English Language FAQs

There are three types of evidence that will satisfy us that you have the necessary knowledge of English to practise in the UK. If we are not satisfied with what you send us, we will ask you to provide an alternative type of evidence.

Evidence Type 1: You have recently achieved the required scores in either IELTS (Academic) or OET.

Evidence Type 2: You have a pre-registration nurse, midwife or nursing associate qualification which was taught and examined in English. We’ll need evidence that the training and assessment of pre-registration course was in English in the form of transcript and/or letter from training institute.

If this programme was completed a country that is currently not on NMC’s majority English speaking countries list, you can provide supporting information from your employer (SIFE) as supplementary evidence of clinical interaction in English with people who use services, their families, carers, and other healthcare professionals. To do this, you must be currently working in an unregulated role in a health or care setting in the UK for at least 12 months full time or full time equivalent if working part time.

If you did not train in a country where English is a majority spoken language and  is not eligible to use SIFE, we’ll consider evidence that meets the criteria set out in our English Language guidance, but please be aware that it’s likely that you’ll need to provide an alternative type of evidence such as a language test.

Evidence Type 3: Employer reference that you have recently practised for one year as a registered nurse, registered midwife or nursing associate in a country where country where English is a majority spoken language.

All applicants trained outside the UK will need to meet our English language requirements using one of the types of evidences as stated in our guidance irrespective of their nationality.

Please refer to the information available on our website for guidance on meeting our English language requirements

We accept Academic version of IELTS including UKVI and OET.

We will accept an IELTS Academic test result that confirms you achieved at least 7 for reading, listening, and speaking, and at least 6.5 for writing. If combining two tests, no scores in either of the two test sittings are below 6.5 for listening, reading, and speaking, or below 6 for writing.

We will accept an OET test result that confirms you achieved at least grade B (350 or above) for reading, listening, and speaking, and at least grade C+ (300 or above) for writing. If combining two tests, no scores in either of the two test sittings are below grade C+ (300-340) for listening, reading, and speaking, or below grade C (250-290) for writing.

Please see more information about accepted tests here

Both IELTS and OET are valid for two years from the test date.

Your test result needs to be valid when your application joins our assessment queue after you have successfully completed both parts of test of competence, submitted your registration application/ fee and we have received all documents including third party verifications.

If you are relying on two tests to meet our English language requirements, both tests need to be within the 2 year validity period when it reaches our assessment queue.

If you are retaking an IELTS or OET, we can only accept tests where you have retaken all modules.

Yes, we accept the Academic version of IELTS including UKVI.

As stated on British Council website, IELTS for UKVI tests are designed to meet specific administrative requirements outlined by the UK Home Office and are taken at a UKVI approved test centre. The actual test taken is the same as IELTS tests for all other purposes and includes the same: content, format, scoring and level of difficulty. Test Report Forms will be slightly different in order to show that you have taken the test at an UKVI approved test centre.

No, after careful consideration we have decided that we are not able to accept the IELTS indicator test at this time.

This is because the security measures for the indicator test are not comparable to those in place for the face-to-face test and do not meet the standards we require for registration.

Yes, we accept OET@home and OET on computer at a test venue in addition to OET on paper at a test venue.

Yes, you can combine these as OET has confirmed they are the same tests, with the same test tasks, difficulty, format, and timings. All tests will be marked according to the same assessment criteria.

Accepting Supporting Information from Employers (SIFE) for those who have narrowly missed the required scores for IELTS and OET is expected to be launched from mid 2023. We will publish more information regarding this option when this option is ready.

This test is currently not included in in our English Language policy.

NARIC/ECCTIS certificates are currently not included in our English Language policy.

Applicants who trained in English but in a non-majority English speaking country could use SIFE. They must have provided a transcript and/official letter from their training institute confirming their pre- registration nurse/ midwife/nursing associate programme was taught and examined in English.

Applicants will be able to nominate their employer to provide Supporting Information from Employers (SIFE) form via their NMC online account when our systems are fully automated by mid 2023.

