Kathmandu: Nepal on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding to send at least 200 licensed nurses to the United Kingdom.
The agreement, according to the government officials, is the first step towards sending 10,000 health professionals, mostly nurses, to the UK in the next five years.
On Monday, the governments of Nepal and the United Kingdom signed an agreement to that effect.
Nepal Live Today has assembled information from the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security to answer questions that health professionals aspiring to go to the UK to work as per this agreement may have:
1. What does the MoU between Nepal and the UK mean? Who is managing this process? How do I know more about it? When will the application process begin?
The Government of Nepal (GoN) and the Government of the United Kingdom have signed a Government-toGovernment (G2G) bilateral agreement on healthcare professionals’ recruitment in the National Health Service (NHS) UK. This provides a basis to recruit Nepali healthcare professionals to the UK’s health sector. The Department of Foreign Employment (Nepal) will work with the Department of Health and Social Care (UK) and its designated entity to undertake the recruitment process.
Both governments will develop an Implementation Protocol to manage the recruitment process.
Details on the recruitment process, the initiation date for the application process, as well as other related information shall be posted on the website of the Government of Nepal (www.moless.gov.np/en/page/ukhealth-care). Please continue to visit this website for updates.
2. How can a Nepali healthcare professional apply?
Applicants who fulfill the eligibility criteria will have to submit all required documents into the Department of Foreign Employment (DOFE)’s online platform. Please continue to visit the above-mentioned website for more details, including for when the application process will begin.
3. Is there any third party involvement in the recruitment process?
No, there is no third party involvement in the recruitment process. All interested candidates are to remain in contact only with the relevant government agencies as per the guidance on the website provided above.
4. Is the opportunity only for female candidates?
Any prospective candidate who meets the eligibility criteria can apply. Equal opportunities will be ensured to all eligible candidates.
5. What are the eligibility criteria required to apply as a healthcare professional in the UK?
The MoU between Nepal and the UK provides a basis to develop implementation protocols on different occupational areas in the health sector along with the related eligibility criteria. Meanwhile, both governments are working to prepare an implementation protocol on the nursing category only.
The following eligibility criteria shall be included in the implementation protocol to send Nepali nursing staff to the UK:
a. Nepali citizens aged between 20 and 45 and holding a valid Nepali passport.
b. Completed one of the following academic qualifications: Staff Nurse, Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing [Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.Sc) or Bachelor of Nursing B.N)], or Master’s degree in nursing from institutions recognized by the government of Nepal.
c. Holding an active professional license from the Nepal Nursing Council and at least 2 years of experience in a registered hospital in Nepal.
d. English language to a UK-regulated level (IELTS-7 or OET-B) through a test to be undertaken:
• For IELTS, candidates require an overall score of 7, with a minimum score of 7 in each band apart from writing with the minimum score of 6.5.
• For OET, candidates require at least Grade B in reading, writing and listening sections, and Grade C+ in the writing section.
e. Passed a job interview (either online or in person) and been offered a job in the UK.
f. Application with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC/UK) has been made.
g. Successfully completed the required medical check-ups.
h. Subsequently completed the Computer Based Test (CBT) of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC/UK) application process. To be undertaken in Nepal.
Further details will be available on the DoFE website once the application process is initiated. Please continue to visit the above-mentioned MoLESS website for updates.
6. Are nursing qualifications obtained in Nepal recognized in the UK?
Any of the nursing qualifications such as Staff Nurse, Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSc or BN), or Master’s Degree in nursing from an accredited institution of the Government of Nepal that allow registration as a nurse in Nepal are recognized by the British authorities. However, prospective candidates should pass a set of eligibility tests carried out in Nepal and the UK.
7. Are nursing qualifications obtained abroad recognized and enable prospective nurses to work in the UK?
Yes, nursing qualifications such as Staff Nurse, Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSc or BN), or Masters’ Degree in nursing from a foreign accredited institution are recognized if the qualification allows registration as a nurse. However, prospective candidates should pass a set of eligibility tests carried out in Nepal and the UK.
8. Why are nursing experiences obtained abroad not considered for the offer in the UK?
Nepali nurses are required to hold an active professional license from the Nepal Nursing Council and to have worked for at least two years in Nepal before she/he is eligible to apply for this recruitment opportunity. The condition applies even if the professional nurse has had two or more years of work experience outside the country. Applications for recruitment should be launched from Nepal.
