Developing countries that are considering the deployment of nuclear power plants (NPPs) in the near future need to perform reactor technology assessment (RTA) in order to select the most suitable reactor design. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in the Common User Considerations (CUC) document that "proven technology" is one of the most important technical criteria for newcomer countries in performing the RTA. The qualitative description of five desired features for "proven technology" is relatively broad and only provides a general guideline to its characterization. This paper proposes a methodology to define the "proven technology" term according to a specific country's requirements using a three-stage evaluation process. The first evaluation stage screens the available technologies in the market against a predefined minimum Technology Readiness Level (TRL) derived as a condition based on national needs and policy objectives. The result is a list of technology options, which are then assessed in the second evaluation stage against quantitative definitions of CUC desired features for proven technology. The potential technology candidates produced from this evaluation is further narrowed down to obtain a list of proven technology candidates by assessing them against selected risk criteria and the established maximum allowable total score using a scoring matrix. The outcome of this methodology is the proven technology candidates selected using an accurate definition of "proven technology" that fulfills the policy objectives, national needs and risk, and country-specific CUC desired features of the country that performs this assessment. A simplified assessment for Malaysia is carried out to demonstrate and suggest the use of the proposed methodology. In this exercise, ABWR, AP1000, APR1400 and EPR designs assumed the top-ranks of proven technology candidates according to Malaysia's definition of "proven technology".