IELTS -NMC- Change 6.5 as min Academic score or change to OET (Occupational English Test)
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IELTS -NMC -change 6.5 as min Academic score or change to OET (Occupational English Test)
The Nursing and Midwifery Council is to carry out a “stocktake” of the test it uses to assess the English language skills of overseas nurses and midwives, following discussions with the Department of Health. In NMC council papers due to be discussed in July, the regulator said it would be “gathering data and evidence” to help it decide whether the standards for English language testing needed to change
The Academic format is, broadly speaking, for those who want to study or train in an English-speaking university or Institutions of Higher and Further Education. Admission to undergraduate and postgraduate
OET is recognised by regulatory healthcare bodies and councils in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Many organisations, including hospitals, universities and colleges, are using OET as proof of a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in a demanding healthcare environment. In addition, OET is recognised by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection for a number of visa categories, including work and student visas.
We request NMC to consider,
1. NMC- change 6.5 as min Academic score or change to OET (Occupational English Test)
2. minimum score for IELTS is 6.5 (currently 7)
3. Score clubbing in 3 sittings (currently 2)
4. All tests must be in 12 months (currently 6 months)
5. Minimum score for clubbing is 6 in any categories (currently 6.5)
We need NMC to reduce the band 6.5 in each module ,and we also request to consider that the test-taker scores a minimum 6 in all papers (not 6.5) by clubbing three sittings scores (not 2) over 9 months (not 6 months)
It noted that the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam it uses had been in place since 2007 for nurses and midwives from outside the European Union. Since the start of 2016, the IELTS has also been used to asses EU nursing staff who apply to work in the UK. The NMC’s decision comes after some trust chief nurses and recruitment agencies have warned that the test is set at too high a level and is delaying vital overseas recruitment needed to help fill staffing gaps in the UK.
As recently reported by Nursing Times, staff from abroad are taking between eight months and a year on average to pass the IELTS following several attempts and only around 50% of potential candidates are ultimately successful. Directors of nursing have been lobbying the NMC for a change to the test, with suggestions including reducing the pass rate – currently set as a minimum score of 7.0 across all elements of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Prior to 2007, the NMC required overseas nurses to achieve a score of 6.5 across all four elements of the IELTS, but increased the level following a consultation. The number of EU nurses applying to register with the NMC surged at the start of 2016, ahead of the language test being brought in for European staff.
More than two-thirds of trusts and health boards in the UK are actively trying to recruit from abroad as they struggle to cope with a shortage of qualified staff, figures reveal. Tens of thousands of NHS nursing and doctor posts are vacant. The statistics, obtained by the BBC, show the scale of the NHS recruitment crisis. Health unions blame poor workforce planning, but officials say the NHS has more staff than ever before. Data from a BBC Freedom of Information request shows that on 1 December 2015, the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland had more than 23,443 nursing vacancies - equivalent to 9% of the workforce.
NHS recruitment crisis
69% of UK trusts are actively recruiting abroad for doctors or nurses
23,443 nursing vacancies in England, Wales & Northern Ireland
9% vacancy rate for nurses
6,207 doctor vacancies
7% vacancy rate for doctors
One solution to the staff shortage adopted by many trusts is employing doctors and nurses from overseas. The BBC also asked trusts and health boards across the UK whether they were actively recruiting staff from abroad, and in this case Scottish hospitals were also able to answer. The figures show more than two-thirds - 69% - of all NHS trusts and health boards are seeking staff overseas. And in just England and Wales, the figure is nearly three-quarters of all trusts - 74%. Some are travelling from as far afield as India and the Philippines.
Hard to recruit Nursing staff
More than two-thirds of trusts are looking to recruit nurses from overseas The health unions, the Royal College of Nursing and the British Medical Association blame poor workforce planning for the problems hospitals are having in finding qualified staff. Janet Davies, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: "Nursing posts are often the first target when savings need to be made, leading the NHS to find itself dangerously short and having to spend more on agency staff and recruitment from other countries. "The modest increases made in training places are not nearly enough to tackle current problems or the significant challenges facing the NHS over the coming decade." A spokesman for the doctor's union the BMA - which is currently locked in a dispute with the government in England over a new contract for junior doctors - said the crisis in recruitment was down to a number of factors. "Poor workforce planning means we aren't producing enough doctors and sending them to the right areas," he said.
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