Practising medicine in the UK will become simpler for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals as the country has changed its visa norms by doing away with the requirement of two separate English tests, according to the British Council. Earlier the candidates had to clear two separate tests for registering with relevant healthcare regulator in the UK and for immigration purposes.
The British Council conducts the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam for non-native English language speakers. "We are excited that the UK recently streamlined the English proficiency tests requirement for international healthcare professionals. This is good news for aspiring Indian and other international healthcare professionals, as now they are required to take an English exam just once to enable them to work in the UK," Michael King, director at British Council English and Examinations Services India Private Limited, said.
The candidates earlier had to take exams like IELTS or OET to register with Nursing and Midwifery Council and the General Medical Council which are the two healthcare boards in the UK and they also had to clear IELTS (UKVi) to apply for visa. According to the British Council, since the benchmark of English tested for the registration as healthcare professional was already high, there was no need for duplication of the exercise and the change in visa norms will make practising medicine in the UK smooth for healthcare professionals.
The change in norms has also been welcomed by officials at Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment, which conducts the Occupational English Test (OET). "The UK Home Office has 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," said Sujata Stead, CEO, Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment.
"This change will make sure that hospitals and medical practices across the country will be able to access the staff they need more quickly," she added.
The change is applicable to all Tier 2 (general) visa applications submitted from October 1.