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Academic Licensure

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Section 39 of the Medical Practitioners Regulations (the Regulations)1 describes the criteria for registration on the Conditional Register. Additionally, sections 55-58 of the Regulations set out the application, criteria, and permitted activities for Academic licensure.


This policy defines the provisions for an Academic licence.


This policy applies to all physicians who hold, or are applying for, an Academic licence to practise within the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University.

Physicians practising under an Academic licence may apply for a Restricted licence. For more information, please refer to the College policy Pathway to Restricted Licensure for Physicians on an Academic Licence.2


Waiver of Criteria for Registration or Licensing

Section 55(2)(b) of the Regulations requires that an applicant for an Academic licence must not be eligible for a Full licence or a Defined licence.

Section 5 of the Regulations authorizes the Registrar, Registration Committee or the Registration Appeal Committee to waive any of the criteria for registration or licensing if it is consistent with the objects and purpose of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia (the College).

In accordance with this policy, the Registrar exercises their authority to waive the legislative requirement that an applicant for an Academic licence must be ineligible for a Defined licence. The desired effect is that these physicians will be licensed to practise medicine, while fulfilling the requirements of their academic appointment, without having to adhere to the timelines to achieve long-term licensure required of Defined licensees.

Candidates for academic appointments who qualify for a Full licence will be issued a Full licence.

1. Eligibility Criteria

In addition to the criteria for registration on the Conditional Register as set out in section 39 of the Regulations, candidates for an Academic licence must:

  1. Hold and maintain at all times an academic appointment with the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University, subject to the terms and conditions of the relevant Dalhousie University academic appointment policy;
  2. Be recommended for an Academic licence as evidenced by letter of sponsorship from the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University;
  3. Have 20% or more protected time for academic duties; and
  4. Be a member of an academic department directly reporting to the Department Head.

2. Sponsorship

The Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University (the Dean) must be the Sponsor for an Academic licence physician.

3. Department Support

The relevant Department Head within the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University is responsible for monitoring the clinical and academic performance of the Academic licensee.

The Department Head must provide an annual report to the Dean.

4. Annual Confirmation of Academic Appointment

The College requires a confirmation letter annually from the Dean, prior to annual licensing renewal, attesting the Academic licence physician meets the criteria for an academic appointment.

5. Locum Coverage

Physicians holding an Academic licence may provide locum coverage anywhere in Nova Scotia, with the approval of the Dean, the Department Head (or delegate), and the Registrar.

The following steps must be taken to approve locum coverage at each site for which an Academic licensee wishes to provide locum coverage:

  1. The Site Lead (or delegate) at the facility requiring locum coverage must provide the Dean and Department Head (or delegate) with a description of the practice context and competencies expected of the locum candidate, using the Roles and Responsibilities Questionnaire (Appendix A).
  2. The Dean and Department Head (or delegate) must jointly attest to the College that the locum candidate has the current capacity, competence and character necessary to ensure patient safety when practising at the site, using the Faculty of Medicine Attestation of Capacity, Competence and Character (Appendix B).
  3. The Dean must also provide the College with explicit written approval for the locum candidate to provide locum coverage at that site.
  4. The locum candidate must provide the College with confirmation of hospital privileges with the relevant health authority, Nova Scotia Health or the Izaak Walton Killam (IWK) Health Centre, for which they wish to provide locum services.


  1. Medical Practitioners Regulations
  2. Pathway to Restricted Licensure for Physicians on an Academic Licence
Applicable Legislation: Section 5 – Medical Act
Sections 5, 39, 55-58 of the Medical Practitioners Regulations
Approved by: Registration Policy Committee & Council
Approval Date(s):October 3, 2023 & October 13, 2023
Review Date:September 2026