UK NMC Reviews Tests of Competency

To reflect contemporary societies’ expectations of health professionals, the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council has reviewed the standards of the tests of competency, the computer-based test (CBT) and the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), to constitute the skills, knowledge and attributes they must exhibit.

The test, taken in Accra, Ghana at Total House, is now divided into two parts, parts A and B. While Part A assesses numeracy (ability to reason and apply simple numerical concepts), Part B is theory-based, testing the knowledge of candidates on the principles of their practice.

Furthermore, the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), which is taken in the UK usually during the third month of arrival, will now have 10 stations, instead of 8:

Linked together around a scenario, four stations – the APIE (one station for assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation) – remain unchanged.

The skills-testing four stations are also unaffected.

To highlight the need to assess values and behaviours as well as evidence-based practice, two new stations will be introduced to ensure that employees meet the highest ethical and professional standards.  

OSCE Marking Criteria 
Each station will be assessed against specific criteria and with a holistic judgement.

Test Content 
After a comprehensive evaluation, the content of the test has been updated. This implies that while portions of the content of the existing test have been maintained, new ones have also been included.

Candidate Support 
Accordingly, the range and quality of preparation materials will be improved to enable candidates to pass the revised test.

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