Most healthcare professionals who apply to NCAS will need to take a competency assessment. NCAS may assess you for one or more professions including: registered nursing, licensed practical nursing, registered psychiatric nursing, and health care assistance. NCAS uses a combination of a Computer-Based Assessment (CBA) and a Simulation Lab Assessment (SLA) to assess the extent to which applicants demonstrate the entry-level skills and competencies required for practice in their desired profession. By being assessed for multiple professions at once, you may have the opportunity to be registered in one healthcare profession while completing the requirements to enter practice in another. When you're done with our assessments, NCAS will send your results, along with the rest of your documents, to the regulator who will email you with next steps.
Candidates have one year from their referral date to complete the NCAS assessment. It is important to note that the CBA and SLA(s) must be completed within three months of each other.
While the assessments may be taken in any order, we encourage you to take the CBA first as it will help you prepare yourself better for the SLA(s).
Computer-Based Assessment (CBA)
Simulation Lab Assessment (SLA)
The SLA allows you to demonstrate your ability to conduct patient assessments, perform nursing interventions, communicate effectively with patients, and make clinical decisions in a safe environment.
The SLA includes three (RPN or LPN only) or five (RN, Dual Track and HCA) different stations. Each station will focus on one clinical scenario. All stations will include a specially trained actor (standardized patient) in the role of a patient and an experienced nurse to assess you as you progress through the scenario.
All the simulations include 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 face-to-face, and sometimes they will be the voice behind a mannequin in the room, speaking to you in real time, as you care for your patient.
The mannequins are programmed to simulate various health conditions appropriate to your role. The simulation environment will contain the necessary healthcare equipment to support appropriate patient care within the scope of your role.
There will also be an experienced nurse, or assessor, present in the room with you. They will observe and assess your interactions during each scenario.
The HCA SLA, dual-track (RN/LPN) SLA and triple-track (RN/LPN/HCA) SLA must be taken in-person at an NCAS Assessment Centre. The SLA will take place in a nursing simulation lab. For British Columbia, the SLA is offered only in Vancouver, BC. For Maritime referrals, the SLA is offered only in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The RPN SLA is taken virtually via a videoconferencing platform. We will provide further instruction when your SLA is scheduled.
Learn more about each simulation lab assessment:
Simulation lab assessment: 2.5 hours (5 x 12-minute cases)
Computer-based assessment: 3 hoursSimulation lab assessment: 3 hours (3 x 25-minute cases)
Simulation lab assessment: 3.5 hours (5 x 25-minute cases)
Simulation lab assessments: 6 hours
> HCA SLA: 2.5 hours, 5 x 12-minute cases> RN and LPN SLA: 3.5 hours, 5 x 25-minute cases
Simulation lab assessment: 3 hours (3 x 45-minute cases, each followed by a 10-minute oral assessment)