Nurses, Social Workers, Radiographers and Paramedics relocating to the UK are required to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Occupational English Test (OET) exam to prove that they are proficient in speaking and understanding the English language.
Health care staff relocating to the UK are required to be able to prove that they are proficient in speaking and understanding the English language. There are two types of language test available to health care professionals; IELTS and OET.
What is OET?
The Occupational English Test (OET) is an English language test that assesses the language and communication skills of healthcare professionals who seek to register and practise in an English-speaking environment, such as the UK. Just like IELTS, it provides a valid and reliable assessment of all four language skills – reading, writing, speaking and speaking – however, unlike IELTS, the emphasis with OET is on communication within healthcare settings.
OET score accepted by the NMC
OET uses a grading system from A to E, where A shows a very high level of competency through to E which shows a low level of competency that requires considerable improvement. The OET score accepted by the NMC is grade B across all four areas. As with IELTS, the NMC will accept two OET test results which are a maximum of six months apart and with a minimum of two skills achieved at grade C or above. The combined result must show the required band score of B.
How much does it cost and how do I register?
The cost of OET is approximately £345 and you can regsiter online via the OET portal
Test results and validity
Nurses can view their latest test grades via their online profile on the OET website 15 business days after each test day. Five business days after the publication of results in online profiles, nurses receive a Statement of Results in the post. This is their official hard copy statement which gives the band conversion of the fair score and details the scores obtained at the most recent sitting, as well as scores for all sittings within the last three years.
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