If you haven’t yet submitted your application, and you meet our eligibility criteria for using SIFE , please choose trained in English and evidence that your pre-registration programme was trained and examined in English while submitting your ‘Registration Application’ on NMC online.


While we are waiting for system updates, applicants who trained in English but in a non-majority English speaking country and who meet our new English language guidance will be contacted directly to offer this route after their submitted application has been assessed.

We are unable to share a blank SIFE form before your registration application is assessed.

We will be able to forward a link to your line manager and counter signatory to provide Supporting Information from Employers (SIFE) via NMC online account when our systems are fully automated by mid-2023.

If you haven’t yet submitted your application, and you meet our eligibility criteria for using SIFE , please choose trained in English and evidence that your pre-registration programme was trained and examined in English while submitting your registration application on NMC online. Evidence could be in the form of your transcript and/or letter from training institute.


While we are waiting for system updates, we will contact applicants directly who satisfy our eligibility criteria for using SIFE after their submitted application has been assessed.

Your line manager (an NMC registrant) can complete Part A of the SIFE form to confirm direct experience of your English language competence. If you’ve had 2 line managers in the last 12 months, you can nominate up to 2 managers (NMC registrants) to cover 12 months or part time equivalent. Your line manager should be an NHS Band 6 (or non-NHS equivalent) or above.

This form also needs be countersigned by an NMC registrant at the organization where you have been working, who is an NHS Band 8a (or non-NHS equivalent) or above, to confirm the process has been fair and consistent.

Our list of countries accepted as majority English speaking is available to view on our website . This is broadly based on a list defined by the UK Border Agency.

Applicants can choose ‘Practice in English/ Recent Practice’ if they have practiced in a majority English speaking country as a registered nurse or midwife.

SIFE is not a standalone route for providing English language evidence. This can be used as supplementary evidence by applicants who are taught and examined in English, but from a country that is not on our list of majority English language speaking countries.

Employment Contracts

Once you have your Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) Decision Letter (you have completed the NMC eligibility, CBT test and full application) you are ready to mobilise to the UK and start work. This process can take between 6 – 8 weeks. The Human resources department at your new employer will apply for your Certificate of Sponsorship (your Work Permit) before you can travel. Your employer is also required to complete certain compliance checks before allowing you to start working. These checks include positive identification, criminal clearance, health clearance (including a TB screening) and reference checks. Do not resign from your current job until you have clarity regarding your starting date at your new employer in the UK.

If you have not yet stated your NMC registration or are in the process of doing so, our MMA consultants will guide you through this process. Your application for NMC registration may take anything from 3 – 6 months. For more information about this process, head over to our UK Nursing Programme page

The position you will be offered is permanent so a minimum of 24 months is expected. After 24 months, your employer will consider extending your contract if your work has been satisfactory. You can also decide that you no longer want to work there and go somewhere else. This is your choice. But you will have to honor your contractual obligations toward your employer by giving proper notice to your line manager. After a period of 5 years in the UK, you will qualify for indefinite leave to remain and eventually be able to obtain a British passport.

In most cases you will will work between 37 – 44 hours per week in shifts. The shift patterns can vary and nurses are required to be flexible. If you have to work overtime you will be compensated for this, if you are eligible to work overtime. Talk to your line manager about this. Like all other employees you will also be entitled to sick leave, annual leave. This is structured by your employer and is part of your contract and based on UK legislation.

Your probation period is six months and the same for any new employee regardless of nationality. During this time you will undergo various programmes (employer specific) to help you adapt to your new working environment, policies and procedures. It is structured to get you on your feet and part of the team and may include a personal development plan for your own personal and professional development.

Travel Arrangements to the UK

In most cases, your airfare to the UK will be paid for by your employer. Each employer have their own benefit package. Some employers may deduct the airfare from your salary over a period of 6 months. You will be informed of your specific employer’s benefit package before you accept an offer of employment

Your MMA consultant will book the flight for you after consulting dates and timeframes with you based on your starting date at your new employer. You will not need to pay money for your flight booking at this time. It is always wise to check in on-line if the airline has such facilities. Baggage allowances must be checked with your carrier before your travel date. Excess baggage charges are very high.

