of two parts:

  • Stage one - a computer-based multiple choice test (CBT) and
  • Stage two - an observed structured clinical examination (OSCE) where candidates carry out practical tests.

The information below shows the number of people who have taken each part of the test and the pass rates. We update this information four times per year.

Stage 1 - CBT

The CBT is run by our partners Pearson VUE. Candidates can attend one of a number of test centres to take the test. 

Since the first CBT was taken in November 2014 a total of 19,331 tests have been taken with an overall pass rate of 76 percent.

So far, 81% of applicants who have taken a CBT have passed.

April – June 2018: Monthly breakdown 

 

April 18

May 18

June 18

Qtr total

CBT sittings

1011

1075

975

3061

Pass rate

73%
(741 passes)

77%
(823 passes)

78%
(757 passes)

76%
(2321 passes)

Stage 2 - OSCE 

Once someone has passed the CBT, they may go on to sit the OSCE in the UK at one of our approved test centres.

Since the first OSCE was taken in April 2015 a total of 11,617 tests have been taken with an overall pass rate of 56 percent.

So far, 89% of applicants have achieved a pass.

April – June 2018: OSCE Pass rates

Test centre pass rates

April 2018

May 18

June 18

Qtr Total

Oxford Brookes University

OSCEs

107

147

154

408

Pass rate

52%

36%

56%

48%

University of Northampton

OSCEs

408

498

390

1296

Pass rate

60%

70%

75%

69%

Ulster University

OSCEs

48

123

120

291

Pass rate

83%

85%

78%

81%

Total sittings

OSCEs

563

768

664

1195

Pass rate

61%

66%

71%

66%

Background context

The OSCE is rightly a challenging test because it gives us assurance that nurses and midwives coming to the UK are capable of working safely.

There are a range of factors that affect the OSCE pass rates. We have worked with the test centres and employers to better understand what affects candidates’ success.

We know that the support that an individual has through the process to help their preparation is important. We also know the level of support candidates receive can vary.

The length of time a candidate has been in the UK can also affect the likeliness of whether they will pass.

The number of applicants sitting the test at each test centre will also influence the pass rate. The fewer the people who sit the test at a centre, the greater the influence their individual result has on the overall pass rate.