The Brief

The Competency Test Centre based at the University of Northampton’s Innovation Centre offers a state-of-the-art facility for candidates sitting the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) Part 2 of the overseas test of competence.

Nurses and Midwives who completed their training outside of the EU or EEA are able to undertake an Objective Structure Clinical Examination (OSCE) before they can be eligible to join the NMC register. This is a practical test to ensure that nurses’ skills are assessed in a robust and objective way, in order to protect the public.

With an estimated shortage of 20,000 nurses in the NHS and 96% of hospitals reporting a shortage of nurses and midwives, the NHS has increasingly had to rely on recruiting nurses from abroad. Last year more than a quarter of new recruits came from overseas. To cope with this shortage of UK and EU trained nurses, more than 30,000 have undertaken the NMC’s Test of Competence for nurses and midwives at the University of Northampton since 2014. The growing demand for Competency Testing completely outstripped supply, and the University of Northampton reinvested to upgrade their existing facility further.  

Adaptive IT was contracted by Mineral Star Construction to fit out the new and refurbished areas to ensure examinations can be conducted competently and impartially.

The Challenge

After consultation with main stakeholders, it was agreed the scope of the works would include –

 3rd Floor –

 – Supply and install of IT/AV equipment for new bays, invigilator stations and work areas in the West, East and South sections of the CTC.

– All passive infrastructure required for equipment above plus new Cat6 data outlets as part of the general arrangements directed.

 Ground Floor –

– 65” LFD and connection plate for new Briefing Room

– Digital Signage platform and 2 x 55” LFD for new Reception areas

– All passive infrastructure required for equipment above plus new Cat6 data outlets as part of the general arrangements directed.

Adaptive IT's Solution


Emanating from existing basement location and 3rd floor locations we installed a solution consisting of approx. 60 Cat6 Data outlets. All were presented as required in ceiling voids, floor boxes and dado positions.


All examinations are conducted within strict time limitations. Students are given five minutes to read a brief and must then act out a series of six clinical scenarios which nurses and midwives are likely to encounter when they assess, plan, carry out and evaluate care for patients. Each of the scenarios must be completed within a strict 15 minute window.

 In keeping with the existing solution, we supplied the Bodet Style 5S LED digital clocks. The neat black casing with green LED display fits in well with the contemporary style of the Innovation Centre, the 5cm LED display is easy to read and can be adjusted for brightness depending on the lighting conditions. From a practical perspective, the clocks can display time of day or be used as accurate countdown times and can be paused or reset easily.

 A total of 16 x Style LED clocks was fitted in the new examination stations so that examinees can see clearly how much time they have left to complete each test. The Competency Test Centre also has 3 x invigilator stations, each monitoring a number of the examination stations. The time displayed at each station is mirrored by a synchronised duplicate clock in the invigilator centre so they can verify the examinations are completed competently and within the time limit.


A total of 16 x additional high resolution Avigilon IP Cameras and 7 x ceiling mounted omni-directional mics were installed so each examination can be recorded for quality assurance purposes or evidencing should the test result be challenged.

All new cameras and mics were integrated to record back to the existing central NVR unit – all footage and live feeds can be viewed locally in the moderating room or via web interface by any staff with correct password credential access.


2 x 55” UHD NEC screens were teamed with a Brightsign Digital Signage player and installed into the new reception areas on the ground floor. Content can be created and set to be displayed by the staff at any time and in any format as required.

An impressive 65”UHD NEC screen was mounted in the new briefing area to be used to display information and be used as a presentation position when needed.


It is fantastic that we have been involved at every stage in the journey of the UoN CTC since 2014 and seen it evolve and grow into the cutting edge facility it is today. We look forward to the tech we have supplied continuing to be key in the success of the centre, benefiting the NHS and society in general.

Jonathan White

Commercial Director, Adaptive IT Solutions

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