The Internationally Educated Nurses Competency Assessment Program (IENCAP) is a standardized examination that tests the knowledge, skill and judgement of internationally educated nurses (IENs) seeking nursing registration in Ontario. In addition to nursing skills, the IENCAP will assess examinees’ language proficiency and comprehension, performance in client interactions, ethics, and professionalism. The program was developed by Touchstone Institute in collaboration with the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO).
See "Future Exam Dates" below.
Please note: Anyone wishing to take the in-person OSCE, Touchstone Institute has implemented a COVID-19 Vaccine Policy.
In-person OSCE Location: 145 Wellington Street West, Toronto, M5J1H8
MCQ Location: Remote Virtual
Touchstone Institute will refer to all individuals challenging an exam as examinees. In some virtual experiences, the term candidate may be used interchangeably with examinee.
Preparation courses for the IENCAP are available through:
Please Note: These are the only organizations that Touchstone Institute works with in regards to preparation courses. Touchstone Institute does not endorse, and is not associated with any other organizations that offer preparation courses for assessments.
Additional information can be found on the College of Nurses of Ontario website:
Future Exam Dates
Virtual MCQ & In-Person OSCE Options. Registration begins at 10:00 am EST
Exams will be held in May, August and November 2023. Registration dates will be listed in early 2023.
Touchstone Institute reserves the right to cancel scheduled exams if the minimum number of registrants is not met. Those registered for cancelled exams will be notified by email and moved to the next available date or provided a full refund.
Virtual MCQ & Virtual OSCE Options will be posted when dates become available.
Registration for the IENCAP is available only to examinees who have received the following:
- Referral from the CNO
- Email confirmation from Touchstone Institute
For instructions on registering for the assessment, read the Registration Portal User Guide.
For more information on IENCAP eligibility, please contact the College of Nurses of Ontario.
Before registering for a Touchstone Institute Exam examinees should ensure understanding of how the exam results contribute in the pathway towards licensure. If unsure, please contact the profession’s regulatory authority.
Request for Letter of Participation
Examinees may request a Letter of Participation to support visa travel requirements only after they have registered for an exam date. Letters cannot be issued without an exam date listed on them. Contact us here to request a letter. participants should include their full name and CNO number in the request.
Fees & Payment
The Virtual MCQ and In-person OSCE fee is CAN $1,500. The Virtual MCQ and Virtual OSCE fee is CAN $1750. Both are payable by Credit Card or Visa Debit through PayPal. Cash and cheques cannot be accepted. Registration is not complete without payment.
Cancellations & Refunds
Touchstone Institute accommodates a high volume of examinees and enforces a strict cancellation policy to ensure fairness. Please refer to the exam cancellation policy here.
Exam cancellation fee: CAD $600
Deadline for a refund (minus an administrative fee): 30 days before the date of your first exam component.
If there is a need to cancel your exam, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All assessments are designed to standardize as many exam elements as possible. Depending on examinee registration numbers and facility parameters, exam format may vary from the information provided on the website. Information regarding specific exam dates will be provided with exam invitations. Touchstone Institute is committed to ensuring that all examinees are given a fair and valid assessment experience. Click on the tabs below for more information.
General Exam Format
No external contact is permitted during the exam.
The IENCAP consists of two sections:
- A virtual Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) examination – up to 71 questions (up to 110 minutes of writing time)
- An Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) – up to 12 stations (13 minutes each)
The IENCAP may include clinical content from the following areas:
- Ambulatory care
- Community/public health
- Complex continuing care
- Emergency care
- Intensive/critical care
- Mental health
- Palliative care
- Pediatric and adolescent health
The blueprint for the IENCAP is based on the National Competencies in the context of Entry-Level Registered Nurse Practice.
Virtual MCQ Exam
Virtual multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam (up to 110 minutes)
The virtual MCQ exam consists of up to 71 questions. Examinees are required to choose the correct or best answer from a list of three or four responses. The MCQ exam assesses the following professional competencies:
Domain: Professional Responsibility and Accountability
Demonstrates an understanding of professional conduct in accordance with the College’s standards for nursing practice and ethics and that the primary duty is to the client to ensure safe, competent, ethical nursing care.
