Registration & Licensing
Purpose and Duties of the College
It’s our job to serve and protect the public in the practice of medicine. One way we do this is by licensing qualified, competent, and ethical physicians. Our goal is to keep patients safe. We have the legislative authority to do this under the Medical Act and Medical Practitioners Regulations.
All physicians who practise medicine in Nova Scotia must be registered as members of the College. To become a member you must submit an application to be reviewed by our registration department.
Before making a decision, our registration department carefully assesses your credentials including education, training, and relevant practice experience. The department also checks professional references and health conditions. It carefully reviews any investigations, disciplinary actions, or practice restrictions from other jurisdictions. It also conducts interviews.
This careful assessment ensures that only qualified, competent, and ethical physicians are registered and licensed to practise medicine.
Full licence: for physicians with Canadian licensing (LMCC) and certification examinations (CFPC or RCPSC) or those practising with an unrestricted independent licence in another Canadian jurisdiction. This means there are no restrictions on your licence and you are practising without supervision.
Temporary licence (Locum): The Temporary licence is issued to physicians or surgeons who want to practise for a short-term in Nova Scotia, up to a maximum of 6 consecutive months.
Defined licence: for physicians who do not yet qualify for a full licence but are working toward it and have enough qualifications to practise under the sponsorship and supervision of another physician.
Academic licence: for physicians who have been hired by the Dean of Medicine at Dalhousie University to teach, do research, or take on clinical duties.
Clinical assistant licence: for physicians who work in a Nova Scotia tertiary or regional care facility under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician and do NOT have Canadian certification examinations or a practice ready assessment nor are they eligible for these things. Clinical assistants cannot be the most responsible physician in a medical setting. Physician assistants are NOT physicians and are NOT eligible to apply for a clinical assistant licence.
Post-graduate training licences: for physicians registered in a full-time postgraduate training program, elective training, or a clinical traineeship with Dalhousie University.
Post-graduate practising licence: for postgraduate trainees that have approval from their program director to practise outside of their postgraduate training program. Such trainees must be registered in a training program at Dalhousie University. Trainees on a leave of absence from their training program do not qualify.
Clinical assessment licence: for physicians who need a high level of supervision and assessment or need to take part in a Practice Ready Assessment. The assessment may be required to determine if you are ready to pursue training, return to practice, enter practice, or change your clinical scope of practice. Physicians under assessment cannot be the most responsible physician in a medical setting.