9. What are the fees that I must pay for the recruitment process?
Successful nurses can travel to the UK without paying a recruitment fee for the process, and the main costs associated with the recruitment purpose are reimbursed or paid for. See a list of all the cost line items associated for successful candidates and the entity responsible for payment/reimbursement below.
10. What is the application process?
The application process shall entail the following steps:
a. Online Application: Applicant fulfilling eligibility criteria and conditions creates an individual profile on the platform prescribed by the DoFE. Applicants must submit all the required documents into the online platform as instructed on the webpage that will be subsequently processed for review. The online platform will be available only when the application process begins.
b. Preliminary List: The preliminary list of all eligible candidates will be reviewed by DHSC’s designated entity. The designated entity reserves the right to accept or reject any applicant who is listed in the preliminary list.
c. Document Verification: Applicants that are shortlisted by the DHSC’s designated entity will be notified by the DOFE. Shortlisted candidates must be physically present at a prescribed location on a specific date and time for document validation. Applicants submitting illegitimate and counterfeit documents shall be automatically disqualified and will be ineligible to apply for any of the advertised positions under this MoU.
d. Final List for Screening, Interview and Selection: DHSC’s designated entity will undertake screening, interview and selection.
e. Conditional Job Offer and Standard Employment Contract: DHSC’s designated entity will convey to DoFE conditional job offers for selected candidates. The candidate offered a conditional job offer shall sign a Standard Employment Contract (SEC) with the support of the DHSC designated entity.
f. Foreign Employment Permit (FEP): Candidates who have received visa to enter into the UK shall apply for FEP in Nepal, along with the required documents (i.e. a copy of SEC, a proof of the payment to the foreign employee’s welfare fund, a certificate of the medical test, a certificate of successful completion of the pre departure orientation, and the required insurance coverage). Prior to applying for FEP, candidates must fulfill all the requirements of the DHSC’s designated entity, including the Computer Based Examination (CBT) which is sat on-line at home. Successful candidates shall work with the DHSC’s designated entity and DOFE to prepare the relevant documents for the purpose of obtaining the FEP.
g. Registration in the UK: Successful candidates shall undergo the registration process in the UK. Details of the process are outlined in eligibility criteria and other sections of this FAQ.
11. Should I take IELTS or OET?
Both IELTS and OET are accepted as proof of English Language proficiency for employment in the UK. The OET and IELTS differ as IELTS uses language relevant to all employment sectors, whilst OET tests language specific to the health and care sector. It is up to the candidate to decide which test they prefer.
12. Where can I do the IELTS or the OET and what are the costs?
The British Council Nepal offers paper and computer-based IELTS tests options. IELTS on paper Test is available in 6 official IELTS test center locations across Nepal–Biratnagar, Birtamod, Butwal, Chitwan, Kathmandu and Pokhara. IELTS on computer is only available in Kathmandu. IELTS on paper at above centers costs NPR 25,300 and IELTS on Computer at the center costs NRs. 23,650.
OET on Paper Test is available at Universal Language & Computer Institute, Kathmandu and Chitwan Medical College, Bharatpur. OET on Computer Test is available at Fulbright Commission in Nepal, Kathmandu. The costs relating to the OET test is NRs 35,000. Candidates that are selected and offered an employment contract will be refunded for the above successful test fees by the DHSC designated entity/ NHS Trust.
13. Where do I take my CBT tests?
This exam can be taken online at home, pre-departure to the UK. DHSC’s designated entity shall support candidates to take the CBT examination, providing free preparation materials.
14. When and where can I get my health certificates?
Upon receipt of a conditional job offer, candidates will be requested to complete an online Occupational Health Assessment form and undertake a pre-departure medical test as part of the UK Visa process at those Nepali medical institutions that are recognized by DOFE for foreign employment purposes.
15. How do I get my visa to the UK?
DHSC’s designated entity shall issue a visa recommendation letter to candidates who have signed the Standard Employment Contract. The candidate should apply for a visa to the nearest visa application center within 7 days of receipt of the recommendation letter. The designated entity will support the candidates to complete the visa form and with face-to-face appointments required for securing the visa.
16. What would the Standard Employment Contract (SEC) contain? Successful candidates shall be offered the position of a Health Care Assistant. SEC will comprise information related to employment terms and conditions and permissible and obligatory deductions from worker’s salary which shall be in accordance with the UK laws, regulations, rules, procedures and extension orders or collective agreement; where relevant. Furthermore, SEC shall be provisional upon the candidate’s receipt of a visa to the UK including passing the required medical examination and any requirements relating to public health concerns and COVID-19 as relevant during the time of arrival in the UK.
