A revised English language skills registration standard for all nurses and midwives will take effect from July this year.
Applicable to all applicants for initial registration, the revised standard features additional pathways for applicants to validate their English language skills.
The revised standard was developed by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) after an evaluation of the current standard, which included public consultation. The consultation report, which can be downloaded here, contains a summary of responses and the rationale for any changes. The report also indicates future initiatives, as well as areas where further work is planned.
The revised English language skills registration standard allows initial registrants to demonstrate their English language competency through one of the following ways:
1. Primary English pathway
2. Extended education pathway
3. English language tests pathway
Primary English pathway
This pathway is for applicants who grew up and completed their education in a country where English is the primary language. To qualify for this pathway, you need to meet all of the following requirements:
a. English is your primary language.
b. You should have completed at least six years of primary and secondary education taught and evaluated in English in one of the recognised counties, including at least two years between years 7 and 12.
c.Your qualification in your profession should have been taught and assessed solely in English on one of the recognised countries.
Recognised countries include Australia, the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and South Africa.
Extended education pathway
This pathway, meanwhile, is for those who have completed at least five years (full-time equivalent) of education taught and assessed in English in a recognised country. The NMBA will only accept the completion of five years of either of the following:
a. Tertiary and secondary education taught and assessed in English
b. Tertiary and vocational education taught and assessed in English
c. combined tertiary, secondary and vocational education taught and assessed in English
d. tertiary education taught and assessed in English
English language test pathway
If you have not been taught and assessed in English in any of the recognised countries, this pathway is for you. This pathway mostly applies to Filipino health practitioners who have completed their education in the Philippines. To qualify, you should be able to obtain the required minimum scores in one of the following English language tests:
– International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
– Occupational English Test (OET)
– Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)
– Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT)
– Other English language tests approved by the NMBA
Unlike the previous standard, you will no longer be required to obtain the necessary scores in one sitting. English language skills can now be demonstrated by submitting the results two tests within a six-month period.