Updates to the OSCE – Test of Competency for Nurses and Midwives in UK

Admin January 18, 2023

The NMC has introduced a number of changes to the OSCE, the second part of the Test of Competence, which is a practical test for overseas nurses seeking Nursing registration in the UK. Read on to know what they are. 

OSCE stands for Objective Structured Clinical Examination. Part one of the Test of Competence 2021 is a computer-based test known as CBT. Part two of the Test of Competence is a practical exam known as the OSCE. In this part, you’ll be tested on your clinical and communication skills. 

You can take the CBT or OSCE in any sequence, but to move on with your application for initial registration or readmission, you must successfully complete both parts. There are five authorized test providers for OSCE exams: 

  • Oxford Brookes University 
  • University of Northampton 
  • Ulster University 
  • Northumbria University 
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 

New structure 

The new OSCE comprises of Ten stations: 

  • Four stations will remain linked collectively around a scenario: the APIE (one station for assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation) 
  • Four stations to test skills (two pairs of two skills) 
  • There are two additional stations to evaluate the candidate’s values, behaviors, and adherence to evidence-based practice. 

Upcoming changes and Test maintenance 

In order to continuously examine and update test content for the Test of Competence, the NMC actively collaborates with their test development partner. These are to: 

  • make certain that it reflects clinical practice, 
  • eliminate stations that have been in use for a while, 
  • establish fresh skills that candidates might encounter in clinical practice. 

Starting November 14, 2022, the NMC has started implementing several fresh scenarios and abilities for the nursing OSCE. A collection of support and preparation materials for candidates as well as those offering preparation and support programs is now being published by all test centers. 

New marking guidelines and station timings will be included in the updated support materials, which will help candidates prepare.  There are no modifications to the number of stations at which candidates must sit, although they can be requested to perform a different clinical skill or scenario than other candidates. 

Candidates who are prepared to practice in the UK and adhere to the NMC Code’s criteria should be confident in their ability to pass these stations. The timetable for upcoming test changes will be posted on the NMC’s official web page. 

Getting ready for your OSCE 

To be ready for your OSCE, it is advised that you read the following: 

  • You must adhere to the professional standards set forth in The Code throughout your practice. 
  • 2021 Competency Test for Nurses: OSCE Information Booklet 
  • The OSCE instruction brochure for 2021, Test of Competence for Midwives 
  • Materials for the 2021 Test of Competence 

Establishing your identity 

To prove your identification, you must present the exam center with a current passport. The passport you listed earlier in your application must match this one. Additionally, a photo will be taken of you at the test center for the ID you’ll need to wear while you’re there. 

How do I get my result

Within 15 working days after the OSCE date, you will get an email with the results. If your OSCE is successful, you’ll receive an email with instructions on what to do next. If you don’t pass your OSCE, you’ll receive an email with feedback detailing which stations and components you failed. Since you only need to retake the stations you failed, this information will help you get ready for your resit attempt. Please get in touch with your test center if your NMC Online account indicates that you failed but you haven’t gotten your feedback.  

How to appear for the OSCE test again? 

As part of your application, you are allowed to take the OSCE up to three times, but you must wait at least ten days between each session. If you fail the OSCE on your third try, your application will be closed, and if you wish to register again, you’ll have to start a new one. Before taking the OSCE once more, you must wait at least six months. 

How to appeal

If you feel that the exam’s administration was improper or that the process was corrupted, you might be eligible to appeal. Please read the OSCE information pamphlets for further details on the appeals procedure. 

Concerns regarding your OSCE 

Please get in touch with your test center if you have questions concerning your OSCE registration or exam results. 

Have more questions, or wish to get personalized prep support and expert training for the OSCE? Contact the team at MWT Global Academy. We have helped thousands of nurses find their dream career overseas, and you could be next!