IELTS | Media Centre
European nurses must prove English language ability to
practice in the UK
28 January 2016
Nurses and midwives from Europe will need to prove they have the
required English language skills to practise in the UK, under new
rules coming into force today.
If nurses and midwives cannot provide evidence of their English
language skills - such as having trained or worked in an
English-speaking country – they will need to take an officially
recognised English language test, according to the Nursing and
Midwifery Council (NMC).
Under current rules, medical professionals from outside the
European Economic Area (EEA) are required to take a test in order
to register as practitioners in the UK. Many thousands take the
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) each year to
prove their English proficiency.
An IELTS spokesperson commented; “As a secure and reliable test
of the four skills - listening, reading writing and speaking -
IELTS will also be an ideal choice for nurses and midwives who want
to prove their English language ability. Our 50+ IELTS test centres
across the UK stand ready to provide access and support to any
medical staff wishing to test their English skills – and we hope
that this will help to increase levels of public confidence in all
medical staff working in the UK”.
According to the BBC, the NMC has more than 690,000 nurses and
midwives on its register. Around 66,000 of these come from non-EU
countries and 33,000 from the EU.
IELTS continues to be the world’s most popular English language
proficiency test for education and global migration, and is
accepted by over 9,000 organisations worldwide, including schools,
universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional
IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS
Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment.