Language Proficiency

  1. You will have to demonstrate your ability to read, write, listen and speak in the English language through the submission of language proficiency test results from an approved testing vendor, barring certain exemption requests (see below).
  2. If you are not exempt, you must schedule yourself for approved English language proficiency tests with approved testing vendors. The approved testing vendors are:
    1. Occupational English Test (OET)
    2. International English Language Testing System (IELTS)-Academic Module Only
  3. Non-exempt IQNs must successfully complete an approved test no more than two years and 11 months prior to the submission of the Credentials Verification Service report to NCNZ. Because of the time it may take to complete your CVS-NCNZ, we recommend you avoid sending test results that are over one year old.
  4. The required minimum scores for the approved tests are:
    1. Occupational English Test (OET)
      1. For results prior to August 2018: you must achieve a minimum score of a ‘B’ for each band: reading, writing, listening and speaking. A ‘C+’ is not considered a pass.
      2. For results after September 2018: you must achieve a minimum score of 350 for each band: reading, writing, listening and speaking. A ‘C+’ (300 – 340) is not considered a pass.
    2. International English Language Testing System (IELTS)-Academic Module
      1. You must achieve a minimum score of 7 for each band: reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Passing scores on the individual sections of the tests can be combined if taken within 12 months of each other. Passing sections from different testing vendors cannot combine. For more information, view the complete standards on the NCNZ website.

Exemption Rules

You may request a waiver of language testing if:

  • Your nursing education was conducted in and you are registered to practice in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada or the United States of America; or
  • You registered and practiced in the UK, Ireland, Canada or the USA, AND you were required to pass an English language test to gain registration

IQNs who meet waiver criteria will be given the ability to request a waiver of English Language Proficiency Requirements electronically. CGFNS will submit the waiver request to NCNZ with the Credentials Verification Service program report and NCNZ will decide whether to grant the waiver or not.

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