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General Pharmaceutical Council approves specialised English test for overseas pharmacists coming to the UK

By 1 March 2021OET News
Pharmacists who are interested in working in Britain can now benefit from a decision from The General Pharmaceutical Council about how they can prove their English language ability.

To work in Britain, Pharmacists and Pharmacist Technicians must prove they have the English language skills needed to carry out their jobs as part of the registration process with the regulator. Professionals choosing this route can now prove their English language proficiency with OET, an English language test specifically developed for the healthcare sector. OET is used globally in the healthcare sector and covers 12 healthcare professions including a specific test for Pharmacy. The test reflects real-life workplace tasks and relevant language skills that are needed by Pharmacists, a role recently added to the UK government’s Shortage Occupation List which gives foreign workers in key health and care roles an advantage in obtaining a skilled worker visa. The experts behind the test say OET will be a big help to the General Pharmaceutical Council when evaluating applications to join its register, as it will help them to identify those individuals with the English language skills needed for safe and effective practice.

Sujata Stead, CEO of OET, said:

‘Overseas pharmacists and technicians make a valuable contribution in Britain and we’re delighted to gain this level of recognition from the General Pharmaceutical Council. It’s essential that healthcare professionals coming to work in an English-speaking environment have the English language skills they need to communicate clearly and deliver safe and quality care. We’ve designed OET so it reflects the real-life communication scenarios that Pharmacists are likely to face, so it’s a really fit for purpose test. This means Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians who have passed OET with the required grades will be able to communicate sensitive information with customers, patients and colleagues, which will help them have a positive experience of the sector.’

The General Pharmaceutical Council joins healthcare boards and council around the world who accept OET results as proof of English language skills including in the UK, the USA, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Since 2013 OET has been owned by Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment, a venture between Cambridge Assessment English and Box Hill Institute.

About OET

OET is the world’s only international English language test specifically for healthcare professionals. The test assesses the communication skills of healthcare professionals who seek to register and practise in an English-speaking environment.

OET results are accepted by healthcare regulators in the USA, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Singapore, Malta, Namibia and Ukraine as proof of English language proficiency. The test is also recognised in Australia and New Zealand for visa and immigration purposes, while doctors and nurses in the UK are not required to take a separate English language test when applying for a Tier 2 (General) visa if they have provided OET results as proof of English proficiency to their healthcare regulator.

For more information visit http://www.occupationalenglishtest.org or contact [email protected].

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