UK recognises OET, the healthcare-specific English test for overseas nurses and midwives.

UK recognises OET, the healthcare-specific English test for overseas nurses and midwives.
Nurses and midwives who want to work in the UK will now be able to take an English language test designed specifically for healthcare professionals. From 1 November 2017 the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will formally recognise OET – the Occupational English Test – for overseas-trained nurses and midwives who need to prove their level of English proficiency for registration in the UK.

OET CEO, Sujata Stead explains: “What sets OET apart from other tests is that it is designed for healthcare. We use real communication scenarios, similar to the ones healthcare professionals encounter every day.”
“For example, a nurse’s speaking skills will be assessed via a face-to-face role play using a typical nursing scenario, with a trained interlocutor who plays the part of a patient or carer.”
“In addition, the speaking and writing tests are different for each of the twelve healthcare professions we test so the scenarios for nurses and midwives will be different to the scenarios for physiotherapists.”

OET is run jointly by the UK’s Cambridge Assessment English (part of the University of Cambridge) and Australia’s Box Hill Institute. Already recognised by authorities in Australia, Dubai, New Zealand and Singapore, the well-established test is widely used in the registration of overseas-trained healthcare professionals.
Ma-Annjit Singh, a nurse from the Philippines who took OET for registration in Australia says she felt more confident taking a test using familiar healthcare vocabulary and gained valuable knowledge about her future workplace.

“The scenarios used in OET gave me a glimpse into different ways of communicating so I knew what to expect at work”.
Overseas-trained nurses and midwives who are required to take an English language test to gain registration with the NMC need to achieve Grade B in all four OET subtests: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

OET CEO Sujata Stead concludes: “Regulators and employers can feel confident that healthcare professionals who have achieved the required level in OET for their profession can communicate effectively in the healthcare workplace.”
For more information about the NMC English language test requirements for OET from I November, go to:
The Occupational English Test is currently available every month in over 40 countries. For more information go to:


About OET

OET is an international English language test that assesses the communication skills of healthcare professionals seeking to register and practise in an English-speaking environment.
OET results are accepted by boards and councils in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai and Singapore as proof of English language proficiency. It is also recognised by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection and Immigration New Zealand for all visa categories where proof of English language skills is required.
OET is owned by Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment, a venture between Cambridge Assessment English (part of Cambridge University) and Box Hill Institute, Australia.

For more information about OET, visit
OET Australia contact
Sujata Stead
The OET Centre, Melbourne
Mobile: +61 447 375 649
Email: [email protected]

UK contact
Stephen McKenna
Cambridge Assessment English Phone: +44 1223 553826 (diverts to mobile) Email: [email protected]
About NMC The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the independent professional regulator for nurses and midwives in the UK. We exist to protect the public. We do this by maintaining the register of qualified nurses and midwives and setting standards of education, training, conduct and performance. We make sure that nurses and midwives keep their skills and knowledge up to date through a regular revalidation process. If concerns are raised about the standards of a registered nurse or midwife, we have a duty to investigate and, where necessary, take action to protect the public.
Nursing and Midwifery Council 23 Portland Place London W1B 1PZ Phone: +44 (0) 20 7333 9333 (Registrations Centre)