Part Two: Nursing in the UK - Preparation, Application, Costs and Visas
<p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Britannia Healthcare</a> is a Partner and part of the leading recruitment group, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Sharp BH Global Manpower</a>, which is headquartered in the Philippines. Britannia Healthcare facilitates the connection of Filipino nurses and healthcare workers directly with UK and international employers and creates life-changing opportunities for Filipinos. The UK has one of the most progressive healthcare systems in the world, but at the moment, the country needs to fill almost <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">90,000 registered nurse vacancies</a>.</p> <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignleft size-large is-resized"><img loading="lazy" src="" alt="Colin Pettifer, Managing Director of Britannia Healthcare and Founder of Sharp BH Global Manpower" class="wp-image-11980" width="167" height="235" srcset=" 711w, 213w" sizes="(max-width: 167px) 100vw, 167px" /><figcaption>Colin Pettifer, Managing Director of Britannia Healthcare and Founder of Sharp BH Global Manpower</figcaption></figure></div> <p>In part two of this two-part interview series, we speak to Colin Pettifer, Managing Director of Britannia Healthcare and founder of Sharp BH Global Manpower, about what nurses need to know to get a job in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). If you missed part one, you can find it <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">here</a>, where we hear from Pettifer about everything nurses need to know about getting a job in the UK.  Below, Pettifer discusses applying for roles in the UK, document preparation and requirements, registration, cost reimbursement and visas.</p> <h2>Interview Participants</h2> <h3>Colin Pettifer </h3> <p>Managing Director of Britannia Healthcare and Founder of Sharp BH Global Manpower</p> <h3>Stephanie McKee (SM)</h3> <p>Interviewer</p> <h2>SM: How long does it take from applying for a role overseas to getting hired and commencing the job?&nbsp;</h2> <p></p> <h5><strong>Colin Pettifer</strong></h5> <p>“It depends on individual circumstances and how quickly each person can secure the necessary financial means to get the required certifications and complete compliances. There are academic requirements, English language requirements and compliance requirements with the regulatory body for their chosen profession within healthcare.&nbsp;</p> <p>All of these processes take time and have a cost associated with them. On average, processes can take a minimum of six months. Sharp BH Global Manpower have implemented a successful process called “Ready To Roll UK Nurses” programme that can achieve deployment in much less time.&nbsp; One of the biggest issues that holds up the application process is the affordability for healthcare professionals to complete these checks and requirements. The English language certification can take a few months to study and prepare for, then finally, applicants sit the exam. This also depends on how much study healthcare professionals can fit into their schedule, particularly if they are already in full-time employment.&nbsp;</p> <p>Healthcare professionals can apply for a role at any stage, but at the very minimum, we would advise them to have their English certification results in advance so that the recruitment process can be expedited. Those who get a job offer quickly might have to work a minimum of one-month notice period. All of these factors add up to around six months.&nbsp;</p> <p>From a recruitment perspective, once everything is ready from the applicant’s side, we can achieve deployment within 40 days of a job offer, but this is really employer-dependent and requires employers to issue Certificates of Sponsorship (COS) and book travel expeditiously. So really, nurses should have all their documents and English language certification prepared in advance.&nbsp; Having said that, 2 – 3 months is more typical for us”&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="1024" height="535" src="" alt="Nurses must provide several documents" class="wp-image-11966" srcset=" 1024w, 300w, 768w, 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /><figcaption>International nurses must provide several documents as part of their application to work in the UK</figcaption></figure> <h2>SM: What are the specific requirements for international nurses to work in the UK?</h2> <p></p> <h5><strong>Colin Pettifer</strong></h5> <p>“Job seekers should have their English language certification; IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or OET (Occupational English Test). Nurses and midwives must achieve a minimum overall score of 7.0 in the IELTS. For the OET, nurses must achieve at least a grade B in the reading, listening and speaking sections and a grade C+ minimum in the written section. You can find a breakdown of the accepted English language tests on the <a href=",OET,reading%2C%20listening%20and%20speaking%20sections." target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">NMC website</a>. Individuals then need to register with the relevant regulatory body for their profession. For example, nurses need to register with the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">NMC</a> (Nursing and Midwifery Council), after which there are several registration compliances they must provide and adhere to.”