Domain: Service to the Public
Demonstrates an understanding of the concept of public protection and the duty to provide and improve health care services in collaboration with clients and other members of the interprofessional health care team, stakeholders and policy makers.
Demonstrates an understanding of professional self-regulation by advocating in the public interest, developing and enhancing one’s own competence and ensuring safe practice.
In-Person OSCE Exam
In-Person OSCE: Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
Examinees complete up to 12 clinical encounter stations where they demonstrate their skills and competencies by interacting with a standardized client. At the start of each station, there will be instructions posted outside the exam room door that introduce the presenting clinical problem and state the task(s) the examinees need to perform.
The OSCE stations for this exam represent common workplace examples of the content areas. Examinees should manage each presenting case as they would in a real life practice setting. There are no hidden surprises or tricks.
Domain: Knowledge-Based Practice
This competency category has two sections: Specialized Body of Knowledge and Competent Application of Knowledge.
- Specialized body of knowledge: Draws on diverse sources of knowledge and ways of knowing, including the integration of nursing knowledge from the sciences, humanities, research, ethics, spirituality, relational practice, critical inquiry and primary health care principles.
- Competent application of knowledge: Demonstrates competency in the provision of nursing care. The competency statements in this section apply to the four areas of nursing care: Assessment, Planning, Implementation of Care and Evaluation. The provision of nursing care is an iterative process of critical inquiry and is not linear in nature.
RN Competency Category Sub-domains:
- Comprehensive assessment
- Health care planning
- Provision of nursing care
- Evaluation of care
Domain: Ethical Practice
Demonstrates competency in professional judgment and practice decisions by applying the ethical values and responsibilities in the College’s standards for ethics. The registered nurse also engages in critical inquiry to inform clinical decision-making and establishes therapeutic, caring and culturally safe relationships with clients and the interprofessional health care team.
The OSCE will assess an examinee’s:
- Knowledge integration
- Clinical skills
Virtual OSCE Exam
Virtual OSCE Examination
Touchstone Institute is planning a limited number of Virtual OSCE examinations. Capacity will be limited. Dates will be posted when further information is available. The cost for this examination will be CAN$ 1750 .
Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct
Examinees participating in an assessment must sign an Exam Conduct Agreement attesting that they will not disseminate, circulate, publish or share any content of the examination. Breaches include comparing client responses with your colleagues, sharing exam content with future examinees and posting case information or exam questions online. Any breach in exam content or process may lead to disciplinary and legal measures, including invalidating your results.
Please click the button below to view the Ethical Exam Behaviour page and sign the agreement at the bottom.
- Registration Portal User Guide
- MCQ Orientation
- Virtual MCQ Computer Set Up Guide
- OSCE Orientation
- Virtual OSCE Orientation (only for examinees who have selected and paid for the Virtual OSCE option)
- Virtual OSCE Computer Set Up Guide (only for examinees who have selected and paid for the Virtual OSCE option)
What To Expect on In-Person OSCE Exam Day
In-Person OSCE Exam Day
What to bring to the exam:
Items not allowed in the exam:
Examinees should leave personal belongings at home, if possible, as many items are not permitted during the exam and storage space is limited. The following items are not allowed during the exam:
Please note: All personal belongings will be collected at registration and stored until after the examination. Examinees are encouraged to bring as few personal belongings as possible. Once signed in, examinees will not be permitted to leave the examination area until all exam materials have been returned.
On the exam day, before starting the exam:
- If an examinee is unwell or has extenuating circumstances which may negatively impact their assessment performance, they have the option to withdraw from the exam before it begins. Touchstone Institute will work with you to schedule an alternate date(s) for assessment.
- If they choose to start the examination and request to leave before completing the entire examination, a staff member will document the reason for non-completion. This information will be forwarded to the CNO.
Results from the IENCAP take up to eight weeks to process and are sent directly to the CNO. The CNO will communicate the results directly to examinee.