Performance-based Assessments for Competent Professionals to Show Their Skills



 Administering assessments is a core Touchstone Institute responsibility. Our Exam Unit expertly delivered assessments for six different professions in virtual, hybrid and in-person modalities. Our experienced research and analysis department provides psychometric services to ensure high quality in all administrations and modalities delivering reliable results to our examinees and stakeholders. 

Our assessments are trusted by regulators to make high-stakes decisions about professional licensure. By providing opportunities for internationally educated health professionals to demonstrate their skills, our assessments help these professionals show their equivalence to Canadian nursing, medical, and allied health standards. This ultimately ensures more competent professionals are working in their chosen field while increasing availability of health human resources for the public. 


Assessment Program Participants


"Thank you, Touchstone [Institute]…you don’t realize what a long road this was for me. Thanks to a service like yours I can achieve so much now. Your service has enabled me to sit the NCLEX and prevent years and a lot of money in courses.”

-Nursing Examinee

Nursing Exams

Nursing Exams

The Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) is a profession specific language exam for internationally educated nurses pursuing registration in Canada. This year, we assessed a total of 1,105 examinees in a virtual format, including a growing number of examinees located outside the country. 

A profession-specific language exam offers internationally educated nurses an opportunity to demonstrate their language proficiency using terminology and scenarios familiar to them, while also helping with the licensure process by fulfilling the regulators’ requirement for English language proficiency. Communication is a foundational skill for professional success, integration into the workplace, and patient safety.

CELBAN was developed by the Canadian Centre for Language Benchmarks (CCLB) and is jointly owned between CCLB and Touchstone Institute with governance from the CELBAN Oversight Committee, made up of stakeholders from both parties.  

The Internationally Educated Nurses Competency Assessment Program (IENCAP) is a standardized examination that tests the knowledge, skills, and judgement of internationally educated nurses seeking registration in Ontario. Touchstone Institute delivered the IENCAP to 307 nurses this fiscal year, using a virtual MCQ administered remotely and in-person Objective Structured Clinical Examinations at our facility, with one iteration of the exam in June 2022 being delivered fully virtually. Our virtual exam delivery and IT systems investments provide access to the exam from remote locations and internationally.   

The program was developed by Touchstone Institute in collaboration with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO). 

The Alberta Registered Nurses Assessment Program (ARNAP) is a standardized examination that assesses the knowledge, skills and judgement of internationally educated nurses seeking registration in Alberta. In addition to nursing skills, the ARNAP assesses examinees’ language proficiency and comprehension, performance in client interactions, ethics, and professionalism. In 2022-2023, 40 nurses were examined using a virtual MCQ administered remotely and in-person Objective Structured Clinical Examinations at the University of Alberta.


The program was created by Touchstone Institute in collaboration with the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CRNA). 

Medical Exams

Medical Exams

The National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) examination for graduates from international medical schools is a national, objective structured clinical examination (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) that tests the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for entrance into postgraduate training in Canada. Touchstone Institute administered a safe, in-person NAC in May 2022, and September 2022, assessing a total of 182 candidates.

The NAC is a Medical Council of Canada Exam. 

Beyond Medicne and Nursing

Allied Health Professionals

The Internationally Graduated Optometrists Evaluating Examination (IGOEE) tests the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values of internationally graduated optometrists through short- and long-case Objective Structured Clinical Examinations and is recognized by the Federation of Optometric Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FORAC). It includes an MCQ and the Therapeutic Prescribing Assessment for Optometry (TPAO), a supplementary written assessment. Touchstone Institute administered the IGOEE to a total of 38 internationally graduated optometrists over two administrations in May 2022 and March 2023.

Touchstone Institute developed the IGOEE in collaboration with the College of Optometrists of Ontario (COO).

The Knowledge and Competency Assessment Tool (KCAT) assesses the foundational knowledge and competency of internationally educated dietitians who are applying for registration in Ontario. The KCAT was administered virtually to 52 candidates in February 2023.  

The KCAT was developed by Touchstone Institute in collaboration with the College of Dietitians of Ontario (CDO). 

The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) is the national certification body for the profession of pharmacy in Canada. In 2022-23, Touchstone Institute assessed 84 applicants for the PEBC. This is a fully on-site exam that is coordinated at sites across Canada. 

The PEBC exam was developed by the national certification body and was administered by Touchstone Institute on their behalf.  

The Assisted Reproductive Technology Laboratory (ART Lab) Exam is the certification program for professionals working in Assisted Reproductive Technology Laboratories in Canada. The exam is offered in both English and French. Assessments were virtually administered to 19 reproductive specialists, scientists, and allied health professionals in April 2022.  

This exam was developed by Touchstone Institute with the ART Laboratory Special Interest Group (ART Lab SIG) of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS). 

© 2023 Touchstone Institute

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