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Midwifery OSCE assessments

As part of the ongoing development of the Test of Competence OSCE for midwifery, we have made some changes to the existing assessments and released a small number of new stations which will come into use from Monday 26 June. These changes will ensure a wider coverage of the standards, code of practice and blueprint and forms part of our routine maintenance to keep the test valid and reliable.

Candidates will still sit a 10 station OSCE but these changes will mean that there will be a greater selection of skills that could be assessed which will make the assessment less predictable. We will continue to develop new stations covering different skills and scenarios, so it is important that candidates and those supporting them incorporate the NMC blueprint and standards into their preparation for the test.

The new stations are:

APIE stations

  • Antenatal
  • Postnatal

Clinical skills stations

  • Birth
  • Postnatal Sepsis
  • Unexpected Breech Birth
  • Neonatal blood glucose monitoring
  • Intramuscular injection
  • Removal of urinary catheter

Evidence Based Practice

  • Induction of labour at term

Professional Values

  • Safeguarding women and children

In addition to these changes the existing stations have been updated. Systematic Examination of the Newborn has been amended to require candidates to carry out two aspects (heart, eyes hips or testes) as opposed to one aspect and it has been split from the postnatal check.  There are also other small changes to the existing stations to bring them into line with the latest best clinical practice and to ensure that the APIE stations flow more logically and are clearer and there is no duplication of tasks for candidates.

The marking criteria available to trusts and candidates have also been updated as we are seeing higher numbers of candidates attempting to rote learn the marking criteria. This is problematic as they no longer approach the assessment with an open mind and in some cases find the assessment challenging when presented with new or different scenarios.The updated marking guidance are more holistic and will give trusts and candidates the key points that that all candidates will be assessed on.  They should be used by candidates to confirm understanding of the different skills that they need to demonstrate across the OSCE but the standards, code, and blueprint should form the basis of all teaching and learning.

All candidates who sit their assessment prior to 26 June 2023 will not be presented with the updates covered above.  All candidates who sit on or after 26 June will experience the changes we have made.