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Applications Sent to the Registrar or Registration Committees

The Nova Scotia Medical Act and Medical Practitioners Regulations spell out what is required for physicians and surgeons to be registered and licensed in Nova Scotia. They also govern the applicable procedures.  When you fail to meet the requirements set out in these documents, our Registration Department refers your application for review by the Registrar. This will increase the processing time by as much as 5 to 7 weeks, depending on what the Registrar needs.

The Registrar may do one or more of these things:

  • approve your application and grant a licence, with or without conditions
  • deny your application and give you information about how to appeal this decision
  • order a competency assessment
  • refer your application to the Registration Committee based on concerns about your capacity, competence, character, or credentials.

Applications referred to the Registrar

Applications are referred to the Registrar for one of these reasons:

  • There are open or past complaints about your practice.
  • There are legal matters concerning your practice.
  • Issues have arisen regarding the breaks or gaps in your practice.
  • Issues have arisen regarding the supervision of your practice.
  • You answered “yes” to certain questions and we need clarification of these responses.

The Registrar has the power to deny licences or renewals

The Registrar can deny you a licence if you lack the appropriate credentials for that licence. They can refuse to renew your licence if you fail to meet the criteria for renewal as outlined in the Medical Practitioners Regulations.

Internal Review Subcommittee

You many appeal the Registrar’s decision to deny you a licence or refuse to renew your licence to the Internal Review Subcommittee.

You must ask the Registrar for an internal review within 30 days of the date the Registrar sent their initial decision to you.

Who is the Internal Review Subcommittee?

Between 3 and 5 members of the Registration Committee sit on the Internal Review Subcommittee. At least one member of the subcommittee must be a representative of the public.

How do I appeal the Registrar’s decision?

Once the Registrar receives your request for appeal, they give the Internal Review Subcommittee all the information they need to conduct a thorough and fair review of your request. These are some of the things the Registrar will send to the committee:

  • a copy of the written decision that you are appealing
  • a copy of all records we have in our possession that relate to your request unless access to such records is restricted by law. These records may include the following:
    • reports from your supervisors and sponsors
    • other pertinent investigations or performance reviews
    • any other written information the Registrar considers necessary

Note: The Registrar will NOT send peer review files to the committee. These are protected under the Medical Act.

The Internal Review Subcommittee may ask for more information as they see fit. For example, they may ask for previous application or complaint information.

What happens next?

The Internal Review Subcommittee may do one or more of these things:

  • approve your application and grant a licence, with or without conditions
  • deny your application
  • order a competency assessment

The decisions of the Internal Review Subcommittee will be made within a reasonable time. All decisions made by this committee are final.

Registration Committee

The Registrar must refer your application to a Registration Committee if any of the following issues lead to a question about your current capacity, competence, or character that may affect your ability to practise medicine ethically:

  • There are open or past complaints about your practice.
  • There are legal matters concerning your practice.
  • Issues have arisen regarding the breaks or gaps in your practice.
  • Issues have arisen regarding the supervision of your practice.
  • You answered “yes” to certain questions on your application.

Who is the Registration Committee?

 At least 5 physicians and at least one representative of the public sit on the Registration Committee.

A majority of the members of the committee form a quorum whether or not this group includes a representative of the public.

What information does the Registration Committee receive?

The Registrar will give the Registration Committee all the information they need to conduct a thorough and fair review of your application. These are some of the things the Registrar will send to the committee:

  • the Registrar’s reasons for forwarding the application
  • your written submission (see below)
  • a copy of all records we have in our possession that relate to your application unless access to such records is restricted by law. These records may include the following:
    • reports from your supervisors and sponsors
    • other pertinent investigations or performance reviews
    • any other information the Registrar considers necessary

Note: The Registrar will NOT send peer review files to the committee. These are protected under the Medical Act.

The Registration Committee may ask for more information as they see fit. For example, they may ask for previous application or complaint information.

