​​How it works ​

​NCAS uses a Computer-based Assessment (CBA) and Simulation Lab Assessment (SLA) to assess the extent to which applicants demonstrate the skills and competencies required for practice. Both the LPN and RN SLA will also include an Oral Assessment (OA) component.

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 SLA and OA (if applicable) are taken in-person at an NCAS Assessment Centre at the same time; there is no need to register for them separately. 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.

Assessment results are based on the outcomes of all assessments (CBA and SLA), so candidates must complete all components to complete the NCAS process. Candidates have one year to complete the NCAS process.

Step One: NCAS receives a referral directly from a nursing regulatory college or health care aide registry. NOTE: If you are being assessed for two professions at once (available only in British Columbia and Nova Scotia), NCAS will need to receive two separate referrals.

Step Two: You receive an email from NCAS confirming your referral. You sign the Consent and Confidentiality Agreement attached and submit it to NCAS.

Step Three: You receive an email asking you to pay for the CBA and for the SLA.  NOTE: While the assessments may be taken in any order, we urge you to take the CBA first as it will help you prepare yourself better for the SLA. 

Step Four:  Once you have paid, firstly, you will be sent an email directing you a webpage where you can schedule your CBA at a time and location that works for you. All CBAs are administered by a testing company called Prometric; you can visit their website to find a testing centre nearest you.  

Secondly, NCAS will contact you shortly after to schedule the SLA. The SLA is taken in-person at an NCA​S Assessment Centre.

You have one year from the date of referral to complete the entire NCAS process, and must complete the CBA and SLA within six months of each other.​

Assessment (CBA)

Simulation Lab


(OA)​ - LPN/RN/RPN only

Results and Feedback



The CBA is a three-hour, proctored, computer-based assessment. You can take the assessment at one of more than a hundred testing centres in 60 countries in the world.


The CBA seeks to assess your knowledge of the skills and competencies required to enter practice in your health practitioner role.

The assessment 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.  Rather, the assessment is aimed at identifying strengths and gaps.  Your results will not be sent to you until you have completed the SLA. 


The SLA is a two to four-hour assessment. The SLA must be taken in-person at an NCAS Assessment Centre, all of which are located at a nursing simulation lab.

At the lab, you will be taken to four or five different stations. Each station will focus on one clinical scenario. Some stations will have a mannequin, while others may use a specially trained actor acting in the role of a 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.

Standardized patients

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, and sometimes they will be the voice behind the mannequin, speaking to you in real time, as you care for your patient.

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.


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


The OA takes place at the same time as the SLA and in the same place. After each simulation, you will complete a clinical decision-making oral assessment with the assessor. That oral assessment comprises three questions and takes about 10 minutes.

In the oral assessment, the assessor asks you structured questions designed to measure your critical thinking and clinical judgement, as well as the thought processes that influenced your actions during the simulation scenarios.


The results of the OA are not reported separately. They will be folded into the SLA results, which will be blended with the results of the CBA to give applicants a single results report.​

Results of the NCAS assessment will help inform the nursing regulator and/or registry about your competencies. They use this information, along with other information they have received from you, to make decisions about registration.

NCAS will send a report both to the regulator or registry, as well as to you.  NCAS does not send a result report for each assessment.  Rather, NCAS sends only the final report that blends the results of all three assessments.  That is because each assessment evaluates distinct, as well as some overlapping competencies, and each evaluates them in different ways. Only by blending the report do we get a true picture of the applicant's competencies.

We will release your Performance Report to you within 60 days of your completion of all three components of the NCAS assessment.

Further information on Performance Reports can be found here​.