NCAS provides a three-part competency assessment for internationally-educated health practitioners (IEPs) — including health care assistants, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and psychiatric nurses — who hope to practice in British Columbia. We also assess health care professionals returning to practice, and health care assistants trained in other jurisdictions.
NCAS is one critical tool that our community partners use to determine whether IEPs are ready to practice safely, ethically and competently in the provincial workforce. It's made up of three assessments: a Computer-based Assessment, a Simulation Lab Assessment, and an Oral Assessment that takes place at the same time as the SLA. All three are necessary in order to complete the assessment process.
NCAS offers a consistent approach for evaluating the extent to which an IEP’s competencies are substantially equivalent to those of a Canadian health professional entering practice. NCAS also provides an opportunity for internationally educated and re-entry nurses to demonstrate their current competence to practice, competence that may not have been evidenced by a paper assessment. The NCAS assessment process is a mandatory registration requirement for some regulatory organizations.
Who We Assess
NCAS was born of the collaborative efforts of the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry, the BC College of Nursing Professionals, as well as the Government of BC's Ministry of Health. BCCNP is currently acting as the operator of NCAS.
The Ministry of Health provided foundational support during the pilot phase of NCAS, and continues to fund NCAS as it transitions towards full operations and sustainability.
NCAS is the only competency assessment service that allows an applicant to have their skills and competencies assessed for two different health care roles at once. Thus, a registered nurse can be assessed for competency as a licensed practical nurse, and a licensed practical nurse can be assessed for competency as a health care aide.
The advantage of this approach is that applicants who may not be able to demonstrate all the requisite competencies to enter the workforce in the role they prefer, might be able to work as a different kind of healthcare worker if they can demonstrate the competencies for that other role. That means that IEPs can enter the workforce faster, and simultaneously pursue the upgrading or education required to gain competencies for their preferred role.
If you think you want to be assessed for two professions, please consider doing so from the outset as you will save a great deal of time and money.
Once you complete all three assessments, we will send you and the nursing regulator or registry a report on the results. The results will be available within 60 days. Those results highlight competency strengths and gaps. The regulator and registry use these results, along with other information they have obtained from you, to help them make their registration decisions. It is important to note that NCAS does not make registration decisions.