OET recognised by the Paramedicine Board of Australia
Internationally trained paramedics seeking to work in Australia are now able to prove English language proficiency by taking the Occupational English Test (OET), an English language test designed specifically for healthcare professionals.
The Paramedicine Board of Australia (the Board) regulates paramedics in Australia under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (the National Law) and requires all applicants for initial registration to demonstrate English language skills to be suitable for registration.
The Board’s functions are supported by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), which is responsible for the registration and accreditation of 15 health professions in Australia under the National Law. The Board has recognised the Occupational English Test (OET) as evidence of English proficiency to register to work as a paramedic in Australia.
The English language skills registration standard for paramedics (ELS standard) sets out how an applicant for registration can demonstrate to the Board that their competence in speaking and communicating in English is sufficient to practise the paramedicine profession.
Currently, there is no paramedicine specific OET, and therefore, there is no OET test specified in the ELS registration standard. The Board has agreed, however, that an equivalent pass of the OET test for any other registered health profession will meet the Board’s requirements for registration.
For example, an applicant who has successfully undertaken a Pharmacy OET test and has a minimum score of B in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking) either from one test sitting, or a maximum of two test sittings in a six month period (only if they are tested in all four components in each sitting, and they achieve a minimum score of B in each component across the two sittings, and no score in any component of the test is below C), will be deemed to have met the requirements of the ELS standard for paramedicine.
OET CEO Sujata Stead said: “We are pleased to welcome paramedics to our comprehensive list of Australian healthcare boards that recognise OET as evidence of English proficiency. Together with our recognition by Australia’s Department of Home Affairs, paramedics who trained overseas can take a single test to meet both their visa and registration requirements.”
“Although OET does not offer a paramedicine-specific test, unlike other English tests recognised by the Board, OET test materials are based on real healthcare scenarios and are therefore more appropriate for paramedics than a general English language test that offers no healthcare content whatsoever,” she concluded.
OET is recognised by healthcare regulators in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Dubai, Malta and Ukraine for registration, employment and education purposes, as well as for immigration and visas in Australia and New Zealand. In the UK, doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists applying for a Tier 2 (General) visa no longer need to take a separate English test if they have taken OET to register with the relevant regulatory body.