​​​​​​​​​Getting Started - British Columbia

Getting Referred

In British Columbia, NCAS provides a competency assessment for four healthcare professions - health care assistants, licensed practical nurses, registered n​urses, and psychiatric nurses - seeking to license to practice in British Columbia. Our SLA Assessment Centre is in Vancouver, BC.

The NCAS process in British Columbia starts with a referral from one of the referring organizations listed below:

Your referral must come to NCAS directly from the regulatory college or registry listed above. NCAS does not accept referrals from candidates themselves.  Each referring organization has unique requirements you must fulfil to be referred to NCAS.  For instance, you may be asked to submit an Academic Credential Assessment report from a registered credential assessment agency like the National Nursing Assessment Service.  Please contact the appropriate regulatory organization or registry directly to learn about referral requirements for NCAS.

Assessing for more than one nursing role (Dual-Track RN/LPN)  

A unique facet of the NCAS assessment is the opportunity to be assessed as a Registered Nurse (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at the same time – we call this a dual-track assessment.

Before applying to complete the NCAS assessment process, it is important to consider whether you want to be assessed as a dual-track candidate. Applying for a dual-track assessment at the beginning of your assessment process may save you time and money in the long run.  Here is how it works.

  • Registered Nurses who are not sure they will meet the competency requirements in their field, can choose to have an evaluation that also assesses the extent to which they meet the competency requirements to practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse.
  • An applicant must be referred by the BC College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM). Those applying for the dual-role assessment require two referrals and will need to meet the specific requirements set by BCCNM to obtain the referral.
  • To complete an RN/LPN dual-track assessment, an applicant must complete two Computer-based Assessments (CBA) – one specific to each role (RN and LPN), and one Simulation Lab Assessment (SLA) for the RN profession. The RN SLA is designed to capture demonstrated competencies in both the RN and LPN professions.
  • If you have signed up for the dual-role assessment, NCAS will send results for both roles to the BC College of Nurses and Midwives.
  • There is one fee​ for the dual-track assessment.

Please note:

  • Trained LPNs cannot ask to be assessed in the role of an RN unless they have met the RN educational requirements set out by the regulatory college.
  • NCAS does not offer a dual-track SLA for RPNs wishing to be considered for another role. RPNs interested in being considered for another role must write a CBA for each profession and take the SLA for both professions. 

What happens after NCAS receives my referral?

  • ​Once we have received a referral directly from the regulatory body or registry, you will receive an email from NCAS confirming your referral and initiating the NCAS assessment process. Click here to learn How it Works.