 Written submission

Once the Registration Committee receives the referral from the Registrar, they will ask you to give them a written submission. This is usually a personal statement addressed to the committee explaining why it should approve your licence application or renewal. You may add supporting documents such as

  • written clarification for any “yes” responses you have provided to questions in the application or renewal form
  • written clarification of any issues that were brought to your attention by your Registration Coordinator during the application process
  • any documents that you believe may be relevant to your application

Do I have to supply other information?

 Yes. You will need to respond to all of the committee’s requests for documentation, clarification, or anything else they may need.

You will be given a copy of every document the registration committee used to assess your application. These copies are free of charge.

Will anyone help me?

 Yes. Your Registration Coordinator will make sure that your case is brought forward with enough information to make a decision. They will create a document file of relevant information about your application, including any submissions you provide.

You have the right to appear before the Committee

 You have the right to appear before the committee to make a verbal submission of your case.  The College will provide you with information related to your interview with the Committee.

You have the right to legal counsel

You have the right to be represented by legal counsel. If you are insured with the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA), you have access to these things:

  • medico-legal advice
  • risk management education
  • legal assistance related to your clinical practice

Call toll free 1-800-267-6522 or 1-613-725-2000 if you want to take advantage of any of these services.

How long will it take?

The Registration Committee normally meets 5 times a year. The table below shows the upcoming meeting dates for 2019 and 2020.

 

Meeting dates

Supporting Documentation required by: Committee dates
Monday, September 30, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019
Monday, November 25, 2019 Thursday, December 12, 2019
Monday, January 20, 2020 Thursday, February 6, 2020
Monday, April 6, 2020 Friday, April 24, 2020

 

You must ensure that we receive all documents related to your case 3 weeks before the meeting date. Your Registration Coordinator will help you with this. The Registration Committee reviews all case materials 2 weeks before the meeting date.

What happens after the meeting?

The Registration Committee may decide to do one or more of these things:

  • approve your application and grant or renew your licence
  • deny your application or renewal. If your application is denied, you will have to disclose this denial on all applications you make outside of Nova Scotia if the question is asked.
  • impose terms, conditions, or limits on your licence. These are some examples of such terms, conditions, or limits:
  • The committee may restrict your scope of practice.
  • The committee may limit where you can practise.
  • The committee may order monitoring, supervision, or regular reporting of your performance or health.

The committee will send you their decision within 30 business days of the meeting. They normally do this by email but you can ask for a hard copy of the letter.

You can appeal a decision of the Registration Committee to the Registration Appeal Committee.

 Registration Appeal Committee

Three physicians and at least one representative of the public sit on this committee. Any 3 members of this committee form a quorum.

How do I appeal a decision of the Registration Committee?

You may appeal a decision of the Registration Committee using the Registration Appeal process. The Registrar must receive your request for an appeal within 30 days from the date the Registration Committee sent you their decision.

Once the Registrar receives your request for an appeal, they will give the Registration Appeal Committee all the information they need to conduct a thorough and fair review of your request. These are some of the things the Registrar will send to the committee:

  • all of the information provided to the Registration Committee
  • the decision of the Registration Committee
  • supporting documentation that you provide

We will send you a written notice of an appeal hearing at least 10 business days before the date set for the hearing.  We must receive all supporting evidence by this date.

You have the right to legal counsel

You have the right to be represented by legal counsel. If you are insured with the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA), you have access to these things:

  • medico-legal advice
  • risk management education
  • legal assistance related to your clinical practice

Call toll free 1-800-267-6522 or 1-613-725-2000 if you want to take advantage of any of these services.

What happens after the hearing?

A majority of the quorum of the committee must agree on a decision. A decision can include the imposition of licence conditions or restrictions. The Registration Appeal Committee will assess costs or security to be paid or refunded. Decisions of the Registration Appeal Committee will be made within a reasonable time and are final.