NMC Test of Competence

About the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

  • The OSCE is designed to assess your ability to competently apply your professional nursing or midwifery skills and knowledge in the UK. It is set at the level expected of nurses and midwives as they enter the profession (at the point of registration). This means you must show that you are capable of applying knowledge to the care of patients at the level expected of a newly registered nurse or midwife.

    The examination is testing your ability to apply knowledge to the care of patients rather than how well you can remember and recite facts. All the scenarios and any questions relate to current best practice and you should answer them in relation to published evidence and not according to local arrangements.

  • Oxford Brookes

    Oxford Brookes University provides Part 2 of the NMC’s Test of Competence on campuses in Swindon and Oxford.

    To understand our processes please refer to the candidate journey document that is available to download.

    We have developed a candidate handbook to help you prepare for your exam. This can be found in the downloads section to your right.

    Below is a link to a short video of a candidates journey.

  • Applying for Part 2 (the OSCE)

    Part 2 is a nursing or midwifery Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). The OSCE can only be sat after successfully passing Part 1 and only the NMC can authorise a candidate to take Part 2 after successfully passing the assessment stage.

    Please note that the Competency Test Centre has selected dates available for all OSCE's, but are limited in number for Child, Learning Disability and Mental Health Nursing and also Midwifery.   Please ensure that you have secured an exam date prior to making any travel arrangements to avoid disappointment.  We cannot guarantee a preferred date but will be able to give options.  Please contact ctc@brookes.ac.uk for all booking and pre-booking enquiries.

    The OSCE will simulate a clinical environment and “patient” scenarios which Registered Nurses and Midwives are likely to encounter when they assess, plan, implement and evaluate care. Candidates are expected to utilise a contemporary evidence base and effectively demonstrate safe practical application of nursing and midwifery skills. The Test of Competence is blueprinted against the current UK pre-registration standards and these standards are available on the NMC’s web site.

    In order to be eligible for Part 2 (OSCE) candidates must have passed Part 1 and have submitted their documents to the NMC. The NMC are responsible for authorising all candidates. Once you have been authorised please see the Booking your test section on how to book your test.

    We ask that candidates with a disability requiring a reasonable adjustment notify the test centre by emailing  ctc@brookes.ac.uk when booking their OSCE.

  • Nursing and Midwifery in the UK

    The UK is made up of four distinct countries, each with its own laws, culture and customs. For further information about life in the UK and cultural traditions visit the Project Britain website.

    The UK may be very different from the last country you practiced in and you should spend time finding out about the population, health and social care and other aspect of life. Much of this information is collected as data and available from the Office of National Statistics.

    Facts about the UK

    Approximately half of all children are born outside of marriage, there are large numbers of lone parents, same sex couples have civil partnership and equal marriage and many have children. All people must be treated equally and not subject to discrimination based on disability, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation. For further information on human rights law and equality please access the Equality Act 2010.

    Divorce, homosexuality and abortion are all legal in the UK. It is common for women and men to drink alcohol and smoke tobacco socially, although smoking is now banned in all enclosed public spaces such as bars and workplaces.  The UK is a multi-cultural, multi- faith society and all patients must have their faith or lack of faith, culture and human rights respected by all health care professionals.

    Becoming familiar with nursing or midwifery practice in the UK

    You must familiarise yourself with the ethical and professional standards expected of registered nurses and midwives in the UK. These are the required standards which underpin professional nursing and midwifery practice.

    All healthcare professionals must work in partnership with patients, obtaining their consent and respecting their dignity and privacy. It is unacceptable for your words or actions to imply or express disapproval of any patients’ lifestyle. “You must not discriminate in any way against those in your care”. Patients and the public expect high standards of professional practice from nurses and midwives.

    The NMC website has more information on what people should expect from a nurse or a midwife.

    Health care professionals work in partnership and registered nurse and midwives are expected to both contribute and also lead in areas of care where they have expertise. Many organisations are recruiting nurses using the six C’s, which are, Care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment and you should be familiar with these and be able to demonstrate them in the OSCE.

    Evidence base for nursing and midwifery practice

    You can find evidence based guidelines in nursing journals and texts and professional organisations such as the Royal College of Nurses and Royal College of Midwives.  The National Institute of Healthcare and Excellence and Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network are also useful sources, several useful links are also provided in the test blue print.

    Access to specific OSCE resources provided by Oxford Brookes University for the NMC’s Test of Competence are available after you have enrolled for the test.