The United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020. Since then, the UK has been in a transition period which ends on 31 December 2020.
This page sets out what the end of the transition period will mean for those on, or applying to, our register with EU qualifications. We’ll update this as we get more information.
If you're already on our register
Please know that if you're already on our register there is nothing more that you need to do.
You will continue to be a highly valued part of the nursing and midwifery professions, delivering quality care to patients and the public even though the UK has left the EU.
Applying to join our register
If you trained in the EU or EFTA (excluding Switzerland)
Until the end of the transition period (31 December 2020), there will be no change to the way we register nurses, midwives and nursing associates who hold a qualification gained in an EU, EEA or EFTA country.
To make sure your application is processed under our current EU registration process, you need to begin your application and pay your assessment fee by 31 December 2020.
You have six months from the date you started your application, or the date we requested further information from you, to return your supporting evidence to us.
What if I don’t begin my application and pay my assessment fee by 31 December 2020?
As the UK Government is still in the process of negotiating our future relationship with the EU, it has introduced legislation (also known as the ‘standstill approach’) that aims to reduce any disruption that the end of the transition period may have, making sure that applicants who hold non-UK qualifications are treated equally and fairly. The Government has now published guidance on what this means for healthcare professionals.
The type of application and evidence you’ll need to provide to register will depend on your qualifications, rather than nationality.
Under the terms of the Government’s standstill approach, if you hold a qualification gained in an EU, EEA or EFTA country and you want to join our register from 1 January 2021, you’ll need to follow the same application process as those trained outside the EU.
You may have to pay different fees and a small number of people with certain qualifications may have their skills and knowledge assessed by a Test of Competence.
This interim process will be used for up to two years (except Switzerland). We'll continue to review the process and any further changes as the situation develops.
What are the different fees and tests I will need to take if I apply after 1 January 2021?
Adult nurse or midwife
If you’re a nurse responsible for general care (known as an adult nurse in the UK) or midwife who has a qualification that meets the EU requirements for automatic recognition, you’ll be able to have your qualification recognised by us, and you won’t need to take a Test of Competence.
The total cost for application and registration of those with a qualification that meets our requirements is £293 (an assessment fee of £140 and initial registration fee of £153).
EU specialist nurse
As EU specialist nurse qualifications - such as children’s or mental health nursing - have never held automatic recognition under EU law, from 1 January 2021 new applicants holding these EU qualifications will need to take a Test of Competence.
The total cost for application and registration is £1,170. This cost could be higher if you need to resit tests.
The breakdown of costs for different stages is:
- Qualification evaluation fee - £140 (non-refundable)
- Test of Competence part one: Computer-based test (CBT) - £83
- Test of Competence part two: Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) - £794
- Registration fee for entry onto our register - £153
Find out more about the overseas application process for:
If you're a Swiss national
The UK Government has reached an agreement with Switzerland for a new relationship from 1 January 2021.
This means that if you’re a Swiss national, or a dependent or spouse with acquired rights in Switzerland, and you hold a qualification that would previously have been automatically recognised by EU law, you will still be able to use this qualification to apply for registration with us as long as you started training before 31 December 2020.
This process will continue for up to four years under the terms of the agreement.
Applying for settled status in the UK
If you’re an EU, EFTA or Swiss citizen, and if you've not done so already, you and your family may need to apply for UK immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme. The scheme is free of charge and the deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.
If you're an Irish citizen, you will not need to apply for settled or pre-settled status as your rights are protected in the Common Travel Area agreement between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
If you're working or looking to work in the EU
If you're a UK-trained nurse, midwife or nursing associate and you're already registered by an EU member state, your registration in that country will not be affected.
If you want to apply for registration in an EU member state, the process for doing this will remain unchanged throughout the transition period until 31 December 2020. After this time there may be some changes depending on the result of the Government’s negotiations with the EU and the individual registration requirements of the country which you’re looking to work in.