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Nursing Community Assessment Service

​posted Nov. 5, 2014

​Introducing the Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCA​​​S) for internationally educated practitioners (IEPs) initiative

​BC's Nursing regulators are pleased to announce that the British Columbia Ministry of Health (MoH) is supporting the launch of a pilot project for the creation of a new Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS) for Internationally Educated Practitioners (IEPs) by March 2016.

The aim of this project is to develop a competency based assessment service, across four nursing community stakeholders (BC Health Care Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, and Registered Psychiatric Nurses) that will provide an accelerated, streamlined approach to assist IEPs in integrating into BC's health workplace. The overarching goal of this initiative is to enhance the Province's capacity to build and maintain a safe, competent and adequately resourced nursing work force in BC.

IEPs are assessed based on their ability to apply the required knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that are needed to be "ready-to-practice", in addition to their credentials to practice.  The purpose of the NCAS is to support the regulatory colleges and the Care Aid Registry to make decisions about registering IEPs by:

  • Determining if IEPs have competencies that are substantially equivalent to those of entry-level Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Health Care Assistants in BC
  • Identifying competence gaps to assist regulators to determine appropriate supplementary education
  •  Identifying an alternate profession/role for which the applicant has demonstrated the competencies.

The NCAS project is an initiative led jointly by the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry (the Registry), and the three nursing regulatory colleges (CLPNBC, CRNBC, CRPNBC) as the nursing community partners. BC nursing employers are participating in this project with representatives from both BC's Health Authorities (VP Human Resources Committee) and BC's Chief Nursing Officer Council participating on the NCAS Steering Committee.

The proposed NCAS Competency Assessment Model will consist of three assessment tools: a computer-based simulation style assessment, an in-person simulation lab assessment using mannequins and standardized patients, and candidate de-briefing. The model is now being developed into a service delivery model that can be tested in a pilot program.

​Quick facts​​​​

  • Roughly 1450 IEPs seek registration in the four professions in BC each year.
  • The NCAS Pilot project is being rolled out in 3 phases: Plan, Build and Run.
  • The Planning phase of the project will be complete at the end of November 2014, with the final approval of the NCAS Competency Assessment Model, the pilot assessment service business plan and project evaluation criteria.
  • Over 100 nursing subject matter experts have participated in the research and planning of the NCAS Assessment Service Model to date.
  • During the Build phase of the project, the components of the model will be developed.
  • The Run phase of the NCAS Pilot will launch, test and monitor this integrated competency assessment service model by March 2016.


"The opportunity to develop a shared approach to competency assessment is exciting for our community", said Cynthia Johansen, Registrar/CEO of CRNBC and NCAS Steering Committee Chair. "Having tools that allow IEPs to show regulators what they know through competency assessments, provides us with better information to support registering them as nurses. We are delighted to work together on this important and innovative initiative."

​For more information, please contact CRNBC Communications — Jason Martin, Communications Manager, 604.736.7331 ext. 320.​​​​​​​​​

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