Please visit for information about our recent announcements including temporary registration and changes to how we’re operating during this time.


We're changing the test of competence to reflect our new standards for nurses and standards for midwives.

In June 2019, we appointed our test design partner, AlphaPlus, to co-produce the new test with Nottingham University and our test delivery partners. This was scheduled to go live in summer 2020.

We’re aware that some of you may have concerns around the timing of the new test in light of changing priorities for the health and social care system.

During this time, it’s essential that we enable registrants to focus on tackling Covid-19. We know that implementing a new test of competence in the coming months would put additional pressure on providers. Therefore we are reviewing the timetable for the new test of competence, which is likely to be postponed due to the current circumstances.

We’ll update this page with more information as soon as possible. In the meantime, we've published some resources and information on the new test below to keep you informed.

How the test will be changing

  • The computer-based test (CBT) will be split into two parts - Part A: Numeracy and Part B: Theory 
  • The objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) will have 10 stations:
    • Four stations will continue to be linked together around a scenario: the APIE (one station for assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation)
    • Four stations will test skills
    • Two new stations will be introduced - one will assess the candidate’s values and behaviours and the other will assess evidence-based practice
  • OSCE marking criteria - each station will be assessed against specific criteria and with a holistic judgement
  • Test content – as well as developing new content, we completed a thorough review of the current test content - where it was appropriate and safe to do so, we have updated and included existing content
  • Candidate support – we will be improving the range and quality of preparation materials available to candidates and those who support them

Learn more about the changes

In line with government advice we've cancelled our remaining test of competence workshops. These were scheduled for 27 March 2020 in Edinburgh and 31 March 2020 in Cardiff.

We've also cancelled our remaining webinar scheduled for 27 April 2020.

We're grateful for everyone who has engaged with us so far and been so positive about the new test.

You can still sign up for monthly updates below. We've also uploaded a recording of a previous webinar and some key information documents about the new test:

Sign up for monthly updates

This monthly update will keep you up to date with all the developments and announcements about the new test of competence.

Register for monthly updates 

Who is AlphaPlus?

AlphaPlus is a specialist education and assessment consultancy whose work spans the public and private sectors, schools, colleges, vocational and professional learning.

They work with many professional certification agencies similar to NMC and ensure their clients’ assessments are valid, reliable and fair to the candidates.

Over the last 6 months we have been working extremely closely with AlphaPlus and our CBT and OSCE delivery partners to plan and prepare for the new test.