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UK Nursing Council Raises Concerns Over Widespread Fraud at Ibadan Test Centre

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in the United Kingdom has expressed serious concerns regarding widespread fraudulent activities at the Yunnik Technologies Test Centre in Ibadan, Nigeria.

This development follows an earlier alert issued by the NMC in May, where it questioned the validity of registrations of 512 Nigerian nurses and midwives who had passed their Computer-Based Test (CBT) at the Ibadan center.

In response to these concerns, the NMC has initiated an investigation into the data associated with candidates who took their CBTs at the Yunnik Centre. This facility is a crucial testing hub where Nigerian nurses and midwives aspiring to practice in the UK undergo a computer-based assessment of their clinical and numeracy skills.

In a press statement released on Thursday, the NMC confirmed that while the majority of individuals who took their CBTs at the Yunnik center are not believed to have gained entry to the register fraudulently, there is compelling evidence of widespread fraudulent activities at this facility.

The statement reads, “There is evidence of widespread fraudulent activity at the Yunnik centre, where we suspect some individuals fraudulently obtained their CBT results, possibly through the use of proxy testers—where someone else takes the test on behalf of the actual candidate. Consequently, we are unable to place confidence in any CBT result from this test center, and we are considering all CBTs obtained at Yunnik as invalid.”

Safeguarding the integrity of the register and maintaining public trust and confidence in the regulated professions are paramount to the NMC. To ensure that all individuals on the register or those seeking to join it meet the required proficiency standards, valid CBT results are a crucial component.

Of the 515 professionals currently on the register, 48 have achieved scores indicating a high likelihood of fraudulent entry. These cases will be referred to an independent panel, known as an Investigating Committee, which will determine whether these individuals fraudulently gained entry to the register.

In accordance with existing policies, the implicated individuals will be provided with three opportunities to retake the CBT and will have the opportunity to provide the Investigating Committee with information regarding the circumstances in which they took the CBT at Yunnik, including any mitigating circumstances or character references. An in-person hearing will also be available for presenting evidence.

Should the Investigating Committee conclude that an individual’s entry to the register was fraudulently obtained, the NMC may be directed to remove that individual from the register, with the option of appeal.

For the remaining 467 professionals on the register who undertook their CBTs at Yunnik, no allegations of fraud are currently being pursued. However, since all CBTs from the Yunnik center are being treated as invalid, these individuals will be required to successfully retake the test to maintain their registration. They will be granted three opportunities to do so, in alignment with established policies, ensuring that they can demonstrate a CBT result beyond any doubt to prospective employers.

NMC’s Chief Executive and Registrar, Andrea Sutcliffe, acknowledged the challenging circumstances faced by those affected by this investigation. She assured the public that the council is diligently managing these concerns in a fair and secure manner.

“Internationally educated nurses and midwives play a vital role in our health and social care system. Our utmost priority is to safeguard the public by preserving the integrity of the nursing and midwifery register for professionals practicing in the UK. We have approached this situation with meticulous care and consideration, and have maintained open communication with employers, trade unions, and support groups to offer assistance to those affected and address any incidents of discrimination that may have arisen,” Sutcliffe stated.

Data from the NMC reveals that from April 1, 2022, to March 2023, a total of 3,383 Nigerian-trained nurses and midwives received licenses to practice in the UK. Furthermore, the UK currently has 10,639 Nigerian nurses and midwives actively practicing within its healthcare system.

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