​Get Assessed

What does the competency assessment look like?

Each competency assessment consists of two parts:

  • Computer-based assessment (CBA) – 3 to 5 hours in length.
  • Simulation lab assessment (SLA) – 2.5 to 6 hours in length.

The length of each assessment depends on the profession(s) for which you are being assessed.

How much time do I have to complete the NCAS assessments?

You have six months to complete both parts of your NCAS competency assessment from when NCAS confirms your referral to your final assessment component.

It is important to note that the CBA and SLA(s) must be completed within three months of each other. The NCAS assessment evaluates competencies and knowledge at a specific time; the more time that lapses, the less valid the results are.

Contact us to apply for an extension if you cannot complete your assessments in six months. 

What is the CBA? 

Where can I take it?

The CBA is a three or five-hour proctored computer-based assessment that can be taken at one of more than a hundred testing centres in 60 countries in the world. The CBA for the RPN assessment can be done virtually via a remote proctor.

The CBA assesses your knowledge of the skills and judgement required to enter practice in a health practitioner role. It is made up of gradually unfolding cases that take you through the step-by-step process of clinical thinking and decision-making.

There is no pass or fail. Instead, the assessment is aimed at identifying strengths and gaps. Your results will not be sent to you until you have completed the Simulation lab assessment and the CBA.

Learn more about the Computer-based Assessment.

What is the SLA?

Where can I take it?

The SLA is the Simulation Lab Assessment. The SLA is a two and a half to six hour assessment taken in person at an NCAS Assessment Centre.

Candidates seeking registration in British Columbia must take their SLA at the NCAS Assessment Centre in Vancouver, BC. Candidates seeking registration in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island must take their SLA at the NCAS Assessment Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Depending on the assessed profession, the SLA has three or five stations. Each station focuses on one simulated clinical scenario; some will have a mannequin, and others will involve face-to-face interaction with a standardized patient (trained actor).

Learn more about each simulation lab assessment:

Can I be assessed for more than one profession at a time?

Yes! NCAS offers:

  • Triple-track assessment (RN/LPN/HCA) in British Columbia.
  • Dual-track assessment (RN/LPN) in British Columbia and Nova Scotia. 

In assessing your competency for multiple professions at once, you can expand your career options and find work faster in your chosen province.

How do I choose the triple-track assessment?NCAS will automatically assess you for three nursing professions if we deem you eligible. We will let you know once we have reviewed your documents.
How and when do I get my NCAS results?Within 60 days of completing all assessment components (CBA and SLA), NCAS will issue you a performance report. Further information can be found on the Results page.

Triple-track assessment (RN/LPN/HCA)

What is the triple-track assessment?

The triple-track assessment is what most applicants to NCAS will complete if applying to register in BC. It's a hands on 'shows how' assessment that assesses your skills and knowledge in three professions at once. These professions are:  Registered Nurse (RN)

  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Health Care Assistant (HCA)

In assessing your competency for multiple professions at one time, the triple-track assessment can expand your career options and help you find work faster in British Columbia.

Key features of the assessment

  • Three professions, one assessment process.
  • Includes the following components:
  1. A computer-based assessment: up to 5 hours in length
  2. An HCA 2.5 hours SLA combined with an RN/LPN 3.5 hours in length

After completing the assessment, you will receive three distinct competency reports (one for each profession) that you can use to seek registration in the nursing profession of your choice. In BC, NCAS will send results for your RN and LPN assessments to the BC College of Nurses and Midwives. We will also make your report available to the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry if you choose to apply to become an HCA.

I've been referred to NCAS and still need to begin with the competency assessment.  Do I need to do anything different?

Your referral will be managed with priority through the new process, and you will benefit from the same time-saving processes and lowered costs.

  •  NCAS will contact you with next steps as required.
I completed either the computer-based assessment (CBA) or simulation lab assessment (SLA). Can I switch to the IEN pathway?

Contact us directly to discuss your options at info@ncasbc.ca. ​

I completed my NCAS assessment but wish to take the triple-track assessment. What are my options?

Contact us directly to discuss your options at info@ncasbc.ca​. 

Additional fees may apply.

I need a testing accommodation - what do I do?​A testing accommodation is a modification to the assessment environment to support applicants with medical, physical, psychological, or learning conditions or to observe a spiritual or religious observance.

Contact us to apply for a testing accommodation.

How do I prepare for the CBA or SLA?​There are many ways to prepare for the assessments. Familiarizing yourself with simulation labs is a good place to start. Sample questions, resources and videos are all available under How to Prepare.

Note: Independent, private organizations may offer NCAS preparation courses. NCAS has not reviewed, approved or endorsed any of these courses or programs, and cannot attest to whether they will help strengthen your performance on our competency assessments. 

How were the competencies established?​Each nursing role has specific competencies established and validated by subject-matter experts in each nursing profession. NCAS has identified behaviours and indicators that relate to each competency. These competencies are mapped to a blueprint. As you move through each assessment, your responses and behaviours will be assessed against those expected in each competency area. More information can be found on the How to Prepare page. 

I have completed the competency assessment; what is the next step?


​After you have completed the assessments, NCAS will gather your results and send you your performance reports. NCAS checks assessment scores carefully before we release your performance report. You can request a reconsideration of your SLA results if your performance report does not reflect your performance during the assessment.

If you are satisfied with your assessment results, NCAS will then combine your competency reports with your reviewed credential and language documents and will send the entire package to the BC College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM). The regulator will move forward immediately if you have already opened your application with them.

If you are applying to the Health Care Aide Registry, you will now want to open an application with them. NCAS will send your documents package to the Registry, and they will review your report directly. 

NCAS will send you a confirmation email once your package has been sent to the regulator or the registry. ​