Midwifery OSCE assessments
As part of the ongoing development of the Test of Competence OSCE for midwifery, we have made some changes to the existing assessments and released a small number of new stations which will come into use from Monday 26 June. These changes will ensure a wider coverage of the standards, code of practice and blueprint and forms part of our routine maintenance to keep the test valid and reliable.
Candidates will still sit a 10 station OSCE but these changes will mean that there will be a greater selection of skills that could be assessed which will make the assessment less predictable. We will continue to develop new stations covering different skills and scenarios, so it is important that candidates and those supporting them incorporate the NMC blueprint and standards into their preparation for the test.
The new stations are:
Clinical skills stations
- Postnatal Sepsis
- Unexpected Breech Birth
- Neonatal blood glucose monitoring
- Intramuscular injection
- Removal of urinary catheter
Evidence Based Practice
- Induction of labour at term
- Safeguarding women and children
In addition to these changes the existing stations have been updated. Systematic Examination of the Newborn has been amended to require candidates to carry out two aspects (heart, eyes hips or testes) as opposed to one aspect and it has been split from the postnatal check. There are also other small changes to the existing stations to bring them into line with the latest best clinical practice and to ensure that the APIE stations flow more logically and are clearer and there is no duplication of tasks for candidates.
The marking criteria available to trusts and candidates have also been updated as we are seeing higher numbers of candidates attempting to rote learn the marking criteria. This is problematic as they no longer approach the assessment with an open mind and in some cases find the assessment challenging when presented with new or different scenarios. The updated marking guidance are more holistic and will give trusts and candidates the key points that that all candidates will be assessed on. They should be used by candidates to confirm understanding of the different skills that they need to demonstrate across the OSCE but the standards, code, and blueprint should form the basis of all teaching and learning.
All candidates who sit their assessment prior to 26 June 2023 will not be presented with the updates covered above. All candidates who sit on or after 26 June will experience the changes we have made.
Please take a look at the NMC website where the mock OSCE materials and supporting information can be found.
I have a disability. Can the competence test centre accommodate my needs?
Our staff are committed to ensuring impartiality and equality of opportunity in the delivery of our services. Our premises are wheelchair accessible, and the competence test centre will also act on NMC guidance regarding this. Special adjustments are made for candidates with disabilities, or for those registered as dyslexic or with other additional needs. Candidates are asked to declare their needs for reasonable adjustments when booking their OSCE, for which they will be required to produce supporting evidence. The academic lead/manager will seek advice on the reasonable adjustments possible for the candidate. Simple changes such as lowering beds, accommodating the need to sit or stand, or the increased need for toilet breaks during pregnancy can easily be arranged when the competence test centre is notified in advance.
Candidates who need to access medical devices during the OSCE can be accommodated with advance notification prior to booking. The competence test centre will not allow the required level of competence to be reduced because of a disability. The standard or competence itself is not subject to a reasonable adjustment.
The request for reasonable adjustments must be made before the date of the OSCE examination, by contacting the test delivery centre. Candidates with additional needs must declare them via the reasonable adjustments form that will be emailed to candidates once the competence test centre has been notified by the candidate and a booking made. Reasonable adjustments are offered within the scope of the Equality Act 2010.
A reasonable adjustment will allow for a candidate to evidence during their assessment nursing care that:
• remains effective and does not result in altered patient care
• is accepted within professional nursing practices
• enables the candidate to demonstrate competence
• will not place the candidate or patient at risk of harm by injury or illness