The Nursing and Midwifery Council has postponed the launch of its new test of competence until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been announced.
The nursing regulator was due to implement an updated version of the test, which assesses the skills and knowledge of nurses from overseas or who are returning to practice, in the summer.
“As we begin to move out of the emergency, we’ll resume our work to implement the new test of competence”
However, because of the outbreak of the novel virus, the NMC has decided to put this on hold until April 2021 to give candidates, employers and recruiters time to prepare for the new test.
Since 2019, the regulator has been working to develop a new test of competence for those wishing to join the register from overseas or after a long time out of practice, because it wanted the test to “better reflect” its new standards for nurses and midwives.
Emma Broadbent, director of professional regulation for the NMC, provided an update on the new test during a council meeting held on Wednesday.
She said: “In 2019 we started work to update our test of competence to better reflect our innovative new standards for both nurses and midwives.
“This was due to go live this summer, but because of Covid-19 and the need for us to support the health and social care workforce, we have decided to postpone the implementation of the new test of competence until April 2021.”
Ms Broadbent confirmed that “as we begin to move out of the emergency and toward our new normal, we’ll resume our work to implement the new test of competence”.
“I am confident this new timetable will make sure we’re able to fully engage with our partners so that all candidates, employers and recruiters are ready for these changes,” she added.