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New Policy to Directly Licence Physicians from More Countries


The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia has approved a policy allowing physicians licensed in the UK, Australia or New Zealand to become directly licensed in Nova Scotia. It is the first College in Canada to do so.

Under this policy, physicians with an equivalent to a Full licence in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia will be licensed in Canada without need for Royal College review, a Practice Ready Assessment or certification here.

“The College is exploring all ways to identify and license competent physicians, with or without Canadian certifying exams. We have reviewed the training and health care systems in these jurisdictions. With supervision in place to oversee their adjustment to practise here, we are confident physicians licensed under this policy will provide safe and competent care,“ said Dr. Gus Grant, Registrar & CEO of the College.

The development of this pathway to a Defined licence will negate the need to apply to the Royal College for eligibility (though physicians are welcome to apply). This will significantly reduce the amount of time to licensure while reducing costs and administrative burden. At the same time, this pathway provides support and reassurance of competence. This new pathway to licensure also allows for physicians to access the streamlined immigration process.

“The College undertook an extensive due diligence in reviewing these jurisdictions. Our aim was to determine an expedited pathway forward to licence more competent physicians. The review included meetings with the regulatory authorities in these countries, a review of training, policies as well as gaining an understanding of the healthcare systems in these specific countries,” said Dr. Grant.

Physicians on the Specialist or General Practice Register in the UK, on the Specialist Register in Australia or on the Vocational Scope in New Zealand with active licences or practising certificates are now eligible for a Defined licence and the pathway for long-term licensure. They will undergo six months of concentrated supervision. The supervision provides for reassurance that the physician is competent within the Canadian health care system and provides good support as the physician integrates into the health care environment.

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