Continuing Competency Assessment

A Continuing Competency Assessment (CCA) is required and is an integral part of the maintenance process for those all those holding a core NCC certification (RNC or NP). 

For those core certified as an RNC or NP the maintenance requirements are as follows:

  • CE requirements for maintenance are determined by the individualized education plan resulting from the continuing competency assessment (CCA).  CE hour requirements can be as low as 10 hours but no higher than 50 hours. 

Continuing Competency Assessment (CCA)

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The assessment will be required to be taken at the start of each maintenance cycle to obtain the individualized education plan going forward for each new maintenance cycle.
    • You should take the continuing competency assessment as early as possible in your certification cycle to ensure you have the maximum time to earn CE for maintenance.
    • NO CE that is earned PRIOR to taking the assessment can be used for maintenance
    • The assessment reflects content that is tested on the certification exam and is designed to show that you have maintained those same knowledge competencies over time.
    • You will be issued an education plan that will show your knowledge strengths and gaps. 
    • The assessment is required and the education plan outlines the CE required for maintenance.   
    • You will need to earn the total hours stated in the plan divided among each core competency area (specialty code).  
    • You will earn 5 hours of CE for taking the assessment, which can be used for any area in your education plan.  You will code these five hours in any core area in the  ONLINE MAINTENANCE APPLICATION.   No CE certificate will be issued as these hours only apply for NCC maintenance.
    • The educational plan is interactive.  As you add your CE or take NCC CE modules the plan will update showing you the required hours compared to the hours entered. You can continue to monitor this in your online maintenance application - select the Add/track or submit your CE button from the Maintain your certification page.
    • To complete the maintenance process, once you have the required CE, you must file a maintenance application online and pay your maintenance fee.  Select the Add/track or submit your CE button from the Maintain your certification page.   

How to Access the Assessment

  • Sign in to the website with your email address and password.
  • Go to the Maintain your certification section on the home page and select take assessment.
  • Read the important information about the assessment and click the link at the bottom of the page to access the assessment.
  • The assessment is available up to three months prior to the start of your new maintenance cycle but only if you have submitted your current maintenance application early and it has been approved. However, all CE must be earned during the maintenance cycle it is applied to.  
  • You will have 2 hours and 15 minutes to take the assessment in one sitting.  Your education plan will become available once you complete the assessment.  You will also be able to find it in your profile under Education Plans.
  • After you take the assessment and your new maintenance cycle has begun, you may begin earning and adding CE. For early filers that would be the 1st day of the start of your next maintenance cycle (March 16, June 16, September 16 and December 16).  For all others, you may begin earning CE the day after you take the assessment at the beginning of each new maintenance cycle. 
For those who do not wish to take the assessment or cannot take the assessment, the Alternate Maintenance program exists. 

What if I don't want to take the assessment or didn't take the assessment at the start of the maintenance cycle?

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By not taking the Assessment, you will lose an opportunity to assess your core competency's strengths and address your knowledge gaps, you will not receive the 5 CE contact hours being offered and you will need to maintain using a different set of requirements as follows:

Alternate Maintenance

For those who do not wish to take the continuing competency assessment, there is an alternate maintenance option available.   No alternate maintenance applications will be accepted any earlier than 6 months prior to the maintenance due date.

It will be required that you select the alternate maintenance process by signing a statement of declaration that you have voluntarily opted out of the continuing competency assessment before you enter your online maintenance application.


  • 50 hours of CE is required which is assigned and divided across each of the designated core competency areas for the specific certification specialty. An alternate education plan for 50 CE will be generated and will need to be followed.
  • The fee is $175 and no discounts will be afforded for taking any NCC CE modules
  • All CE activities will need to be documented by uploading a copy of each educational activity’s curriculum/description in PDF format.
  • A copy of each certificate of completion will also have to be provided in PDF format which will show title, date, accreditor and amount of CE earned.
  • You must list each CE activity including, title accreditor, number of hours awarded and core code.
  • Each activity must match the uploaded documentation otherwise it will not be accepted.
  • Only CE will be accepted for meeting maintenance requirements.
  • Activities such as preceptorship, presentation of educational sessions, etc. will not be accepted.
  • All CE must be accredited by agencies recognized by NCC.
  • If individuals fail to maintain under this alternate option and qualify for reinstatement, the filing requirements for reinstatement will mimic those of alternate maintenance.
  • It can take four weeks for these applications to be processed.

Please note components of the program are subject to change  

Assessment content

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The content that will be covered on the continuing competency assessment, and associated keywords which will provide you feedback on the assessment's outcome relative to knowledge gaps, can be found in the CCA Education Plan Examples. The number of CE hours that would be required is in the Educational plan and is noted if the specialty index is less than 7.5. To further understand the CCA please read “Everything you need to know in 4 easy steps”.