About the NMC Test of Competence
Find out more information about undertaking your OSCE (Part two) at Ulster University.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) introduced a Test of Competence for internationally registered nurses and midwives in October 2014.
The Test of Competence measures candidates against the current UK pre-registration standards. Nursing in the United Kingdom (UK) comprises of separate and distinct fields of practice, each requiring three years of pre-registration undergraduate education.
The distinct nursing fields of practice are:
- Adult nursing
- Children’s nursing
- Learning disabilities nursing
- Mental health nursing
In the UK, midwifery is a separate and distinct profession, also requiring three years of pre-registration undergraduate education.
The Test of Competence is specific to a field of nursing or midwifery practice and consists of two parts. This website provides information about Part two of the Test of Competence.
You will find links to online resources and useful documents available on Ulster University’s website and the NMC’s website, which will help you prepare for the Test of Competence.
More information including access to eBook materials is available after you have paid for the OSCE examination.
Applying for OSCE (Part two)
Part two is a nursing or midwifery Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). The OSCE can only be undertaken after you have successfully passed Part one and only the NMC can authorise you to undertake Part two.
Once you have received confirmation from the NMC of a successful pass in Part one, you will be directed to Ulster University’s Test Centre webpage to begin the application process for Part two.
If you have a disability requiring any reasonable adjustment please notify the Test Centre at time of booking your OSCE by using the ‘Contact’ area on the website.
You may be entitled to extra time in the stations if you have learning support needs. Evidence must be provided from professional reports at the time of booking to verify your learning support needs so that adjustments may be considered prior to undertaking the OSCE. Student Support Services at Ulster University will review the report and provide advice.
Preparing for the OSCE
The OSCE is designed to assess your ability to competently apply your professional nursing or midwifery knowledge and skills in the UK. The level expected is that of a nurse or midwife as they enter the profession at the point of registration. This means that you must show that you are capable of applying knowledge to the care of service users at the level expected of a newly registered nurse or midwife.
The examination is testing your ability to apply knowledge to the care of service users rather than how well you can remember and recite facts. All scenarios and associated questions relate to current best practice and you should answer them in relation to published evidence and not according to local arrangements.
Once payment has been received by Ulster University for your OSCE examination, you will be enrolled onto our online learning platform- Blackboard Learn- and login details will be sent to you.
On this site you will find useful information, examples of documentation used in the examination process, and access to a comprehensive reading list.
It is essential that candidates prepare for the Test of Competence and we recommend at least 14 days preparation time from booking to test date to sufficiently prepare yourself.
The OSCE examination consists of six stations (two assessing skills and four assessing the patient journey). Candidates are in the test centre for approximately three hours.
Further information on the test can be found in the Candidate Information Booklet
An identification (ID) check will be conducted by the NMC on-site at the Test Centre where all the candidate’s original documents submitted as part of the application process to the NMC will be verified.
The ID check may take place before or after the actual examination. Please see the NMC website for further details.
Cost of the examination
The test costs £794 (Effective 1st April 2019).
Should your candidate need to re-sit* a partial re-sit will cost £397 or a full re-sit will cost £794
*Please allow ten days between original test date and re-sit to allow for additional preparation and action on feedback.
Full / New OSCE application.
For candidates who failed up to four stations across both the APIE / skill stations:
Candidates who failed five or more stations across both the APIE and skill stations:
Costs are as 1st Resit.
Should a candidate fail the 2nd resit then a new OSCE application is required.
The new application will be charged at full cost.
NHS Trusts and Agencies can change their candidates’ examination dates. However it is important to note our cancellation and rescheduling policy and take into account the timescales. Should you wish to cancel or reschedule your candidate examination please contact us.
We are aware that some organisations and consultancies are offering OSCE preparation training sessions for candidates undertaking Part two of the Test of Competence. These sessions are NOT endorsed or approved by Ulster University or the NMC.