Learn more about NMC Test of Competence Part 1
Test of competence
In the UK, each field of nursing and midwifery is separate and distinct. Each requires three years of specialist pre-registration education and practice. The test of competence requires extensive preparation and study to make sure you can demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application of professional skills at the right level. See below for information on nursing and midwifery pathways, including specific competencies and the exam blueprints:
- Adult (general) nursing
- Children’s nursing
- Learning disabilities nursing
- Mental health nursing
The test of competence is in line with our pre-registration standards and competencies for all nurses and midwives. There are standards for adult (general) nursing, children’s nursing, learning disabilities nursing, mental health nursing and midwifery. They cover professional values, communication, nursing decision-making and leadership.
Nurses and midwives work in a variety of clinical settings and they are exposed to a variety of settings during their education. All nurses and midwives at the point of entry to the register are competent to work in all professional areas of nursing or midwifery practice.
These areas of practice include acute care, long-term care, caring for healthy people, caring for patients with complex needs and morbidities, and caring for patients in the community setting including in their own homes. All nurses are expected to be able to care competently for people across the life span and respond to a range of needs. For example, a children’s nurse should also be able to respond to the needs of pregnant and postnatal women and people with mental health needs, physical disabilities or dementia.
Once applicants have passed the eligibility assessment, they will be asked to sit the first part of the test of competence. This will be a computer-based test of theoretical practice-based knowledge. The test format will be multiple choice and can be taken in test centres around the world. Applicants will need to contact Pearson VUE, our test provider, to book and pay for their test. For more information, please read the Candidate information guide for Part 1.
You must complete the entire application process within two years of passing the CBT. If you are unable to do this, you will need to re-sit your CBT and begin a new application with us.