Announcements from the CTC
Please check the below accordions for previous CTC announcements. All announcements are dated at the bottom of the announcement.
Most recent announcement
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her remarkable and unrivalled reign leaves an enduring legacy for the nation and our universities and the test centres.
This is a sad time for our nation, and our thoughts are particularly with members of the Royal Family at this time.
As you will be aware, the Queen’s funeral is scheduled for Monday 19 September, and this has now been officially confirmed as a national bank holiday. As a result, the Northampton Competence Test Centre will be closed on Monday 19 September. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause candidates who are scheduled to sit their exams on the 19th of September. We will be working hard with our colleagues in the Business Team to offer all candidates due to sit their OSCEs on the 19 September an alternative date for their exams.
13 September 2022
Adult Nursing – Professional Standards guidelines for taking the ToC 21 OSCEs
This document sets out some guidance in relation to how the NMC Professional Standards relate to the Test of Competence OSCE stations for Adult Nursing. It is not an exhaustive list but has been produced to provide some guidance on how the OSCE stations relate to the relevant professional standards and how the candidates can demonstrate the professional standards in their assessments.
1 August 2022
Non-administration of drugs – confirmation of what is expected of candidates
We have received a number of queries about what is required when a candidate does not administer a prescribed drug. We thought that it would be helpful to confirm what candidates need to do if they decide not to administer a drug. They must select the correct code and sign to say that the drug has not been administered, as per the general instructions on the drugs charts. They should do this on the chart in the space where the candidate would sign that the drug has been administered. If it is a code 10, then they should also complete the relevant section at the end of the drugs chart. This aligns with national safe practice, where it needs to be clear both the reason for not administering the drug and who made the decision. Given the number of queries we have received, we wanted to make sure that this is clear to all candidates so please include this in any training that you deliver.
16 June 2022
Change to thermometer used in the NMC Test of Competence
Please be aware of a change to the equipment used in the NMC Test of Competence. Following health and safety issues, we are changing to using infra-red thermometers rather than tympanic thermometers in the assessment of candidates in the NMC Test of Competence. We will be implementing this change from 28th March 2022 and will update the equipment lists that appear on the website at the end of this month so that candidates are aware of the change. Infra-red thermometers will be made available to candidates in the test centre so they can familiarise themselves with their use prior to the start of the assessment.
8 March 2022
New TOC Station Timings
For details of all station timings for the New ToC, please click on the relevant document below:
4 March 2022
For attention of all Nursing Associate candidates
Please note that the new ToC Nursing Associate exam will commence on 31st January 2022 and will be available for booking from the 31st of January.
For more information on this please visit the following NMC sites:
13 January 2022
Message from NMC and Competence Test Centres on Covid-19 restrictions
Due to recent challenges resulting from the new Covid-19 variant, we are closely monitoring the staffing level at our OSCE test centres and the service that we can deliver.
We would be very grateful if you would help us ensure that the test centres remain open by doing the following:
- Monitor your emails from our test centres booking teams in the event that we need to amend or do any changes to your OSCE bookings. Please do not contact the test centres in response to this message. Test centres are dealing with a high volume of emails at the moment and they will contact you if there are any changes to your booking that you need to be aware of.
- Please ensure that you and the candidates coming to the test centres’ facilities do a lateral flow test prior to your/their travel. If you/they feel unwell or your/their test is positive, then you/they must not travel. Please also check the government requirements for hospitality and travel to ensure that you/they can meet these for your/their testing destination.
We are prioritising testing so that we minimise any disruption. However, candidates may experience a delay in receiving their OSCE results by up to 7 working days.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
15 December 2021
Implementation Station (STAT doses)
We would like to draw your attention to the potential for candidates to be required to administer STAT doses of regular medication. These STAT doses are required as the patient may not have been able to take their regular medication at their usual prescribed time. An example is the patient is prescribed regular morning medication but is admitted after the time they would normally take these (and have not yet had them). They are then prescribed STAT doses in order to receive that medication. In the regular medication section for that morning, they will not appear as administered as the person was not there for this to happen (hence the STAT doses required). We are seeing candidates being confused by this. The expectation is that they would administer the STAT doses and the patient would resume getting these medications through the regular prescription thereafter. We also recommend that candidates familiarise themselves with the medication prescription chart on the online materials for the mock OSCE so that they are comfortable with the structure/format. We hope this feedback is helpful in supporting your candidate preparation for testing under the new Test of Competence.
3 December 2021
Note to Trusts on Implementation Station
It may be helpful to remind all candidates coming to sit their Legacy ToC 2014 and ToC 2021 that any drug omitted must have the reason (code) and a signature documented. In addition, it may be helpful to remind those sitting their ToC 2021 to complete the administrator signature log, in order to ensure that all required documentation is complete.
We hope that this is helpful.
8 October 2021
Before You Attend the CTC
We strongly encourage all candidates perform a lateral flow test, prior to attending the Competence Test Centre.
If the result of the lateral flow test is positive, candidates should not attend the Test Centre , but instead, send confirmation of the positive result into the Competence Test Centre via email, and we will reschedule to the next available and suitable date for the candidate. We also recommend that all candidates follow the most up to date government guidelines.
