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


We use the Test of Competence to assess the skills and knowledge of people wanting to join our register from overseas or rejoin our register after a long period away from practice.

Throughout 2019 and 2020 we have been working in partnership with AlphaPlus to develop a new Test of Competence that reflects our new standards for nurses and standards for midwives.

This was scheduled to go live in summer 2020. However, we have decided to postpone the launch of the new Test of Competence until April 2021 to give candidates, employers and recruiters time to prepare for the new test.

When is the new test launching?

We will start testing candidates with the new Test of Competence from April 2021 onwards.

Ahead of this time, we will publish more details of the new test and supporting resources to help people prepare.

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

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

To help candidates, recruiters and employers prepare we've planned a series of webinars covering different aspects of the new test. 


Webinar Date and time Registration link

The New Test of Competence - An Overview

Monday 9 November,
13:00 to 14:00


The New Test of Competence - The computer based test (CBT)

Thursday 12 November,
9:00 to 10:00


The New Test of Competence (Nursing) - OSCE APIE stations (Assessment, Planning, Implementation, Evaluation)

Thursday 19 November, 
9:00 to 10:00


The New Test of Competence (Nursing) - OSCE skills stations

Thursday 26 November,
9:00 to 10:00


The New Test of Competence (Midwifery) - OSCE APIE and skills stations

Monday 30 November,
12:30 to 13:30


The New Test of Competence (Nursing Associates) - OSCE APIE and skills stations

Thursday 3 December,
14:30 to 15:30


If you can't make a webinar, we will upload the recording shortly after along with supporting resources.

Until then, you can take a look at 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.

We have been working extremely closely with AlphaPlus and our CBT and OSCE delivery partners to plan and prepare for the new test.