Why was the CELBAN Test Developed?
One solution to help ease the current nursing shortage in Canada is to access the pool of internationally educated nurses who have arrived in Canada, but have encountered obstacles to obtaining employment, such as:

  • recognition of international credentials
  • relevant assessment of English language skills in a nursing context

In 2000, a survey of 50 nursing profession stakeholders by the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB) indicated a strong need for a specialized language assessment tool to evaluate the communication skills of internationally-educated nurses seeking registration in Canada. As a result, the CCLB embarked on a multi-phase project.

In 2002, the CCLB hired a team of consultants to evaluate the language skills required by the nursing profession in Canada. This project, called "Phase I" involved doing a needs analysis of nurses’ communication requirements within a variety of healthcare organizations. The significance of this national study was that for the first time, a Benchmark level could be applied to describe the minimum communication standards required for nurses in Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing. For more information on the results of the project, refer to the report, "Benchmarking the English Language Demands of the Nursing Profession Across Canada"

In 2002 - 2003, the development of a language assessment tool for the nursing profession was undertaken based on the research and benchmark results defined in the Phase I report. The assessment tool was pilot tested in 6 cities across Canada with nurses, student nurses and non-native speakers of English. This assessment tool has become known as the Canadian English Language Benchmarks Assessment for nurses and students nurses who were native and non-native speakers of English (CELBAN).

Funding to develop the test provided by the Governments of British Columbia (the BC Nursing Secretariat ,Ministry of Health Planning and the BC Ministry of Community, Aboriginal, and Women's Services); Ontario, Alberta, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada - Ontario Region. In-kind contributions were received from Manitoba's Labour & Immigration.




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