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Report: How do international nurses register in the UK?

Investigations into nurse Victorino Chua background have led to doubt over his qualifications, so how do international nurses register with the Nursing Medical Council (NMC)?

Chua was yesterday found guilty of murdering two patients and poisoning 20 others at Stockport's Stepping Hill hospital, but there is doubt whether the nurse from the Philippines should have been allowed to practice nursing at all.

A spokesperson for the NMC said: "When Mr Chua joined the register in 2002, our registration process allowed applicants to provide photocopies of documentation. We recognise that this was far from ideal, and we have significantly strengthened our processes since then.

"We now require original documentation, and applicants must undergo a face-to-face interview and a two-stage test of competence.

"We understand that Greater Manchester Police have concerns about Mr Chua's qualifications, but we have not been shown evidence that his documents were fraudulent."

Overseas Registrations Requirements (summary provided by the NMC)

October 2014
A two-part test of competence was introduced at this time. Nurses have to complete a four-stage test.

·      Stage 1 - Self-confirmation of eligibility based on statements that all listed requirements can be met and evidenced (this evidence will be required at a later stage)

·      Stage 2 - A computer-based test, which is part one of the test of competence

·      Stage 3 - Submission of documentary evidence, which is an International English language testing system (IELTS) score of 7.0, ID, proof of registration in home country (have to have been practising and registered for 12 months), qualification documentation (certificate), face to face ID check. Their original documents are required, photocopied and kept on record.

·      Stage 4 - A practical examination in a simulated environment, known as the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), which is part two of the test of competence

·      Stage 5 - Registration

December 2012 - April 2013

Improvements were introduced following a review of the robustness of the overseas registration process. During this time the NMC suspended processing applications from those who trained outside the EU.

·      April 2013 - Extra verification checks were introduced including the requirement to provide certified copies (photocopies of documents were previously allowed)

·      August 2013 - Face to face identification and document verification checks were introduced, along with the use of the latest passport checking software