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Two Nurses Struck from NMC Register After CBT Fraud

Two nurses implicated in a widespread fraud case at a Nigerian test centre have been expelled from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register, as the nursing regulator initiates hearings to address the matter.

After separate hearings in London, adult nurse Busayo Tosin Akinola and mental health nurse Folashade Tolulope Onibudo were stripped of their registration by the NMC panel. They have been given a 28-day window to appeal the decision before their removal becomes final.

The panel noted that both nurses completed their competence tests at the Yunnik Technologies test centre in an unusually short time. The computer-based competence test (CBT) consists of a numeracy test lasting 30 minutes and a clinical test lasting two hours and 30 minutes.

Data revealed that Ms Onibudo completed the numeracy test in less than four minutes, prompting suspicion of fraudulent activity.

While an exact duration for Ms Akinola’s test was not provided, her retest performance indicated a significant slowdown. Consequently, the panel determined that removal from the register was the appropriate course of action for both nurses.

Individual registration hearings began on 19 March, involving 48 registrants suspected of obtaining their registrations through fraudulent means.

The NMC’s investigation unearthed extensive fraudulent activities at the Yunnik Technologies test centre, where international nurses take the CBT required for application to the UK register. Concerns raised by test provider Pearson Vue in May

2023 led to an investigation revealing potential fraud involving hundreds of candidates.

Initial findings revealed evidence of individuals sitting the tests as proxies for the applicants. In total, 1,955 candidates who took the CBT at the test centre had their tests invalidated.

By the end of February 1,397 candidates had rebooked or retaken the CBT, with a significant majority successfully passing and joining the register. However, at least 80 applications have been refused due to suspected fraudulent test results, with individuals now facing appeals or new application processes.

During a council meeting on 27 March, NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe acknowledged the extensive effort undertaken to investigate the allegations and prepare for the hearings. An oversight process has been established to ensure the integrity of computer-based testing, including regular meetings with Pearson Vue to review monitoring and security measures.

Ms Sutcliffe emphasised the importance of maintaining public confidence in the testing process, ensuring that professionals passing the CBT possess the necessary knowledge to deliver safe care.

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