Healthcare-specific English test now accepted in the UK and Ireland for doctors

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Internationally trained doctors seeking to register and work in the UK and Ireland will now be able to take an English language test designed specifically for healthcare professionals.

The General Medical Council (GMC) and the Medical Council (MC), which regulate doctors in the UK and Ireland respectively, will routinely accept OET – the Occupational English Test – as proof of English proficiency for registration.

Jointly owned by the UK’s Cambridge Assessment English and Australia’s Box Hill Institute, OET is well-established and recognised by authorities in Australia, Dubai, New Zealand and Singapore. It is also accepted by the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.

OET CEO Sujata Stead explained: “What sets OET apart from other tests is that it’s designed for healthcare. We use real communication scenarios, similar to the ones healthcare professionals encounter every day”.

“For example, a doctor’s speaking skills will be assessed via a face-to-face role play using a typical scenario, such as a patient consultation where trained interlocutors play the part of a patient or carer.”

Professor Martyn Partridge, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at Imperial College, London, recently reviewed OET materials for medicine and said: “The test materials have been produced to an extremely high standard, are authentic and valid, and highly relevant to day-to-day practice in the UK”.

OET CEO Sujata Stead concluded: “We are delighted that both the GMC and the MC are giving wider choice to overseas doctors seeking to register and work in the UK and Ireland. Communication is vitally important in delivering safe and quality care, and OET as a healthcare-specific test, ensures that doctors who have achieved the required level can communicate effectively in their workplace.”

The Occupational English Test is currently available every month in more than 100 locations in 40 countries. For more information go to: www.occupationalenglishtest.org.