A defined licence is issued to physicians who do not yet meet the Canadian standards for a full licence. These physicians must practise under the sponsorship and supervision of another physician as they work towards Canadian certification.
Are you eligible?
To qualify for this licence, you must have the following documents:
proof that you are legally allowed to work in Nova Scotia.
We will review the information you submitted through physiciansapply.ca to find out if you are qualified to move on in the application process.
We will email you to tell you if you qualify for the licence or not:
If you qualify, your registration coordinator will send you a link to your member services portal explaining what we need to complete your file.
If you do NOT qualify, we will explain why.
Step 3: Completing your file
The member services portal contains details and links to help you find what documentation you need to complete your application. This includes but is not limited to:
a criminal record check for each jurisdiction requested by your registration coordinator
reference letters requested by your registration coordinator
certificates of professional conduct from the regulatory or licensing authority in each jurisdiction where you have practised medicine or held a medical licence as instructed by your registration coordinator
a sponsor and a supervisor of whom we approve.
Find out more about supervisors and sponsors using these links:
After your application file is complete, with all applicable medical credentials and supporting documents submitted and verified, we will analyze your application and tell you if you qualify for registration in Nova Scotia.
If you qualify, we will send further instructions and information about paying the applicable fees.
If you do NOT qualify we will send you a letter telling you why.
Step 5: Licensure letter
If you are approved for licensure you will be issued a defined licence to practise medicine in Nova Scotia for up to 5 years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need an account with physiciansapply.ca?
Physiciansapply.ca standardizes and streamlines the application process for medical registration in Canada.
Applying to multiple jurisdictions will be easier. All Canadian medical regulatory authorities require all new candidates for independent practice registration to have a physiciansapply.ca account. This includes Canadian medical residents, practising physicians relocating within Canada, and candidates from outside the country.
Your medical credentials and Medical Council of Canada (MCC) exam results will be permanently stored in physiciansapply.ca.
If you obtained any of your medical credentials outside Canada, you will need to request source verification of those credentials through physiciansapply.ca.
With your consent, regulatory authorities and other medical organizations will be able to see your credentials and exam results through the portal.
How long will it take?
Give yourself plenty of time to complete your licence application. It is difficult to predict how long it will take as it depends on how long it takes for you to gather the necessary documentation. It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to collect and send us all the documents we need.
Once we have received all the documents and information we need, it usually takes several days to issue you a licence.
You may begin to practise once you have been granted a licence, not before.
How long do I have to obtain a full licence?
It depends. Your registration coordinator will guide you on your way to full licensure during your application process. A defined licence is valid for one year but may be renewed for up to 5 years.
Why do I need supervision?
You are applying for a defined licence because you lack one or more of the requirements for a full licence. In the interest of patient safety, the law requires that you be supervised until you meet all the requirements for a full licence.
What does my supervisor do?
You supervisor will do one or more of these things:
review your patient records
review your clinical outcomes
review your continuing professional development (CPD)
observe you as you care for patients
send reports based on these reviews, interviews, and observations to us, to your sponsor, and to you. These reports may include recommendations for improving your practice. They may also affect your sponsorship and your licence.
Who decides how much and what kind of supervision I need?
We do. We look at such things as:
how long you’ve been practising
past supervision and sponsorship reports
We then set the level of supervision accordingly.
Do I get to choose my supervisor?
No. We direct senior leadership in the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK Health Centre together with your sponsor to choose a supervisor for you. Your supervisor will have the same scope of practice that you do. They will also be trained so that they know how to provide consistent and accurate information about your practice.
Do I have to pay for my supervision? How much does it cost?
Yes, the cost is $3600 / year. This pays for the supervisors time and the College’s administrative fees related to your supervision activities. It could cost more if you need more than the usual level of supervision, but this is rare.
When does supervision end?
It ends when you meet all the requirements for a full licence. In the meantime, you will have to renew your defined licence every year to a maximum of 5 years.