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Examinations Required for a Postgraduate Training Licence

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The Medical Practitioners Regulations1 requires that the Council of the College, by way of policy, determine the examinations and assessments required to be on the Education Register. 

There are three licence types that fall under the Education Register, specifically: 

  1. Postgraduate Training licence2, which is required for participation in a postgraduate training program including electives at Dalhousie University; 
  1. The Postgraduate Practising licence3, which has two separate policies addressing the examination requirements for both Internal Moonlighting4 and External Moonlighting5; and 
  1. The Clinical Assessment licence6, which is used in a variety of circumstances, the examination requirements for which are at the discretion of the Registrar. 

Undergraduate medical students enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University do not require a licence, though the Medical Practitioners Regulations1 require their names be maintained on a list at the College. There are no examination requirements to be maintained on the list of medical students. 


This policy applies to all applicants for a Postgraduate Training licence.


1. For Graduates of Canadian Medical Schools  

  • The MCCQE Part I must be attempted prior to starting their postgraduate training program. 
  • The postgraduate trainee must provide their result to the College within 2 weeks of receiving the result, failing to comply may impact ongoing licensure. 
  • The College will provide the results of all failed attempts to the Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) and the relevant Program Director. The postgraduate trainee is expected to work with their Program Director to set up an appropriate educational plan. 
  • In the case of more than one failed attempt, the College will require the postgraduate trainee to participate in a targeted remediation program with adequate protected time to allow successful completion of the examination on the next attempt.  

2. Graduates of Medical Schools outside of Canada

Successful completion of one of the following is required for graduates of medical schools outside of Canada:  

  • Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) Part I; or 
  • United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Steps 1 and 2; or  
  • National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Parts I, II and III; or 
  • Federation Licensing Examination (Flex) Components 1 and 2; or 
  • Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX) Levels 1 and 2. 

3. Exemptions

Candidates may be exempt from te requirement for any of the above-listed examinations if:

  • They are a medical graduate from medical school outside of Canada, are currently in postgraduate training outside of Canada and are applying for an elective in the Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine.
  • They are a medical graduate from a medical school and training program outside of Canada and are applying for a fellowship in the Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine.


  1. Medical Practitioners Regulations 
  2. Postgraduate Training Licence 
  3. Postgraduate Practising Licence 
  4. Postgraduate Practising Licence – Internal Moonlighting 
  5. Postgraduate Practising Licence – External Moonlighting 
  6. Clinical Assessment Licence 
Applicable Legislation: Section 25 (1) (b) of the Medical Practitioners Regulations
Approved by: Registration Policy Committee & Council
Approval Date(s):October 3, 2023 & October 13, 2023
Review Date:September 2025