The UK’s climate may be very different from the country you are travelling from. Do some research or ask one of our consultants to guide you on suitable clothing. Other items that you can pack are UK adaptors for charging your devices, your mobile phone and personal computer to communicate with friends and family after your arrival. You will also have to bring at least £300 with you in cash. Do not bring substances or medications with you for which you do not have a valid prescription or which violates air travel regulations. You will also have to bring all your original documents with you. Your MMA consultant will advise on which documents to carry with you. Make a checklist to remind you before you travel.

On the day of your arrival, an MMA representative will collect you from the airport and provide transport to your place of accommodation. Depending on when you arrive, we may also take you to your new workplace to meet your manager and fellow colleagues. We can also assist you to get some basic necessities from your local supermarket, and determine the best way to get to work each day.
Once you start to work, your employer will help you prepare for the final leg of your NMC registration – the OSCE. All our employers has programmes to help you prepare for this practical examination. Your MMA consultant will remain in contact with you and are available to assist you with any problems you may have.


MMA’s recruitment consultants will assist you to find accommodation that is relatively close to your place of work and other amenities. If we are unable to find permanent accommodation for you prior to your arrival, you will be booked into a bed and breakfast facility until your accommodation arrangements has been finalised. It is also possible that you may share accommodation with another work colleague. We appreciate your flexibility in this regard, and sharing accommodation initially may help you overcome homesick blues and provide some support. Your flat mate can share information about your work, the local community and where to buy certain items. In all cases though, MMA endeavors to find accommodation based on your needs where possible.

Your employer will advance the first months rent and deposit to your landlord. This amount will be deducted from your salary over a period of 6 months. After the first month, subsequent accommodation payments are made by yourself directly to your landlord. Rental contracts last typically 6 – 12 months. If you wish to find different accommodation later, be sure to give notice at your current employer before you decide to move out.

Money Matters

From available research on nurse migration, financial reasons are in 80% of cases the reason why nurses migrate to other countries to live and work. MMA understands that as a nurse you want financial independence to care for yourself and those who are important to you.

Your initial salary will depend on whether you are NMC registered or not. In most cases you will have still have to complete your NMC registration in the UK. The sooner you complete your NMC registration in the UK (by passing the OSCE) the sooner you will receive your NMC pin and get paid as a Registered General Nurse (RGN). If you are not yet NMC registered we will refer to this salary as the adaption salary which is £20,800 (absolute minimum) to £22,000 per year. Once your registration with the NMC is complete and you have your PIN, starting salaries vary from £24,000 – £28,000 per year.  As nursing salaries vary upon your employer and the role in which you are employed, these figures should act as a guide only. Tax and National Insurance payments are mandatory and will be deducted from your salary on a monthly basis depending on the amount you earn. We will use £26000 as an annual salary for this example. As your years of service increase and you develop yourself further and your roles change, your salary will increase further.

 Amount Per YearAmount Per Month
Gross Income£26,000£2,166,67
Taxable Income£15,000£1,250
National Insurance£2,152£179,40
Take Home Pay *before personal expenses£20,847,20£1737,27

To some extent this also varies on each employer. But in the vast majority of cases you will get paid every 4 weeks. There is a specific day on which you will receive your salary but his may not always fall at the end of each month.

Since your first month’s rent will have been forwarded to the landlord (repayable by your over 6 months to your employer) you will only need enough money to cover your grocery and transportation expenses for the first month. As a guide and depending on your lifestyle, £300 should be sufficient. If you have concerns about this, and is unable to raise enough cash, our MMA consultants can help you to get your hands on some cash to get you through the month until you get you first salary.

