Foreign nurses and midwives who want to work in Ireland will now be able to present OET, an English language test designed specifically for healthcare professionals, to prove their language competency.
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) has formally recognised OET – the Occupational English Test – for overseas-trained nurses and midwives who need to prove their level of English for registration in Ireland. NMBI will accept OET scores from January 2, 2018.
OET CEO, Sujata Stead explains: “OET is more relevant to healthcare professionals because it uses real healthcare scenarios making them more confident on test day. It also has the additional benefit of providing an insight into the language and communication skills healthcare professionals will need in their new workplace, thereby equipping candidates with the language skills for success at work.”
“For example, a nurse’s speaking skills will be assessed via a face-to-face role play using a typical nursing scenario, with a trained interlocutor who plays the part of a patient or carer.”
“In addition, the speaking and writing tests are different for each of the twelve healthcare professions we test so the scenarios for nurses will be different to the scenarios for physiotherapists.”
OET is run jointly by UK’s Cambridge Assessment English (part of the University of Cambridge) and Australia’s Box Hill Institute. Already recognised by authorities in the UK, Australia, Dubai, New Zealand and Singapore, the well-established test is widely used in the registration of overseas-trained healthcare professionals.
Hardik Patel, a nurse from India who took OET for registration in Australia, says he felt more confident taking a test which was more relevant to his profession. OET gave him an opportunity to serve the community and start his career.
Overseas-trained nurses and midwives who are required to take an English language test to gain registration with the NMBI need to achieve the following in OET:
>> At least a Grade C+ in Listening and Reading
>> At least a Grade B in Writing and Speaking
Of course, IELTS is still accepted with the following scores:
IELTS Academic Test Minimum scores
Listening – 6.5
Reading – 6.5
Writing – 7.0
Speaking – 7.0
Overall – 7.0
Stead concludes “Regulators and employers can feel confident that healthcare professionals who have achieved the required level in OET for their profession can communicate effectively in the healthcare workplace.”
For more information about the NMBI English language test requirements, go to: https://www.nmbi.ie/Registration/Trained-outside-Ireland/English-Language-Requirements
The Occupational English Test is currently available every month in nearly 40 countries. For more information visit their official website at https://www.occupationalenglishtest.org/.