Nursing Competency and Assessment Testing Service (NCATS)

Candidate Referral

Candidates are referred to undertake an independent assessment of nursing competency as a directive from the AHPRA. An independent assessment can also be sought internally within CQUniversity for clinical practice performance issues with nursing students, and agencies may refer staff for competency assessment prior to referral to AHPRA.

NCATS assessment has been designed to be both comprehensive and flexible in that it aligns its' testing processes as closely as possible with the most recent clinical experience of the nurse, encouraging the nurse to demonstrate their best abilities in a familiar context in line with the NMBA minimum standards for practice.

Specific reasons for testing

  • Professional performance issues
  • Readiness for work in an Australian health care setting
  • Admission or advanced standing into a variety of educational programs

Candidate Preparation for NCATS

Candidates referred to the Centre for an NCATS assessment access the preparation information here at our online learning site.

Candidates are required to present to Building 18, CQUniversity North Rockhampton at 8-45 am on the day of the assessment to complete a written and practical assessment. Candidates are required to wear suitable attire, as described in the online preparation module and present with photo identification.


A comprehensive post-assessment/testing report provides objective verification of the nurse's performance in relation to the NMBA minimum standards for practice and, where required, details educational and practice performance gaps in foundational knowledge, critical thinking ability, psychomotor performance and professional approach. Detailed feedback and recommendations can assist the nurse, employer or other interested parties in remedial strategy development.