The Occupational English Test (OET) opens a new test venue in the UK with Medical English Plus

OET, the English language test for healthcare professionals, will be available at a new venue from February. The new Brighton test venue will be managed by Medical English Plus.

OET (Occupational English Test) is an Australian-developed English language test which assesses language communication skills of healthcare professionals. It provides assessment of all four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking – through test material designed to reflect real healthcare scenarios.

Pam Lynch, Managing Director says: “We are committed to providing services and solutions that meet the needs of the communities in Brighton. By offering OET at Medical English Plus, we are enabling health care professionals to demonstrate their English language proficiency for professional registration and employment purposes”.“OET, which is owned by Cambridge Assessment English and Box Hill Institute, has a unique and proven 30-year pedigree and the test is recognised by healthcare regulators world-wide. The decision to offer the test was an easy one to make,” she concluded.

OET CEO, Sujata Stead, said the new venue will make a huge contribution to the healthcare sector. “I’m sure OET candidates will have an excellent experience with Medical English Plus. We commend them for their passion for meeting the needs of the community through empowering healthcare professionals to have the level of English communication skills required for safe and effective care”.

MEDIA RELEASE -09/07/2020

OET accepted in the US for both doctors and nurses

Doctors and nurses applying for positions in the United States can now validate their English language proficiency with OET, the world’s only international English language test specifically for healthcare professionals. The test has been formally recognised by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates|Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (ECFMG®|FAIMER®), the Florida Board of Nursing and the Oregon State Board of Nursing.

ECFMG Certification evaluates whether international medical graduates (IMGs) are ready to enter residency or fellowship programs in the US that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and to obtain a license to practise from a Medical Licensing Authority. ECFMG has identified pathways for meeting the clinical skills requirements for ECFMG Certification for IMGs seeking to enter accredited U.S. residencies or fellowships in 2021 as a result of the suspension of the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) component of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) due to Covid-19. These pathways include assessment of English proficiency by OET.

OET’s approval by Nursing regulators in the states of Florida and Oregon will be written into the respective states’ rules by the end of 2020; we will advise those interested in working in these states as soon as their OET results will be accepted.

The grades required of IMGs for ECFMG Certification are a minimum score of 350 (Grade B) on each of the four measured components of the OET (Medicine): Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Nurses applying to Oregon must achieve a minimum of 4 Grade Bs (minimum score of 350) and those nurses applying for licensure in Florida must achieve a minimum of 4 Grade C+s (minimum score of 300).

OET CEO Sujata Stead said she was delighted about the test’s acceptance in the US.

“IMGs and nurses world-wide who would like to enter the US health care system can now do so using an English proficiency test that is designed specifically for them. OET test tasks replicate real-life communication scenarios that they are likely to encounter in the healthcare workplace and are therefore far more relevant to their careers,” she said.

“Moreover,” she added, “with OET now recognised in the US as well as nine other countries, including the UK and Australia, it truly is the healthcare professional’s passport to an international career.”

IMGs can pre-register now to take the OET (Medicine) as early as August 2020. ECFMG will accept OET (Medicine) scores that meet the minimum passing requirements for tests taken on or after 1 July 2018.


MEDIA RELEASE – 28/11/2019

NMC amends OET Writing to C+

The UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) announced yesterday that it would amend the OET Writing requirement for overseas nurses and midwives taking the Occupational English Test (OET). From late January next year, the Council will accept a grade C+ in Writing alongside a minimum B grade in the OET Listening, Reading and Speaking sub-tests.

The decision is in line with an NMC announcement late last year that they would begin to accept an IELTS Writing 6.5 (changed from 7). Since then the Council has undertaken significant engagement with OET to ascertain that an OET C+ in Writing is equivalent to an IELTS Writing score of 6.5. In addition, OET provided empirical evidence via a standard-setting workshop with NHS trusts that a C+ grade would meet the writing standard required by nurses in the workplace.

OET CEO Sujata Stead said:

“We are delighted by the NMC’s decision to amend the required OET Writing score. Many nurses and midwives taking OET have been narrowly missing out on achieving a grade B so the NMC decision, together with UKVI no longer requiring candidates to sit a separate English language test to apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa, will allow many more highly capable professionals to register and work in the UK.”

“We applaud the NMC for their diligence in fulfilling their core public regulator role of ensuring nurses and midwives in the UK have the necessary skills to provide patients with safe and high-quality care,” Stead concluded.

Emma Broadbent, Director of Registration and Revalidation for the NMC said:

“These common sense changes are in line with the NMC’s commitment to better, safer care and will continue to ensure that only those nurses, midwives and nursing associates with the right skills, knowledge and command of English are able to join and re-join our register”.

The change will come into effect from 28 January 2020. OET results achieved during the previous two years that meet the new requirements will also be considered by the regulator.


MEDIA RELEASE -11/09/2019

OET and Tier 2 visas: Only one test now required for both registration and visa purposes.

Doctors, nurses, dentists and midwives applying for Tier 2 (General) visas no longer need to meet a separate English language requirement where they have already done so as part of registering with the relevant regulatory body. This means that these healthcare professionals will be exempt from the English language requirement for their visa application where they have used their successful OET results for registering with the relevant healthcare regulator. The test was recognised by the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council and the General Medical Council almost two years ago.

In their media release on Gov.UK, the Home Office announced: “The Home Office has also streamlined English language testing ensuring that doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives who have already passed an English language test accepted by the relevant professional body, do not have to sit another test before entry to the UK on a Tier 2 visa. This change will make sure that hospitals and medical practices across the country will be able to access thestaff they need more quickly.

The change will apply to all Tier 2 (General) visa applications submitted on or after 1 October.

The CEO of Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment, the owners of OET, said: “We areabsolutely delighted that healthcare professionals can now take OET for both visa and registration purposes. This will enormously reduce the burden on overseas trained professionals seeking to work in the UK.”

“I congratulate the government on taking this step and we look forward to working furtherwith the NHS and healthcare recruiters to fulfil their staffing requirements with overseas trained healthcare professionals who have the communication skills to deliver safe andeffective care.”

OET has been increasing in popularity among test-takers, recruiters and employers, who value the ability of a healthcare-specific test to best prepare candidates for the English- speaking healthcare workplace