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Frequently Asked Questions: College-Directed Return to Practice Assessments

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What is the role of a Supervisor?

The role of a supervisor is to assess, monitor and support as appropriate, the physician under assessment. During this time, the Supervisor will assess the physician using a variety of assessment activities which will be pre-determined by the College.

Typical assessment activities include review of the patient records, observation of direct or indirect patient care encounters/procedures, case discussion and medical colleague interviews. All supervision activities will be recorded within standardized assessment tools and a report to the Physician Performance Department (PPD) of the College.

Who should be the Supervisor?

The Supervisor needs to be a physician working in Nova Scotia who currently holds a Full Licence. They must be engaged in a similar scope of practice to that of the Supervised Physician. They must work in the same location as the Supervised Physician. They must also have a complaints or investigation history acceptable to the College.

The Supervisor must be fully available to fulfill the responsibilities as outlined in the “Terms of Supervision” document. They must demonstrate their ability to provide objective and constructive information/recommendations related to the assessed physician’s medical practice through the reports and templates provided to them. These reports must be provided back to the College in the time frame outlined in the Supervision Plan.

As the Physician under Supervision what will be the cost?

Hours spent by Supervisor Rate for Supervisor CPSNS Fees Total
Month One 10 hrs per week (for 4 weeks) $150.00/hr $1500 (one-time fee) $7500.00
Month Two 10 hours per week (for 4 weeks) $150.00/hr $6000.00
Month Three 5 – 10 hours per week (for 4 weeks) $150.00/hr $6000.00
Grand Total $19,500.00*

*Estimate for Return to Practice Assessment Р3 months 

Who will be the Most Responsible Physician?

The Clinical Supervisor will, in all circumstances, be the Most Responsible Physician (MRP) during the return to practice assessment. The physician under supervision will not be the MRP.

What happens if the Supervisor notes issues with performance?

Information related to the supervised physician’s performance is documented on standardized assessment tools. These reports are sent to the College for review, and triaged to the Investigations division of the College when appropriate. Our Physician Performance Department makes every effort to work with the Supervisor to provide training and support on giving feedback to the supervised physician, with the goal of ensuring that the physician undergoing to the return to practice assessment is making graduated improvements towards independent practice.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

If you have questions regarding your Return to Practice Assessment, you can contact the PPD Coordinator at 902-404-8399.

How long is the Return to Practice Assessment?

A Return to Practice Assessment is typically no less than 3-months, at which time the respective College Committee will review the information gathered from the Supervisor’s assessment reports. Based on the assessed physician’s performance, the decision could be to continue on participating in the return to practice assessments, reduce to a lower level of oversight or to complete/stop the assessment.

What happens at the end of the Return to Practice Assessment?

Assessment reports are brought forward to the respective College Committee. The Committee will make a decision on whether the physician has demonstrated competence in their intended scope of practice. It is not the Supervisor’s role to determine a physician’s level of competence/performance in practice, rather it is the Supervisor’s role to make observations and collect and document information through the process of supervision and assessment.

What happens if the Supervisor plans to be absent during the Return to Practice Assessment?

All anticipated absences of the Clinical Supervisor must be discussed with the PPD at least four weeks in advance. Any absence of the Clinical Supervisor requires that either a substitute Clinical Supervisor is appointed under the same conditions and Terms of Supervision for the duration of the absence or the physician under assessment is prohibited from providing care for the duration of the absence.

Who receives the payment for the Return to Practice Assessment?

The physician being assessed will pay all fees directly to the College. The supervisor will receive payment from the College upon receipt of submitted expense forms, relating to the completion of reports.