​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Meet the language requirements​​

Submit proof of your English Language Skills

Communicating effectively in English is critical to provide safe nursing practice in British Columbia. All applicants will need to show a minimum level of English language proficiency (ELP), in order to determine their eligibility for continuing through the IEN Pathway. Transcript documentation proving ELP needs to be sent to NCAS directly from the Educational Institution.​​

Evidence Accepted:

​The easiest way to prove your English language proficiency for any profession is by taking an ELP exam. NCAS accepts ELP test scores from either CELBAN or IELTS (Academic)​. ​​

​The requirements are the same for the RN and LPN professions, but different for the HCA profession. 

RN/LPN test score requirements:

Name of language proficiency examComponentMinimum score



Speaking 8

​​​IELTS (academic)



​ ​
​ ​

HCA test score requirements:

Name of language proficiency examComponentMinimum score



​ ​

​​​IELTS (academic)



​ ​ ​ ​

​NCAS will only accept language test scores sent directly from the testing agency. When you sign up for your language proficiency exam, please select the Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS) to have your report sent directly to NCAS. The language testing agency will send you a copy of your test scores as well as a copy directly to NCAS.​ 

NEW UPDATE: NCAS will accept and review scores from multiple reports of the same test (maximum of 2 test reports). Please notify NCAS if multiple tests are being submitted.  

For CELBAN, please use the below information for your online form to designate NCAS as the test result report recipient:


For IELTS, choose "Nursing Community Assessment Service" as the recognizing organization in Step #5 of your application and account set up.

If you have already taken your ELP test, and your scores are still valid, you can contact the testing agency to request that a copy be sent to NCAS.

  • CELBAN results are valid for three years from the date the report was issued
  • IELTS test results are valid for two years from your test date

If you have already taken your ELP test, you'll need to request additional copies of your scores to be sent directly to NCAS. To order copies, please fill out the request, by visiting the link below, as well as pay a fee:

CELBAN - Complete the request form. There is a fee, and this process takes about two business days to complete your request

IELTS - Complete the request form. There is a fee. Once you complete and submit the form, you will receive an invoice two days later. Once IELTS receives your payment, your order will be completed in about five days.

NEW UPDATE: New English language profiency (ELP) requirements effective as of August 1, 2023

All applicants who applied on or any time ​after August 1st, 2023, will need to meet the new ELP requirements

Other Alternative Evidence

There may be other ways to show your English language proficiency. 

Any combination (at least 2of the following documents may be considered to satisfy the language requirement. Please note, at any time, the NCAS Credential Services Team may ask you to complete an ELP test if your alternative documents do not meet the ELP requirements.

 Alternative Evidence Documents:

  •  Successful completion of additional nursing education and/or a related education in English, such as a training in health care or health care support; leading to a diploma or a degree in Canada; 
  •  Successful completion of English-language primary and secondary school in Canada;
  •  Successful completion of a post-secondary degree in English in Canada;
  •  Confirmation of recent nursing practice experience in a predominantly English setting, consistently within the  past two-year period;
  • Confirmation of recent work experience in a Canadian healthcare setting providing services in English consistently within the past two-year period;

​​​If you would like to submit an Employer Reference Form as documentation for English language proficiency, please download this​ for​m​​​​​ for you and your direct supervisor to fill out. When completed, your direct supervisor will need to email the form directly to NCAS at ienp.eepr@ncasbc.ca. The email subject line must state: "EEPR for {Your Name} and NCAS ID"

​The work experience must include direct interaction with patients, be within the last 2 years, completed and signed by your direct supervisor, and emailed to NCAS from your supervisor's work email 

We will not be able to review your EEPR if your form does not directly come from your supervisor's email and if the above highlighted information isn't included in the subject line. 

​Once the Credential Services Team receives your completed form, they will review and assess whether the informatio​n provided by your employer fulfills NCAS' English language proficiency requirements.