Perhaps you miss the points
1) It's not that IELTS is "difficult", it's that it's aimed at satisfying a specific market = Higher Ed. Not at those wishing to enter "Nursing".
2) Whilst IELTS was designed for a specific market it's being used, inappropriately, as a test for ALL users of ESOL.
3) What experience do YOU have of IELTS? Have you sat even one of the papers and had it marked objectively? Or maybe you're a (past or present) practitioner in the field of TESOL. (I can answer Yes to all those questions)
4) Would you care to hazard a guess, or better still offer data, to inform the debate on what % of NS of English in "Nursing" could pass IELTS at what you state is the required level?
5) Please remember that Tests of proficiency in ESOL examine the clearly defined skill areas of production (W & S) and reception (R & L), rather than some woolly concept of the ability to "communicate".
Proficiency in the productive skills is much harder to attain than in the receptive ones as many of us may know from our holiday experiences "abroad".
6) When you write "from abroad" are you clear in your own mind as to whom you are referring? I'm certainly not sure if you include NSs from, e.g. US(A), Australia, Canada. Should they too have to pass IELTS "at level 7" ?
Recognizing that an 'O' Level in English was far too culturally oriented to be used as an appropriate test for University entrance for STEM subjects for NNS, a consortium of British Universities (JMB / NEAB) commisioned (The now late) Dr Patricia MCELDOWNEY to design and implement what became the NEAB - UETESOL (University Entrance Test in English for Speakers of Other Languages). It was a radical & welcome transformation and for many years set the standard for the form of such examinations, their marking schemes and acceptable profiles across the receptive and productive skills (S, L, R, Writing)
For reasons which were less than clear, the hard-edged and prescriptive IELTS test was aggressively "imposed" as the international standard for UETESOL and other areas of study and employment in UK.
At last, and not before time, the inappropriateness of IELTS in certain sectors is being recognized. One can but hope that the spirit and practice of enablement "Pat" MCELDOWNEY brought will be reflected in this new test.
Be sensible, such overpayments can't just " ... be written off. "
Yes, there should be compassion and a gently, gently approach to recouping the excess payments.
Comment on: New England chief nursing officer named
@JANE INGRAM23 JUNE, 2012 1:04 PM
"Yes, you are entitled to air your views, but why oh why are you not committed enough to put you(sic) name to your ramblings, instead of hiding behind 'Anonymous'?"
One can but assume that you have not read what happens to 'Whistle-blowers' in NHS England despite all the promises to the contrary.
Since you are outside the NHS England system, one wonders if your readiness to splash your name has something to do with self-publicity in pursuance of your own career rather than carrying the debate forward.
It certainly seems that way looking at your previous contributions.