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Clinical Assistant Licence

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Clinical assistants are registrants under the Conditional Register with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia (College).

A clinical assistant is not the most responsible physician (MRP) but acts in the role of physician extender in the hospital environment.

All potential candidates for clinical assistant positions must have their credentials assessed and approved by the Registration Department of the College prior to accepting job offers from a Nova Scotia health authority.

If initial contact is made with the health authority, the candidate must be referred to the Registration Department at the College for an eligibility assessment.


Clinical assistants will provide medical services within a clinical division or department of a Nova Scotia regional or tertiary care hospital approved by the College. They assist in the provision of care under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician holding privileges as attending staff. Clinical assistants extend the supervising physicians ability to provide medical care to patients.


All candidates must:

  1. meet the requirements as set out in Section 49 of the Medical Practitioners Regulations; and
  2. have acquired two years postgraduate training and one year licensed practice experience or, one year post graduate training and two years licensed medical practice experience; and
  3. Be a Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) or have an acceptable alternative to the LMCC; and
  4. have recent practice experience and training (within last five years).

Practice experience 

Recent practice experience is determined by the College as the date of the candidate’s last independent practice experience of six continuous months or more, within the last five years, to the proposed practice start date as a Clinical Assistant in Nova Scotia.

Candidates must not have been out of independent practice for more than five years.


  • Practice experience as a clinical assistant in another Canadian jurisdiction where such a program exists and is sanctioned by the provincial or territorial medical regulatory authority may be considered in lieu of independent practice for determination of currency at the discretion of the Registrar; or
  • Verifiable postgraduate training may be considered in lieu of independent practice for determination of currency at the discretion of the Registrar.

Probationary Assessment 

Eligible candidates must complete a 12-week probationary assessment under a time-limited Clinical Assistant – Term Licence. Each assessment must be performed within the intended clinical department and include approved training and teaching goals.

All clinical assistants in the following clinical departments must pass the following certificate programs before the end of the probationary period:

  • Adult Medicine – Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
  • Pediatric Medicine – Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
  • Neonatal Medicine – Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)

The College will issue a Clinical Assistant licence following a review of the assessment.


Applicable legislation: Medical Practitioners Regulations – Sections 49-54

Approved by: Registration Policy Committee, Executive Committee

Approval date: June 22, 2021 & June 24, 2021

Review date: June 2023