​​How it works ​

​NCAS uses a combination of a Computer-Based Assessment (CBA) and Simulation Lab Assessment (SLA) to assess the extent to which applicants demonstrate the entry-to-practice skills and competencies required for practice.

Candidates have one year from their referral date to complete the NCAS assessment. It is important to note that the CBA and SLA must be completed within six months of each other.

While the assessments may be taken in any order, we encourage you to take the CBA first as it will help you prepare yourself better for the SLA. 

Computer-Based Assessment (CBA)

  • The CBA is taken at a proctored computer lab operated by Prometric Testing Centres, and is offered in many countries and cities in the world. The CBA is a three-hour, proctored, computer-based assessment made up of gradually unfolding cases that take you through the step-by-step process of clinical thinking and decision making.

Simulation Lab Assessment (SLA)

  • The SLA must be taken in-person at an NCAS Assessment Centre, all of which are located at a nursing simulation lab. For British Columbian referrals, the SLA is offered only in Vancouver, BC. For Maritime Canada referrals, the SLA is offered only in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • The SLA includes 3-5 different stations. Each station will focus on one clinical scenario. All stations will include a specially trained actor in the role of a patient.
  • Our actors are called Standardized Patients. You will encounter them in all the stations, even if you don't see them. Sometimes they will play the role of the patient face-to-face, and sometimes they will be the voice behind a mannequin in the room, speaking to you in real time, as you care for your patient.
  • The mannequins are programmed to simulate various health conditions appropriate to your nursing role. The simulation environment will contain the necessary healthcare equipment to support appropriate patient care within the scope of your role.
  • An assessor will be present in the room with you and will observe your interactions during each scenario.
  • Like the CBA, the SLA offers you the opportunity to demonstrate your abilities. It seeks to assess the extent to which you can demonstrate the skills and competencies required to enter practice in the health practitioner role you desire. Specifically, the simulations allow you to demonstrate your ability to conduct patient assessments, perform nursing interventions, communicate effectively with patients, and make clinical decisions in a safe environment.
  • More information on the SLA can be found here for British Columbian applicants, and here for Maritime Canada applicants.

​What to Expect in the NCAS Process (Step by Step)

  1. ​NCAS receives a referral directly from your nursing regulatory college or health care aide registry. If you are being assessed as an RN/LPN dual-track applicant (available only in British Columbia and Nova Scotia), NCAS will need to receive two separate referrals.
  2. Within two weeks of receiving your referral, NCAS will contact you via email to confirm receipt of your referral. At this time, you'll be asked to set up an online account with NCAS. Here you are prompted to sign a Consent and Confidentiality Agreement and confirm your personal information.  
  3. Within 3-5 business days of completing your Consent and Confidentiality Agreement, you receive an email initiating payment for your assessment fees.  
  4. Within 3-5 business days of payment, you will receive two scheduling emails from NCAS – one for your CBA and the other for your SLA. Please note that you must complete your CBA and SLA within six months of each other. The CBA is self-scheduled via a Prometric webpage. You can find a time and testing location that works for you. The SLA is scheduled by NCAS directly. The SLA is taken in-person at an NCA S Assessment Centre.​ 
  5. Once both the CBA and SLA have been complet​ed, NCAS will process your assessment results. We will then release your NCAS Performance Report to you directly within 60 days of the completion of your final assessment component. This Performance Report will then be shared with the regulatory body or registry that referred you within 15 days of its initial release to you. Further information on the NCAS Performance Report can be found her​e.​