The nursing associate Test of Competence measures candidates against our Standards of proficiency for nursing associates (2018).

The test is specific to nursing associates and consists of two parts:

  • A multiple-choice computer based test known as the CBT.
  • A practical test known as the OSCE.

When can I take my CBT or OSCE?

You must wait until we tell you that you're eligible to take the Test of Competence before you book your CBT or OSCE.

You can sit your CBT or OSCE in any order, but you must successfully complete both parts to continue with your application for initial registration or readmission.


Our CBT provider is Pearson VUE. They have test centres in most countries around the world.

The CBT is multiple choice test made up of 120 questions. The time limit for direct testing is four hours and this includes any breaks from testing, which are optional.


Our nursing associate OSCE provider is the University of Northampton. Their OSCE test centre is in the UK.

The OSCE is made up of six stations. The time allocated for each station will vary and you will be advised of the length of each station on the day of your exam.

The candidate booklet and details for the nursing associate OSCE are available on the University of Northampton website.

Preparation materials