Towards improved healthcare communication (2009-2013)

Development and validation of language proficiency standards for non-native English speaking health professionals

Professor Tim Mcnamara et al
ARC Linkage Project LP0991153

Strong English communication skills among non-native English speaking health professionals are critical to the quality of healthcare. In Australia these skills are assessed using the officially-recognised Occupational English Test (OET). However, the passing standards on this test set by professional registration bodies are not evidence-based. This project brought together linguists, clinical educators from medicine, nursing and physiotherapy and our Partner Organisation, the Occupational English Test Centre to research the criteria used in routine evaluations of clinical communication skills in the workplace and apply these in formulating appropriate proficiency standards for the health profession.