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Sponsor-Only Oversight of a Defined Licence Physician

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Under the Medical Act (2011) and Medical Practitioners Regulations, physicians granted a Defined licence (DL) on the Conditional Register are required to have a Sponsor and Supervisor for the duration of that licence.

Under appropriate circumstances, a Defined licensee may be permitted to practice under Sponsor-only oversight.


A Defined licence holder may be permitted to practise under Sponsor-only oversight, with the support of their sponsor. In this case, the sponsor would also act as the supervisor providing an annual supervision report. To be considered for sponsor-only oversight, one or more of the following criteria must be met:

  1. The physician’s Defined licence for Nova Scotia was first issued prior to January 1, 2015; and
  2. The physician has continuously held a Defined licence for at least 60 months, further defined as cumulative gaps in licensure being fewer than 90 days; or
  3. The physician has achieved certification through their certifying body.

Requirements to maintain Sponsor-only Oversight status

The physician’s practice is judged satisfactory to the Registrar, reviewed at least annually, and based on a consideration of the following:

  1. Past supervision and sponsorship reports
  2. Investigations and disciplinary matters in this or another jurisdiction
  3. Practice assessments and audits, expecting those protected under the Medical Act
  4. Demonstrated commitment to professional development and practice improvement
  5. Any other matters relevant to the physician’s capacity, competence, and character

The physician’s Sponsor reaffirms support for sponsor-only oversight at the time of annual licensing renewal.


  1. Notwithstanding the above, supervision may be (re)imposed at any time according to the provisions of the College policy Supervision Levels for Defined Licensees.
  2. Defined licence term, Defined licence with academic standing, fellowship and locum licensure will not be considered under the time-related provisions (1 and 2 above) of this policy.
  3. Supervision status under this and related policy may be appealed under the provisions of the Medical Act and Medical Practitioners Regulations as a condition of licensure.
  4. Supervision imposed at the request of or with the agreement of the Defined licence physician’s sponsor will be considered a requirement of sponsorship and therefore not subject to appeal.
  5. A physician granted Sponsor-only oversight under this policy may be considered as a Supervisor for another Defined licensee.


Approved By

Registration Policy Committee, Executive Committee

Approval Date

July 17, 2019

July 24, 2019

Review Date

July 9, 2020