The Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) is a high-stakes, English language proficiency exam for internationally educated nurses (IENs) that is recognized by Canadian nursing regulators. Assessment tasks in CELBAN are informed by an analysis of the language demands of the nursing profession in Canada and replicate authentic communication tasks nurses routinely engage in.
CELBAN offers IENs the opportunity to demonstrate English language proficiency through nursing related communication tasks that are both familiar and relevant. CELBAN is one of two tests accepted by nursing licensing bodies across Canada as evidence of language proficiency for licensure. Nurses who have been educated in another country and use English as a second or additional language may consider CELBAN.
Four language-skill areas are assessed in CELBAN: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Test results include a proficiency report for regulators and a feedback report for test takers outlining their linguistic strengths and weaknesses related to the productive skills (speaking and writing). Test scores are referenced to the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB), the national standard used to describe, measure, and recognize adult English as a second language (ESL) ability in Canada.
The CLB are a descriptive scale of communicative abilities, expressed as 12 benchmarks or reference points within three stages of ability: basic, intermediate and advanced. The CELBAN focuses primarily on the range of benchmarks from CLB 6 to 10, the mid-intermediate to mid-advanced levels of proficiency. The minimum scores required for registration are set by Canadian Nursing Regulators and are as follows:
Ongoing research and development are important to the quality of assessments to ensure reliability, validity, fairness, and integrity of the assessments and supporting materials. Content and procedures are under routine analysis, indicating constant renewal of CELBAN so that it retains its alignment with changes in the nursing profession and in language testing practices.
- Listening: CLB 10
- Speaking: CLB 8
- Reading: CLB 8
- Writing: CLB 7