NMC CBT and OSCE Changes 2021: New Test of Competence To Start August 2021

Last year we shared our revised plans to implement the new ToC in April 2021 instead of summer 2020 due to the pressures on the health and social care sector from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The current wave of the pandemic continues to cause increasing pressure across the sector and in particular those working on the front line. We understand that asking candidates and employers to prepare for a new test at this time would add to that pressure.

We will therefore introduce the new test on 2 August 2021. Candidates will continue to sit the current ToC until this point.

We want to give you as much time as possible to become familiar with the new content, so we will publish updated resources in March. This will include the revised programme of engagement to prepare candidates, employers and recruiters for the ToC 2021.

You can find the latest information for overseas candidates in our Covid-19 hub and if you have any questions please do contact us at toc@nmc-uk.org.

With best wishes,

Linda Everet

Deputy Director, Professional Regulation

How the test will be changing

The computer-based test (CBT) will be split into two parts – Part A will cover numeracy and Part B will cover nursing or midwifery theory.

The objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) will have 10 stations:

  • Four stations will continue to be linked together around a scenario: the APIE (one station for assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation)
  • Four stations will test skills – two pairs of two skills
  • Two new stations will be introduced – one will assess the candidate’s values and behaviours and the other will assess evidence-based practice.

New OSCE marking criteria – each station will be assessed against assessed against an updated list of relevant criteria.

Updated test content – we’ve worked with clinical partners to review the existing bank of examination materials and develop new material.

Improved candidate support – we’re improving the range and quality of preparation materials for candidates and those who support them.

Trialling new CBT questions

We’re trialling some of the new CBT questions to help us decide the pass mark for the new tests.

Candidates taking the current adult nursing CBT will complete 10 extra questions. These questions will be unscored and will not count towards their CBT result, but this will help us set the pass mark for the new CBT.

We’re grateful for candidates who will be completing the 10 extra questions; we appreciate that it means more questions, however we’re confident that candidates will have enough time.

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