17. Who will support my travel to the UK?
The DHSC designated entity will support the process of candidates’ travel to the UK including with visas and travel arrangements. Upon arrival in the UK, DHSC’s designated entity shall arrange the transportation from airport to the temporary accommodation. The employing NHS Trust shall also provide 12 weeks of pastoral support including cultural induction sessions, and peer support schemes to ensure the nurse is given every chance to work successfully in the NHS.
18. What support would my employer/ NHS Trust provide upon my arrival to the UK?
Following are the non-exhaustive list of support provided by NHS Trust upon nurse’s arrival in the UK:
a. Provide each nurse deployed through this initiative with a thorough post-arrival pastoral support package.
b. Ensure compliance in the implementation of the terms and conditions agreed in their employment contract.
c. Induction of the nurses upon their arrival in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to orient them on Government structure, working environment, health systems, treatment protocols and standards, as well as the relevant laws, customs and traditions in the United Kingdom
d. Ensure the nurses are accorded opportunities for career progression in accordance with NHS terms and conditions of service.
e. Facilitate access to information, media and scientific events, for the nurses’ professional development.
f. Ensure that the nurses work in a conducive environment with the necessary materials and tools to enable them to offer optimal services inherent to their specialty.
19. Do I get equal rights in the UK?
When working in the National Health Service (NHS), employees can expect to receive the same terms and conditions as others (irrespective of nationality), comparable members of staff within the NHS, with the exception of Very Senior Managers and staff within the remit of the Doctors’ and Dentists Review Body. The terms and conditions shall be set out in detail in the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook as published on the NHS Employers website. These terms and conditions apply consistently to all directly employed staff of NHS organizations.
20. When can I work as a registered nurse in the UK?
Nurses that travel to the UK as Health Care Assistant should pass the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) examination and complete NMC registration before he/she can work as a registered nurse. The hospital they work for will support them to prepare for and take the OSCE within three months of arrival in the UK. The health care assistant must pass the OSCE within 8 months of arrival. They will have 3 attempts to pass the test. This is a condition of the UK visa: failure to pass the OSCE within this time frame will result in the visa being revoked. The health care assistant shall be assisted in their training for the OSCE. Upon passing the OSCE, the health care assistant will be assisted to complete registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC/UK) and begin work as a registered nurse (band 5 or above depending on skills and experience).
21. How and at what level does a selected Nepali nurse start her/his professional career in the UK?
Once selected, Nepali nurses can travel to the UK to take up their employment as a Health Care Assistant until they pass the OSCE.
22. What is the process of registration as a nurse in the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in the UK?
Within 3 months of arrival in the UK, the health care assistant will be given the opportunity to complete his/her practical objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). The health care assistant must pass the OSCE within 8 months of arrival. They will have 3 attempts to pass the test. This is a condition of the UK visa: failure to pass the OSCE within this time frame will result in the visa being revoked, and the health care assistant will have to return to Nepal on their own expenses. The health care assistant shall be assisted in their training for the OSCE. Upon passing the OSCE, the health care nurse will be assisted to complete registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC/UK) and begin work as a registered nurse (band 5 or above depending on skills and experience).
23. Who should I contact for help once I am in the UK?
A representative at NHS trust will be available to support foreign nurses as required. However, for consular and/or diplomatic support, Nepali nurses should contact the Embassy of Nepal at the following address at [email protected]
24. What are the salary levels and other benefits that I get as a registered nurse in the NHS?
Salaries of registered nurses’ range around GBP27,000 – GPB32,000/year plus annual leave starting at 27 days per year plus public bank holidays (pro rata). They will also be entitled to join the NHS Pension Scheme and benefit from a wide range of schemes to help you such as a lease car scheme, cycle to work scheme, discounts with local childcare providers and subsidized staff restaurants. In addition, once fully registered with the NMC, nurses will benefit from a one year preceptorship education programme to assist with their transition to a UK registered nurse. Other benefits include publicly funded healthcare for the candidate and any dependent partners and children, and access to publicly funded schooling for children aged 4-18.
25. When would the application intake start? What’s the total candidate quota for the pilot?
Please continue to visit the MoLESS website for latest updates on the same. If there are further questions that have been unaddressed by our FAQ above, please contact e-mail at [email protected]
Source: Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security