Language proficiency assessment for international applicants transitions to BCCNM

Posted On: July 19, 2021

FCR Loans 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.

What Is The FCR Program?

The Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) loans program is funded in part by the Federal Government of Canada to help skilled newcomers to get back into their professional field or an alternative related career field.

FCR is a process to verify that your education and work experience, obtained in another country, is equivalent to the standards established by the Canadian workforce.

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Who Is Eligible?

Skilled Newcomers who meet the following requirements:

  • Permanent Resident, Canadian Citizen Temporary Resident, or Refugee with legal document representing working status in BC
  • Proof of education credential and work experience outside of Canada
  • Seeking to get credentials recognized in Canada and/or undertaking training for an Alternative Career
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FCR Loan Program Features

  • Loans can be used for credential evaluation, association & exam fees, books & course materials, short-term bridge training, and travel expense/living allowance
  • Multiple Loan amounts from $1000 – $30,000
  • Flexible repayment from one to five years
  • Competitive low-interest rate.
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FCR Loan Program Benefits

  • Different from banks, credit unions, and student loans; the FCR loan program focus on processing the application based on character assessment
  • If you are a skilled newcomer who just arrived in Canada with no credit history, the FCR loan program can help you if you need financial support to get back to your own profession or an alternative related career field.
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