Our MMA consultant that work with you will help you to open a bank account. Upon your arrival you will go to your local Post Office to get your Biometric Residence Permit. When you collect your VISA in your home country, it will include information at which Post Office in the UK to collect this from. The bank will need this document. We will arrange a bank appointment for you. Your employer will also supply you with a Bank Letter. These documents including your physical address in the UK, name of your employer, address of your employer, your employment status and monthly salary are required as well. You will receive a bank account number and card after a few days. We will help you with all of this.

Family Matters

Moving abroad to a foreign country for a new job and life is not for the faint of heart. There are many financial and emotional factors to consider. You should think very carefully before deciding to bring your significant other and/or children to the UK.

Your first weeks and months in the UK may be emotionally draining, as you have to focus on your new living and working environment, learn new systems and procedures, prepare for your NMC OSCE (if applicable), open bank accounts and many other responsibilities. Unless you have family in the UK already, we would not advise on bringing family members this early on.

There are many mobile operators in the UK which provide call and data packages to make calls and browse the web. Though MMA cannot endorse any specific Mobile Operator or Internet Service Provider, we provide a list below. Upon your arrival our MMA representative can also assist you to obtain a SIM card at any of the Mobile Operating Vendors at the airport. This will allow you to let your family back home know you have arrived safely. Your family will be one of your primary support systems during your initial arrival period so it is important to get this sorted to remain in touch. Mobile roaming is also possible but may be prohibitively expensive and we do not recommend this. Some mobile operators include:

• www.three.co.uk
• www.orange.co.uk
• www.vodafone.co.uk
• www.02.co.uk
• www.t-mobile.co.uk

Important Documents

  • Your passport (with VISA)
  • Biometric Residence Permit Collection Point Letter (don’t worry about this – we will explain when it gets to this point)
  • Your accommodation arrangements
  • Travel documents including your plane ticket
  • Police clearance

Medical Care

We sincerely hope this will not happen to you. In the unlikely event that you become unwell, you are covered by the National Health Service (NHS). This service (NHS surcharge) has been pre-paid by your employer (and repayable over a a pre-agreed period). This includes hospital, Accident & Emergency (A&E) care, General Practitioner (GP) visit or Clinic visits should this be required at any of the NHS network hospitals or clinics. We’re super organised here.

Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) Registration

The NMC is the professional regulatory body for nurses and midwives in the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). Nurses in the UK follow the Code of Practice for Nurses & Midwifes. You cannot work and practice nursing in the UK without formal registration with the NMC and a NMC Pin. MMA Recruitment can help you make your dreams of working in the UK a reality. All matters related to NMC registration and the requirements are covered in our UK Nursing Programme (go there now)If you meet these requirements and want to get your own copy of the programme including 360˚ support from one of the leading international healthcare recruitment agencies in the UK, Apply Now

As part of your NMC registration application process, you will have to sit the CBT after you have passed the NMC’s eligibility requirements. This is a Computer Based Test (CBT) and is administered by PEARSON VUE on behalf of the NMC. It consists of 120 multiple choice questions and you have 4 hours to complete it. After the NMC has assessed your application, they will send you a link to your email address you provided when you registered on the NMC’s web portal. This registration link will allow you to book and pay for your CBT, including the closest PEARSON VUE test facility closest to you.
Joining MMA Recruitment grants you access to MMA’s UK Nursing Programme with a wealth of information and step-by-step guides to do your IELTS language requirements, CBT resources and mock exams. It covers the entire process from A – Z coupled with comprehensive support from our MMA consultants. Click on the Apply Now link at the bottom of the page to get started.

The OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) is a practical examination conducted at the University of Northampton in the UK. This represents the final leg of your NMC registration. You cannot do this exam until you have passed all other NMC requirements (IELTS, Test of Competence, and received a Decision Letter from the NMC). You will only do the OSCE once MMA have found you a job in the UK which you have accepted. Your new employer in the UK will have an in-house, or outsourced programme to prepare you for this exam. Once you passed your OSCE and completed a final ID check, you will pay the final NMC registration fee. Once this is complete, you will receive an NMC Pin and have officially joined the NMC register

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