</p> <p>&nbsp;Nurses must provide several documents, including:</p> <ul><li>Valid passport</li><li>IELTS or OET Results</li><li>Several references</li><li>Certificate of Good Standing</li><li>Change of name certificate (if applicable)</li><li>Police Clearance (known as an NBI in the Philippines)</li><li>Professional license certificate from their home country&nbsp;</li><li>Professional healthcare license with Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)</li><li>A standard medical, issued by the UK government, to ensure that an individual has all the required vaccinations and tests</li></ul> <p></p> <p>A detailed list of requirements can be <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">found here</a>.&nbsp;</p> <h2>SM: How much does the process of applying for and preparing relevant documents to work as a healthcare professional job cost?</h2> <p></p> <h5><strong>Colin Pettifer</strong></h5> <p>“The cost will vary for each individual. As an example, the IELTS preparation and exam could cost approximately US$250 (many employers will reimburse this cost).</p> <p>In addition, the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">total cost of the NMC fees and tests</a> alone is £1,170 (around US$1624) and includes the following:&nbsp;</p> <ul><li>The CBT (<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Computer Based Test</a>), the first part of the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Test of Competence</a> (ToC) exam, is around US$115 (£83).&nbsp;</li><li>The second part of the ToC is the OSCE (<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Objective Structured Clinical Examination</a>) which costs £794 (around US$1102).&nbsp; OSCE is taken after arrival in the UK and is an expense that is often paid or loaned to nurses from salary once they arrive</li><li>The annual registration fee for the NMC costs £153 (around US$213) and can be paid annually or by quarterly direct debit payments of £30 (around US$42).&nbsp;</li></ul> <p></p> <p><strong>Note: </strong>NMC costs may be higher if applicants have to resit tests.&nbsp;</p> <p>Then you have all of the local compliances: the medical is around US$30-$40. Everything has a cost attached to it.”&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="1024" height="535" src="" alt="UK visa nurses philippines" class="wp-image-11967" srcset=" 1024w, 300w, 768w, 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /><figcaption>&#8220;The government visa for healthcare professionals allows them a three-year visa and residency, which can be extended.&#8221;</figcaption></figure> <h2>SM: Do international healthcare professionals have to apply for residency to work in the UK?</h2> <p></p> <h5><strong>Colin Pettifer</strong></h5> <p>“No, the employer can provide a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">certificate of sponsorship</a>. The government visa for healthcare professionals allows them a three-year visa and residency, which can be extended. Ultimately,&nbsp; healthcare professionals from overseas will get to a point where they can apply for permanent residency in the UK.&nbsp;</p> <p>The UK government changed the eligibility requirements for candidates trying to come to the UK from other countries and added a new category called a ‘<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Skilled Worker visa</a>’. This is different from the ‘<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Shortage Occupation List</a>’. Many categories will qualify for ‘skilled worker,’ but they will only get a visa depending on the pecking order and this is usually determined by salary. The shortage occupation list allows people on lower salaries to be given employment priority and jump the queue.”</p> <h2>SM: How can professionals find relevant healthcare jobs in the UK?</h2> <p></p> <h5><strong>Colin Pettifer</strong></h5> <p>“In the Philippines and India, there are government processes that regulate the way that overseas recruitment works. These processes are in place to regulate the market to stop exploitation in all industries. There are processes that every agency has to follow so that healthcare professionals know how to find a genuine, authentic job. In other words, for our sister company in the Philippines, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Sharp BH Global Manpower</a>, we only post genuine and accredited jobs which have been signed off by the government on specific job boards. Certain websites are approved and authorized by the government, so nurses know that any jobs or services advertised are legitimate. There’s really no need for genuine agencies to advertise elsewhere.&nbsp;</p> <p>Secondly, our Facebook page, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Sharp BH Global Manpower</a>, is by far our biggest channel where professionals can find relevant healthcare jobs in the UK. Most of our job applications come from the job boards on our Facebook page and word of mouth within the nurse community in the Philippines!”</p> <p>To let international healthcare recruiters like Britannia Healthcare and Sharp BH Global Manpower get in touch with you about exciting jobs in the UK:&nbsp;</p> <ol><li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Sign up as a Member</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Build your myTrueProfile page</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Set your Contact Settings to ‘Recommended’</a></li></ol> <p></p> <h3>Read part one of our two-part interview series with Colin Pettifer, Managing Director of Britannia Healthcare, here: </h3> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Part One: Nursing in the UK &#8211; Why Make the Move?</a></p>