​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​What to expect — Simulation​ Lab Assessment — Health Care Assistants (HCA)

You must bring:

  • ​​a face mask
  • snacks and a water bottle for breaks ne form of non-expired, government-issued, photo- and signature-bearing ID 
  • please arrive dressed in scrubs

Note: If one piece of ID does not have your name, photo and signature, you may present two pieces of non-expired, government-issued ID that together demonstrate all three requirements.

Acceptable forms of primary ID include:

  • driver's license
  • government-issued ID
  • government-issued work ID
  • military ID
  • NEXUS card
  • Passport
  • permanent resident visa or green card
  • provincial health card (if photo is included)

Acceptable forms of secondary ID include:

  • provincial or state health card
  • social security card (US)
  • study permit (must be original and non-expired)

You are encouraged to bring as few personal belongings as possible; all items will be placed in a locker for the duration of your SLA.


Some of the equipment you might encounter in your SLA includes:

  • Wheelchair
  • Transfer belt
  • Walker/cane
  • Bedpan
  • Commode/toilet
  • Meal tray and feeding implements; water
  • Bedrails and brakes 
  • Call bell
  • Linen cart

Note: You will not find a sink in any of the simulation rooms.  Any water that you need for patient purposes will be provided for you in a basin or pitcher. Each room will have hand sanitizer and gloves for your use.​

The HCA Simulation Lab Assessment gives you an opportunity to show us your knowledge and skills in a series of simulated patient encounters.​​

  • You will move through five stations of unfolding case scenarios.
  • Three stations will involve a face-to-face encounter with a standardized patient (trained actor).
  • Two stations will involve a mannequin.
  • It will take 12 minutes to complete your work at each station.
  • You should expect to be at the simulation lab for approximately 2 hours to complete the assessment

Do I need to complete the HCA SLA? 

The HCA SLA is offered only in British Columbia. 

If you have been referred to NCAS by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry​, you will need to complete the HCA SLA as part of your assessment. 

If you have been referred to NCAS by the BC College of Nurses and Midwives​, you may be registered to complete the triple-track assessment: if so, you will need to complete the HCA SLA as part of your assessment. 

** If you are already registered as an HCA with the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry, please notify us while scheduling your SLA to be exempted from the HCA SLA.

On this page, you'll find information on what to expect for the HCA SLA. 

Be sure to check out the RN/LPN SLA page​ to learn more about this part of the triple-track assessment. 


Your HCA SLA will take place at the NCAS Assessment Centre, located within the Nursing Simulation Centre at Langara College in Vancouver, BC

What Happens During the SLA​

You must show up 20 minutes in advance of your scheduled appointment and be dressed in scrubs. Masks are required at the assessment centre.

When you arrive at the NCAS Assessment Centre

  • You will watch an orientation video about the simulation assessment.
  • You will receive an orientation to the simulation lab and equipment.
  • Your personal belongings will be put in a secure area to which you will have no access until after your SLA is complete.


The objective of the Simulation Lab Assessment is to provide you an opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills in a series of simulated patient encounters. You will visit five stations in the simulation lab and take on the role of a healthcare assistant. e. Each station includes a specific assessment or treatment to be performed allowing you to demonstrate your skills as an HCA. The rooms may look like an acute or chronic care facility or represent a community care setting like a community clinic, or someone's apartment or home. 

At the start of each station, you will receive a chart with a brief written statement that introduces the presenting clinical problem and states the task you will need to perform. The chart also includes a variety of supporting documents to assist in the planning of care. You will be given two minutes to review the chart. You should act in each scenario as you would in a real-life practice setting.  

When you walk into the assessment room, you will find the following:

  • Standardized patient (a live actor), or a mannequin.
  • An assessor who will evaluate your performance.
  • Paper, pencil, and calculator​ 
  • Clock
  • Station props based on the context of the setting.  For example, you may see a care plan, wheelchair, walker, bedding etc.

A camera technician will be recording the assessment from a nearby observation area. Additional people may be present in the observation room; this is solely for training purposes and their presence has no impact on your scoring.  

You will also notice cameras in the assessment room that will record your performance. The first thing the assessor will have you do is face one of the cameras, and state your name and NCAS ID. 

Once you enter the room, you will have two minutes to read the chart. You may make notes (paper provided). The assessor will indicate when you may begin the simulation. Each of the five simulations are 10 minutes in length, for a total of 12 minutes at each station. The assessor will notify you when your time is up. If you have completed your nursing practice before the time is up, review the chart to make sure you have not missed anything. When you have finished your assessment, you will be asked to leave the room. You will be met outside by NCAS staff and asked to take a seat outside the next assessment room.