To be registered to work in New Zealand as a healthcare professional, there are certain mandatory English language requirements that must be met. To work in the medical field in New Zealand you must be proficient in English. If your secondary schooling was not in English, you must have your English skills assessed by the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). This test requires that you show your proof of proficiency in English. If you cannot show proof of your English proficiency, you will need to sit the IELTS test.

English Language Requirements for Nurses in New Zealand

The Nursing Council of New Zealand will usually require overseas applicants to demonstrate their ability to communicate and comprehend English. Applicants will be notified, whether they are required to provide evidence of English proficiency, after their application has been assessed.

The Nursing Council of New Zealand will accept any of the following as evidence:

  • An academic IELTS assessment with a minimum score of 7.0 for each band: reading, listening, writing and speaking.
  • The Occupational English Test (OET) with a B band in each section.

English Language Requirements for Midwives in New Zealand

If you are an internationally qualified Midwife, and English is not your first language then you must sit the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Test in the Academic Module, and achieve an overall pass rate of no less than 7.5, with no less than 7 in each band.

You can apply for an exemption from this requirement if you can provide proof that you are proficient in English. Applications for exemption are considered on a case by case basis.

English Language Requirements for Doctors, Medical Staff and Allied Health Professionals in NZ

Medical professionals looking to be registered to work in New Zealand will be required to have achieved an overall band of 7.5 or above in the academic module of the international English language testing system (IELTS) academic test, within the two years prior to application.

A minimum band of 7 is required in each of the four individual components of the test. These four components include listening, reading, writing and speaking. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Occupational English Test (OET) are not accepted by the council as alternatives to IELTS.

IELTS is the only English test approved by the Medical Council of New Zealand. Doctors can wave the IELTS if they can show proof of three or more years of work in a country where English is the native or first language. For more information please contact us, and speak to one of our specialist consultants.