15 September 2021
Temporary Suspension of Actors During OSCEs
Please be aware that due to staff numbers, actors will not be used for exams for a 2 week period, ending on 17 September 2021.
7 Septemer 2021
Reintroduction of Actors and the IHR Skill in the OSCE
Actors returning and changes to Assessment and Physiological observation stations
Actors will be returning to the OSCE exam from 02 August 2021 for all scenarios. Therefore, the patient’s temperature, pulse, blood pressure and respiration will be taken physically as pre-COVID-19. There will no longer be a flashcard used in the Assessment and/or Physiological Observation stations.
The timings of the stations will revert back to the original 15 minutes.
In addition to this, to manage safety and risk, Actors will be wearing PPE throughout the exam and candidates will need to wear full Level 1 PPE – mask, apron and gloves.
Please note: Candidates who sat their exam before the 2nd August and are due to resit the assessment station, will undertake the resit under the same conditions as their first attempt.
In-Hospital Resuscitation (IHR) station returning
The Adult Nursing In-Hospital Resuscitation (IHR) station will be returning from 02 August 2021. You will not be required to undertake any ventilations, but will be expected to verbalise what you would do instead.
The timing of this station will revert back to the original 8 minutes.
26 July 2021
Test of Competence 2021 Support Material Amendments
We have updated some of the new Test of Competence 2021 support materials:
- You will now be able to find an illustrated equipment list: This is in line with requirements for both the new content being introduced for the current test as of 14 June as well as the new Test of Competence 2021. Each list covers all nursing fields as well as midwifery.
- We also updated the red flags on the marking criteria for all APIE stations and some of the skills stations for the new test of competence support materials: These indicate any behaviour that is demonstrated during the OSCE that would be considered as unsafe or unacceptable and which would lead to an automatic failure of this station, irrespective of other performance demonstrated on that station.
- We revised some of the timings of the mock OSCEs: This is now reflected in the published materials.
14 June 2021
Further Details on OSCE Update
We have had a few queries regarding the new skills and scenarios for Children, Adult and Midwifery being implemented on 1 June 2021 for the current Test of Competence:
- There is no change to the timings or marking criteria for the Children, Adult and Midwifery scenarios (APIE). A copy of the marking criteria for APIE for each field of practice can be accessed in the Nursing and Midwifery Fields section of this website and on the online learning platforms/websites of the other two Competence Test Centres.
- The marking criteria for the new Adult Nursing skills: insertion of fine bore nasogastric tube, pressure area assessment, visual infusion phlebitis (VIP) assessment and intravenous cannula flush (all 8 minute’s duration) can be found in the updated Adult Nursing Marking Criteria version 1.13 in the Nursing and Midwifery Fields section of this website and on the online learning platforms/websites of the other two Competence Test Centres.
- A copy of the Braden scale and a copy of the VIP assessment tool are available in the supporting documentation.
- The pressure area assessment skill is a written station.
Please note these are new OSCE stations for the current Test of Competence, and not the new Test of Competence that will go live in August 2021. There will be some applicants that will still be able to continue taking the current OSCE for a set period of time after the new test has gone live, hence we are doing this refresh for general test maintenance purposes. For further information around the transitional arrangements when the new test goes live, please visit the NMC Website. If you want to register to receive NMC updates on this, please register on the same website to receive a notification when an announcement has been made.
26 April 2021
Timing for New OSCE Skills Stations
There have been a number of queries in regards to station length for the 3 new OSCE skills stations (Insertion of fine-bore nasogastric tube, Intravenous flush and VIP assessment, Pressure area assessment) that we are introducing as of 14th June for the current OSCE. Please note that applicants will be given 8 minutes to complete each of these stations.
21 April 2021
Update to OSCE
You will be aware that the new Test of Competence is being introduced in August 2021. The existing Test of Competence will continue to be used for some time to allow candidates who have started their assessment under that route to complete their test. As part of the ongoing maintenance of the test, some updates have been made to the Part 2 Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE): – new scenarios and skills will be introduced from Monday 14th June.
The following new materials will be introduced:
- Adult nursing scenario (APIE): Fall and fracture
- Children’s nursing scenario (APIE): Post-tonsillectomy bleed
- Midwifery scenario (APIE): Post-natal visit
- Adult nursing skill station: Fine bore nasogastric tube insertion
- Adult nursing skill station: Visual infusion phlebitis (VIP) assessment and intravenous cannula flush
- Adult nursing skill station: Pressure ulcer assessment
We are pleased to let you know that test supporting materials have been updated by all three test centres.
Updates have been made to:
- Adult nursing marking criteria: – to include marking criteria for the three new skills stations
- Candidate information booklet: – to include information about the three new skills stations
There are also two new forms which you may want to refer to which are available in the Nursing and Midwifery Fields section of this website.
Please note that the pressure ulcer assessment marking criteria does not follow the evidence set out in the Royal Marsden. For this station you should refer to the evidence base given here:
Healthcare Improvement Scotland. (2019). Braden Risk Assessment chart. Retrieved January 2021.
The test supporting materials are available in the Nursing and Midwifery Fields section of this website. We review these documents regularly, so please check this website to ensure that you are using the latest version.
12 April 2021