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PGT Licence during COVID-19

Licensing Newly Graduated, Canadian-trained, Post-Graduate Trainees during the Pandemic

With the cancellation of all certification and licensing examinations due to COVID-19, newly graduated, Canadian-trained, post-graduate trainees (PGT) face unexpected challenges. The College recognizes the added stress and strain that each physician faces during the months ahead.

The College is evoking measures available under the Medical Act, to ensure graduating PGTs receive licensure. The College can issue provisional licensure also referred to as a Defined licence to graduating PGTs.  This licence type requires sponsorship and supervision.  However, the physician under supervision is considered the Most Responsible Physician (MRP).

The ‘Review of Qualifications’ fee of $350, collected by the Medical Council of Canada through, will be refunded to Canadian-trained, newly graduated post-graduate trainees applying for licensure in Nova Scotia.







Criteria for Defined licensure for Canadian-trained, newly graduated PGT without the certification examination due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Criteria for Defined licensure due to the postponement of certification and licensing exams

  1. Meet the following criteria for Defined licence in the Medical Practitioner’s Regulations:
    1. Graduated from a Medical School in the World Directory of Medical Schools
    2. Passed MCCQE1 and 2 (or eligible to challenge the MCCQE2 if previously not challenged or unsuccessful)*
    3. Have a MINC (Medical Identification Number for Canada)
    4. Have demonstrated proficiency in English Language (applicants whose first and native language is English and Canadian-trained)
    5. Are Canadian citizens or legally entitled to work in Canada
    6. Have liability insurance (such as CMPA)
    7. Participating satisfactorily in Continuing Professional Development
    8. Have the character, capacity and competence to safely and ethically practise medicine noted through Certificates of Professional Conduct and references

*If you have not challenged the MCCQE2 exam you will be placed on Basic level supervision (no supervision fees).  If you have failed the MCCQE2, you will be placed on Standard level supervision and will be required to pay supervision fees.

  1. Confirmation of recent completion of postgraduate training program within Canada
  2. Confirmation of eligibility to challenge the next available certification examination (from the College of Family Physicians of Canada or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada)
  3. Confirmation of LMCC or confirmation of eligibility and registration for the next available MCCQE2 examination
  4. Confirmation of a sponsor and supervisor
  5. Signed Licensing Agreement that indicates the physicians will:
    1. Challenge the certification and/or licensing examination at the next available sitting
    2. Must provide the College with confirmation of examination results as soon as they become available
    3. If successful and fulfill all the criteria for a Full licence, will be converted to a Full licence
    4. If unsuccessful in certification examination, will remain on Defined licence (with a maximum of 60 months from the issuance of initial Defined licence to completion of certification and/or licensing examinations. And, will be switched to Standard level supervision with ensuing fees in consultation with their supervisor at that time


Applying for Defined licensure for Canadian-trained, newly graduated PGT without the certification examination due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Steps to apply for a Defined licence

  1. Physicians must submit an application through
  2. Physicians will receive a ‘welcome email’ from the College confirming receipt of their licensure application, outlining next steps, and providing a username and password the College’s application portal. Here physicians can review and track the status of their application.
  3. Once a physician has submitted an application through, a College Registration Coordinator will be assigned to the physician’s file. The Coordinator will liaise with the physician to provide a list of additional documentation requirements and to support the applicant through the process.
  4. Please ensure you have submitted all documentation 2 weeks before your intended start date to ensure adequate processing time. Processing times are on average 4-6 weeks.


Obtaining an external moonlighting licence during your postgraduate training program

Physicians interested in practising during their postgraduate training program can apply for a postgraduate practising licence.

Click here for more information.


Basic level Supervision requirements for Defined licensure for newly graduated, Canadian-trained PGT without the certification examination due to the COVID-19 pandemic

According to available data, 90% of Canadian PGTs pass their certification examinations on their first attempt. Given the need for medical staff during the pandemic, only short-term supervision of these graduating PGT- Defined licensees is required.  It is reasonable to implement Basic supervision.

It is the Defined licence physician’s responsibility to only practice within a scope for which they are appropriately trained and currently competent.

Basic level Supervision fees will be waived for the first 6 months of licensure or longer if examination schedules are further postponed. 

If you have failed the MCCQE2, you will be placed on standard level supervision (see General Guidelines for College-directed Clinical Supervision and Supervision Levels for Defined Licensees) and the resultant supervision fees will apply.  The following criteria and obligations only apply to basic level supervision.

Supervisor Criteria and Reporting Obligations for Basic Level Supervision

A supervisor of a Defined licence holder must meet all the following criteria:

  1. They must hold 1 of the following licences – Full licence, Academic licence, or Defined licence no longer requiring supervision (on sponsor-only oversight)
  2. They must be engaged in the same scope of practice similar to supervised licensee
  3. They must practise medicine in the same geographic area as the supervised licensee unless approved by the Registrar
  4. They must have a registration and complaints history acceptable to the College
  5. They must be approved by the Registrar

A supervisor providing basic level supervision for this type of Defined licence holder must do all the following:

  1. Has an introductory meeting with the Defined licence physician, to ensure that they are aware of and understand the scope of practice for which the Defined licence physician will be practicing. This can be face-to-face or via video or teleconference.
  2. Identifies that the appropriate supports have been put in place to ensure the Defined licence physician has been orientated to their new workplace
  3. The Defined licence physician is the most responsible physician (MRP) for the care they provide
  4. Will be available (in person or virtually) in a timely manner to assist the Defined licence physician, if requested, or arrange for an alternate supervisor in the event that the supervisor is unavailable.
  5. In usual circumstances, direct oversight by the supervisor is not expected or required. The supervisory responsibility is required more as an available support resource to the Defined licence physician
  6. There is no expectation that the supervisor engages in formal teaching
  7. The supervisor may provide feedback to the Defined licence physician or College at their discretion
  8. Will notify the College to address any immediate safety concerns regarding the Defined Licence physician’s practice with respect to patient safety, professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming, impairment or incapacity.

 A supervisor of a defined licence holder must consult in a timely manner with the Registrar if they wish to withdraw as supervisor. The supervisor must give adequate notice, as determined by the Registrar, to both the Registrar and the licensee.


Sponsorship Criteria and Obligations for newly-graduated, Canadian-trained PGTs without the certification examination due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Sponsorship Criteria and Obligations for Basic Level Supervision

A sponsor of a Defined licence holder must meet the following criteria:

  1. Hold a Full licence
  2. Must be in a Senior Leadership position in the Health Authority in which the supervised licensee will be practising (unless otherwise approved by the Registrar)
  3. Must be approved by the Registrar

A sponsor for Basic Level Supervision of a Defined licence holder must do the following:

  1. Arrange for and approve, in writing, a supervisor
  2. Report to the Registrar in writing on the supervised licensee’s performance on a yearly basis, or as considered necessary by the Registrar
  3. Notify the Registrar immediately if there are concerns about the supervised licensee’s practice or if they cease to practise within the Health Authority
  4. The discretion to grant or withdraw sponsorship rests with the Sponsor
  5. Support the designated Supervisor in the execution of their duties as an agent of the College

A sponsor of a defined licence holder may not withdraw as their sponsor without consulting the Registrar and giving adequate notice, as determined by the Registrar, to both the Registrar and the licensee.

If you have any questions, please contact the Registration Department at