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About the test

The OSCE will simulate a clinical environment and scenarios which registered nurses and midwives are likely to encounter when they assess, plan, implement and evaluate care. Candidates are expected to utilise a contemporary evidence base and effectively demonstrate safe practical application of nursing and midwifery skills. The Test of Competence is blueprinted against the current UK pre-registration standards and these standards are available on the NMC’s website.

The Legacy Test of Competence 2014 consists of six stations (two assessing skills and four assessing the care journey). Legacy candidates are in the Test Centre for approximately three hours.

The Test of Competence 2021 consists of ten stations (four assessing skills (two pairs of two skills), four assessing the care journey and two assessing the candidate's values and behaviours and evidence-based practice). Candidates for this OSCE are in the Test Centre for approximately three and a half hours.

The NMC will notify you of your eligibility to take the Test of Competence (OSCE). If you are unsure of your eligibility for the Test of Competence, please contact the NMC for further advice.

Following the test, an Identification Check will be conducted by the NMC on-site where all original documents submitted as part of the application process to the NMC will be verified. Please see the NMC website for further details.

The NMC are responsible for authorising all candidates. Once you have been authorised, please see the Booking Your Test section of this website on how to book your test.

We ask that candidates with a disability requiring a reasonable adjustment notify the Test Centre when booking their OSCE by emailing:


It is essential that candidates prepare for the Test of Competence. We recommend at least 14 days preparation time from the booking of your test date to the actual test to sufficiently prepare yourself. The test blueprint on the NMC’s website offers some useful links to online resources which may be helpful. On successful application and fee payment to The University of Northampton, you will receive access to additional resources relevant to the test such as recommended reading.


Candidates are responsible for arranging their own accommodation, however there is accommodation close to the Test Centre. For further information, please see the hotels available in Northampton.