The Medical Council of New Zealand recently announced changes to its International English Language Testing System (IELTS) requirements. These changes will affect international medical graduates who are required to pass IELTS before applying for registration in New Zealand. Here is a quick look at the changes:
Current IELTS requirements
Under the council’s current IELTS requirements an applicant must score a minimum of seven in each of the four components (listening, speaking, reading and writing) of the test. A minimum overall average of 7.5 is required.
New requirements effective February 1, 2009
The new minimum scores are:
There is no minimum overall average score requirement.
Why the change?
The council is required to make sure that every doctor registered to practice medicine in New Zealand is, “able to communicate in and comprehend English sufficiently to protect the health and safety of the public, and for the purposes of practicing within the scope of practice in which they are registered.”
The council reports that the most common complaints it receives, after clinical competence, are concerns about communication skills. Therefore, the council considers scores in listening and speaking the most important in terms of communication with patients and colleagues.
For more information about these changes click here to visit the council's website.