In October 1998, the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses (ACCCN) launched a model to credential specialist level critical care nurses. This model was 'road tested' during a pilot study, when experienced critical care nurses were invited to apply to become the first Australian credentialled critical care nurses. The pilot study was designed to ensure all individuals taking part in the process were surveyed regarding adequacy of the credentialling package and the credentialling process. Applicants were required to provide evidence of practise at the specialist level, as described in the Competency Standards for Specialist Level Critical Care Nurses 1. Evidence was presented via curriculum vitae, professional journal and supported by three peer reviewers and two referees. Each application was sent to a three-person assessor panel, which assessed the evidence in the application against the Competency Standards for Specialist Level Critical Care Nurses. A total of six applications from five states and one territory were received by April 1999. Five of the applicants were assessed to have met the Competency Standards and were awarded the credential, Australia Credentialled Critical Care Nurse (ACCN), which they will hold for a period of 3 years. Feedback from assessors, applicants, peer reviewers and referees involved in the pilot study has resulted in the further refinement of the credentialling package and processes. Australian critical care nurses will now have the opportunity to seek to be credentialled four times per year.