Five out of six participants pass
A pilot of the Occupational English Test (OET) has achieved excellent results, with five of six participants achieving the four grade Bs required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to register and practice in the UK. The sixth candidate received three grade Bs, narrowly missing out on a fourth.
The NMC recognised OET in November 2017 as an official assessment of whether an international nurse has the appropriate English language skills to practice safely and effectively in the UK.
OET is specifically designed for healthcare professionals and uses real-world healthcare scenarios to ensure candidates have the required English skills to deliver safe and effective patient care.
The pilot involved eight nurses based in the UK, India and the Philippines, who were selected from four NHS Trusts. Two of these eight are yet to take OET. The four UK nurses were working as Health Care Assistants at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. The nurses were prepared for the test by UK-based Specialist Language Courses (SLC), the first training organisation in Europe to become an OET-accredited Premium Preparation Provider.
Each of the nurses received 100 hours of tuition over 10 weeks, meeting their teacher in the SLC online classroom for two hours every week day. They were also given homework, which varied according to their specific needs. None had seen or taken OET before.
SLC Director Peter Rodway said: “Five out of six first-time passes is an excellent result and a very encouraging sign that the NMC’s decision to recognise OET was the right one”. Bethan Edwards, SLC Academic Director, added: “The feedback from students about their working life was overwhelmingly positive. They said they felt more confident when interacting with patients, better equipped to plan and structure a conversation and crucially, they noticed a positive difference in the reactions from their patients.”
Sujata Stead, CEO of Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment, the owners of OET, said, “Congratulations to both the successful candidates and SLC on these excellent results. While we are delighted, we are not surprised. Candidates and employers alike tell us time and again that OET is a valid proof of English proficiency and that OET alumni enter the workplace with increased confidence and the communication skills required to ensure patient safety and quality care”.
OET was designed in the late 1980s and has been used in Australia for many years. In addition to Australia and the UK, OET is recognised by healthcare boards and councils in Ireland, New Zealand, Dubai and Singapore. The test may be taken every month in more than 40 countries.
SLC is the UK’s leading provider of Medical English training services, whose digital courses and classrooms enable thousands of medical professionals and students world-wide to work, travel study, research and communicate with each other in English.
Their team includes internationally-renowned Medical English writers, teacher-trainers, Medical English teachers, exam specialists and online language learning experts.
For more information about SLC, visit www.specialistlanguagecourses.com.