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Pre-Screening Criteria for PRA in Family Medicine

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Physicians with training and practice experience in Family Medicine, from a jurisdiction outside Canada, may be eligible for a Defined licence in Family Medicine upon the successful completion of a College-approved 12-week practice assessment.

This policy sets out the licensure eligibility requirements to apply for the Nova Scotia Practice Ready Assessment Program (NSPRAP).


This policy applies to family physicians trained in an international jurisdiction who are not eligible to apply for Certification in the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP) without examination.


All physicians must:

  1. Hold a work permit or be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant;
  2. Have graduated from a Medical School listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools;
  3. Meet the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia (CPSNS) standards for language proficiency;
  4. Have successfully completed 24 months of postgraduate/internship training leading to certification, recognition and practice in Family Medicine / General Practice in their training jurisdiction;
  5. Have successfully completed a minimum of 8 weeks of postgraduate training in the following rotations:
    1. Family Medicine/ General Practice
    2. Internal Medicine
    3. Surgery
    4. Pediatrics
    5. Psychiatry*
    6. Obstetrics/ Gynecology*
    7. Emergency Medicine**

*At the discretion of the Registrar, candidates for practice ready assessment in Family Medicine, may be excused the requirement for 8 weeks of postgraduate training in Psychiatry and/or Obstetrics/Gynecology, provided they have the equivalent amount of extra training in Family Medicine.

**The College will consider Emergency Medicine rotations as part of the 24 months of postgraduate training required.

    1. Have at least 24 months of independent practice in Family Medicine/General Practice following completion of 24 months total of postgraduate/internship training;
    2. Have a minimum of 12 weeks of regular, independent family practice within 3 years of the date of application to the practice ready assessment (PRA) The College will verify practice experience through letters of employment;
    3. Have a Pass standing in the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam (MCCQE) Part 1 Examination;
    4. Have a Pass standing in either the Medical Council of Canada National Assessment Collaboration (MCC NAC) OSCE or the MCCQE Part II Examination; and
    5. Have fewer than two prior failed attempts of Clinical Field Assessments in Canadian practice-ready assessment programs.

Candidates must be selected by the NSPRAP ( Selected candidates are required to have the sponsorship of the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA), leading to a return-of-service practice position on successful completion of the practice ready assessment.

Approved By

Registration Policy Committee, Council

Approval Date

April 23, 2020

May 29, 2020

Review Date

April 2021