The UK Nursing and Midwifery Council has found evidence of widespread fraud at the Yunnik Technologies Test Centre in Ibadan. The NMC had previously raised concerns about the registration of 512 Nigerian nurses and midwives who passed at the CBT centre in Ibadan.
As a result, the NMC has informed those who took their CBT at the Yunnik centre that they will investigate the data and concerns raised. The Yunnik Technologies Test Centre is one of the locations where Nigerian nurses and midwives take a computer-based test to assess their clinical and numeracy skills for UK practice.
In a press statement on Thursday, the council revealed that although most individuals who took their CBT at the Yunnik centre are not believed to have fraudulently joined the register, there is evidence of widespread fraud at the center.
“There is evidence of widespread fraudulent activity at the Yunnik centre, where we suspect some people fraudulently obtained their CBT, probably by the use of a proxy tester, where someone takes the test on behalf of someone else. Overall, this means we cannot have confidence in any CBT result from this test centre, and we’re treating all CBTs obtained at Yunnik as invalid.
“It’s essential for the NMC to maintain the safety and integrity of the register, and the public’s trust and confidence in the professions we regulate. This means we need to assure ourselves that anyone on our register, or applying to join it, meets our proficiency standards. A valid CBT result is one way in which an internationally educated professional can demonstrate they meet these standards,” the statement read in part.
Out of the 515 professionals on the register, 48 obtained their score in a way that strongly suggests fraudulent activity.
“We will refer each of these cases to an independent panel, called an Investigating Committee, to decide whether they gained fraudulent entry to the register. In line with our existing policy, those individuals will be offered three opportunities to take a new CBT and will be able to give the Investigating Committee information about the circumstances in which they took the CBT at Yunnik, including any mitigating circumstances or character references. They’ll have the chance to attend a hearing to provide the Investigating Committee with evidence in person.
NMC's Chief Executive and Registrar, Andrea Sutcliffe, expressed understanding for those facing uncertainty during this time and assured that the council is handling the concerns in a safe and fair manner.
“Internationally educated nurses and midwives make an incredibly important contribution to our health and social care system. Our paramount concern remains to protect the public by maintaining the integrity of the register for nursing and midwifery professionals practising in the UK. That’s why we’ve responded to this situation with such painstaking care and consideration.
From April 1, 2022, to March 2023, a total of 3,383 Nigerian-trained nurses and midwives were licensed to practice in the UK. According to data from the NMC, there are currently 10,639 Nigerian nurses and midwives practicing in the UK.