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Approval of Supervisors for College-Directed Supervision

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Physicians on either a Defined licence or Restricted licence are assigned to a level of supervision according to the College policy Supervision Levels for College-Directed Supervision1. The requirements for each level of supervision is delineated in the College-Directed Supervision Framework – Responsibilities and Supervision by Level.2 The Supervisor acts as an Agent of the College and must be approved by the College.

Section 40 (2c) of the Medical Practitioners Regulations3 requires that a proposed Supervisor for an applicant of a Defined licence have a Supervisor who meets the requirements in Section 45(3). The same criteria and approval process will be applied for Supervisors required for physicians on a Restricted licence who require College-Directed Supervision.


The purpose of this policy is to set out the criteria for the approval of Supervisors for College-Directed Supervision.


  1. The Supervisor must practise in Nova Scotia and hold one of the following licence types:
    1. A Full licence
    2. An Academic licence
    3. A Defined licence, under Sponsor-only oversight.
  2. The Supervisor must practice in the same geographic area as the supervised physician unless approved by the Registrar.
  3. The Supervisor must have a similar scope of practice as the supervised physician.
  4. The Sponsor of the Defined licence physician is responsible for proposing an appropriate Supervisor to the College, in writing, taking into account the following:
    • The level of supervision required;
    • The Supervisor’s registration history and number of years in practice;
    • The Supervisor’s experience and practice history;
    • The Supervisor’s willingness, availability, and geographic proximity to the Defined licence physician;
    • Any apparent conflict of interest; and
    • Other relevant College policy and guidance.
  5. The College will internally review all proposed supervisors, taking into account the criteria listed in 1 to 4 above, as well as the proposed Supervisor’s:
    • Professional conduct (investigations and compliance) history;
    • Assessment history, unless protected under the Medical Act;
    • Past relationships and interactions with the College;
    • Past performance as a Supervisor, if any; and
    • Any other issues related to Character, Competence and Capacity 4
  6. In the case of a Defined licence physician, following an internal review, the College will inform the Sponsor whether a proposed Supervisor has been accepted or declined.
  7. In the interest of preserving the proposed Supervisor’s confidentiality, when a proposed Supervisor is declined by the College, no further explanation will be provided.


  1. Supervision Levels for College-Directed Supervision
  2. College-Directed Supervision Framework – Responsibilities and Supervision by Level
  3. Medical Practitioners Regulations
  4. Capacity, Competence and Character to Safely Practice Medicine

Approved by: Registration Policy Committee; Council

Approval date: September 3, 2020; October 9, 2020

Review date: September 2024