Reviewing our overseas registration process

We’re reviewing our entire registration process for nurses and midwives trained outside the EEA and want to hear your views on how we can improve this

Why we're carrying out a review

We know that choosing to come and work in the UK requires significant personal and financial investment. Unnecessary delays in registration mean that applicants can’t practise their chosen profession and this could put them at risk of losing work or, sometimes, having to return home.

Our current overseas process has been in place since 2014. We've had feedback from applicants and employers that this can be costly and time consuming. We know that candidates need more help to understand what documents we want, why we want them and when we have received them.

We want to make our application process simpler and quicker for candidates by automating as much of it as possible and improving our guidance.

We also need to update our tests and processes to reflect our new education standards, and provide a route for nursing associates to apply.

What we're reviewing

We’re reviewing all parts of our registration process including how candidates submit their application, the fees they pay, how they demonstrate they meet our UK standards and the evidence we require of their English language capability.

As part of this we’re looking to introduce a new system that will allow applicants to prepare and submit their application to us online and track its progress.

Our timescale

We began the review early in 2018, although we were gathering feedback for a long time before that.

We’ll be taking updates to our Council throughout 2018 and will be introducing interim changes so that we can improve our process as quickly as possible. For example, from July 2018 applicants will only have to re-sit the part of the OSCE that they failed.

The nursing associate part of our register opens in January 2019 and the Future Nurse standards will be implemented from mid-2019. We'll be bringing in new tests of competence for nurses, midwives and nursing associates to tie in with these changes.

We’ll keep applicants, employers and other key groups updated during this process so that they know what changes are happening and when.

Give us your views

We want to hear about your experiences of our overseas registration process and your views on how it could be improved.

You can hear more about our proposals, ask questions and share your views at one of our upcoming events. 

These will be a mix of group workshops and online webinars.

Event and locationDate and timeHow to register
Webinar for past, present and prospective applicants Tuesday 10 July, 15:30-16:30 Event finished
Webinar for employers Thursday 9 August, 16:00-17:00 Event finished
Workshop in Glasgow Tuesday 21 August, 10:00-14:00 Event finished
Webinar for everyone Thursday 23 August, 16:00-17:00 Event finished
Workshop in Belfast Thursday 30 August, 10:00-14:00 Event finished
Webinar for everyone Tuesday 4 September, 12:00-13:00 Event finished
Workshop in London Thursday 13 September, 10:00-14:00 Event finished
Workshop in Manchester Monday 17 September, 12:00-16:00 Register online
Workshop in Cardiff Wednesday 19 September, 10:00-14:00 Register online

Answering your questions

We've answered some of the questions we've been asked throughout our review so far.

These are broken up into the below topics.

Q: Can there be flexible time limits on OSCEs?

A: We will certainly look at this. We know that our tests can be stressful for applicants and we know that as far as possible the tests need to align with the UK visa process and to take into account other time pressures applicants face.

Q: Can you recommend preparation materials for the test of competence and joining UK practice?

A: We will soon launch improved support materials for applicants and going forward developing the right support for applicants is one of the key parts of the programme.

Q: Will concerns about the spread of test centres around the country be addressed? 

A: We recognised that access to our test centres needed to be improved and so we changed from one test centre to three. We know that access to our test centres is an important issue, and this will be taken into account in our future planning.

Q: Does the commitment to review English language mean that you're considering lowering the 7.0 IELTS score?

A: We introduced new ways applicants can demonstrate their English language skills last November. This review will continue to explore ways that applicants can demonstrate they meet our standards. 

Q: What will be the language competence level required for nursing associates?

A: In our recent consultation on how to regulate nursing associates we asked a question about the level of English language competence that will be required for nursing associates. We're analysing responses to that consultation to inform our decision.