University of Bath develops English language tests for foreign healthcare professionals seeking work in UK

A university has developed a range of tests that evaluate the English language skills of foreign healthcare professionals seeking work in the UK.

The University of Bath claims the tests are the only language assessments to evaluate ability in the specific context of UK healthcare.

They help ensure, for example, that dentists have the adequate language skills to understand patients’ preferences or allay their fears.

Currently there is no official requirement to take any kind of language test for many medical professionals from the European Economic Area who wish to work in the UK.

While the Department of Health recommends to NHS trusts that candidates for jobs should demonstrate a suitable level of English proficiency, only dentists have to provide proof of this by sitting an approved test.

High street retailer Boots has introduced the tests as part of the selection process for overseas pharmacists.

Paul Stretton, head of HR for pharmacy and opticians, said: “This has really helped successfully integrate our overseas pharmacists and improved retention rates among this group.“

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