Cambridge Backs Tests to Evaluate Language Skills of Overseas-Trained Medical Professionals

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A department of Cambridge University will develop and promote an English language test for health and medical professionals as part of a drive to support better communication in healthcare worldwide.

The Occupational English Test (OET) is currently used to test the English language skills of overseas-trained health and medical professionals who want to practice in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Cambridge English Language Assessment has purchased a 70 per cent stake in the OET from Centre for Adult Education, a controlled entity of Box Hill Institute, in Melbourne Australia in a strategic alliance aimed at increasing the availability of the test to candidates in the UK, Europe and North America.

Cambridge English Language Assessment's Chief Executive, Dr Mike Milanovic said "The great thing about the OET is that it really focuses on the language needed by healthcare personnel, using clinical terminology across a range of specialisms and contexts. We're aiming to work with Box Hill Institute to make the OET the leading English-language qualification for health and medical professionals around the world."

The OET was developed by the University of Melbourne in the late 1980s under contract to the Australian Federal Government. It assesses the English language skills of people working in the fields of Dentistry, Dietetics, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, Podiatry, Physiotherapy, Radiography, Speech Pathology and Veterinary Science.

The test is currently used by the governing bodies of the professions at state and national level in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Box Hill Institute, CEO, John Maddock said

"This is a great example of how an Australian qualification can reach a global market. We are delighted to be working with Cambridge English Language Assessment so that the OET is made available to health and medical professionals seeking registration and the ability to practice in an English speaking environment."

Cambridge English Language Assessment is the world’s leading provider of language assessment for learners and teachers of English, with over four million candidates a year in 130 countries. It is a part of the world-renowned University of Cambridge, which is regularly placed No. 1 in rankings of the world's universities.


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Stuart Giblin