Language proficiency assessment for international applicants transitions to BCCNM - Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Program

Language proficiency assessment for international applicants transitions to BCCNM

Jul 8, 2021


English language proficiency is a registration requirement for all applicants to BCCNM, but currently, the process for assessing proficiency is not consistent for all applicants. To align these processes, English language proficiency for internationally educated nurses (IENs) will transition from the National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS) to BCCNM effective immediately.

Until this point, the NNAS process required any applicant: 1) whose first language was not English, or 2) had completed their education in a language other than English, to write an approved language proficiency test (CELBAN or IELTS) and achieve benchmarked results prior to applying for registration in Canada. IENs seeking registration in BC will continue to be able to submit language proficiency test(s) and scores to NNAS or may now choose to defer until after the NNAS process is complete and an application for registration has been submitted to BCCNM.

For all applicants (IEN, B.C. graduates and Canadian Applicants) BCCNM reviews all relevant information—including language of instruction, practice settings and transitional education, likelihood of attrition and other information specific to the registrant—​that could inform a decision on English proficiency. Using this approach, a language test is not required in all cases.

Deferring language assessment of IENs until they apply for registration in B.C. will enable BCCNM to apply this approach to IENs and align the process for all applicants. Following assessment, if a language test will be required, applicants will be advised by BCCNM.

For IENs completing the NNAS process and intending to seek registration with BCCNM, visit under the News & Events section to find out more or contact NNAS Applicant Support at or call 1-855-977-1898.