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NMC preparation.

With the UK officially completing the transition period on the 31st December 2020, we could see some changes to the Registration process for some EU trained Nurses.  

To ensure that the process for recognising professional qualifications is not disrupted by the UK’s exit from the European Union, the UK government has enacted legislation (SI 2019/593, SI2019/585).

The legislation will guarantee that qualifications currently automatically recognised with minimal barriers by UK regulators of healthcare professionals will be recognised under a near-automatic system from 1 January 2021.

The near-automatic systems of recognition will last for:

  • up to 2 years, in the case of individuals who hold qualifications awarded in the EU.

There are presently 3 paths to completing your registration with the NMC for an EU trained Nurse.


General System


Acquired Rights


Automatic Recognition

We believe that the system will remain very similar for the Automatic Recognition process, Acquired Rights might no longer exist with all Nurses not meeting Automatic Recognition system falling into the General System, which could see some significant changes

Such as, from 1 January 2021 the need to take a Test of Competence. This will not only require you to sit two competency test but will also dramatically increase the cost of your registration.
The total cost for application and registration in this case will be £1,170. This cost could be higher if you need to resit tests.
The breakdown of costs for different stages is:

  • Qualification evaluation fee – £140 (non-refundable)
  • Test of Competence part one: Computer-based test (CBT) – £83
  • Test of Competence part two: Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) – £794
  • Registration fee for entry onto our register – £153

If you’re already on our register

If you’re already on our register there is nothing more that you need to do.

You will continue to be a highly valued part of the nursing and midwifery professions, delivering quality care to patients and the public even though the UK has left the EU.

Applying to join our register 

If you trained in the EU

Until the end of the transition period (31 December 2020), there will be no change to the way we register nurses, midwives and nursing associates who hold a qualification gained in an EU, EEA or EFTA country.

To make sure your application is processed under our current EU registration process, you need to begin your application and pay your assessment fee by 31 December 2020.

You have six months from the date you started your application, or the date we requested further information from you, to return your supporting evidence to us.

What if I don’t begin my application and pay my assessment fee by 31 December 2020?

As the UK Government is still in the process of negotiating our future relationship with the EU, it has introduced legislation (also known as the ‘standstill approach’) that aims to reduce any disruption that the end of the transition period may have, making sure that applicants who hold non-UK qualifications are treated equally and fairly. 

The type of application and evidence you’ll need to provide to register will depend on your qualifications, rather than nationality.

Under the terms of the Government’s standstill approach, if you hold a qualification gained in an EU, EEA or EFTA country and you want to join our register from 1 January 2021, you’ll need to follow the same application process as those trained outside the EU.

You may have to pay different fees and a small number of people with certain qualifications may have their skills and knowledge assessed by a Test of Competence.

This interim process will be used for up to two years. We’ll continue to review the process and any further changes as the situation develops.

What are the different fees and tests I will need to take if I apply after 1 January 2021?

Adult nurse or midwife

If you’re a nurse responsible for general care (known as an adult nurse in the UK) or midwife who has a qualification that meets the EU requirements for automatic recognition, you’ll be able to have your qualification recognised by us, and you won’t need to take a Test of Competence.

The total cost for application and registration of those with a qualification that meets our requirements is £293 (an assessment fee of £140 and initial registration fee of £153).


Once the NMC fully update the application process in January 2021, we will update this page with all the relevant information.

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