Licence Type

Nova Scotia Medical Actphysician standing

The 2011 Medical Act and Medical Practitioners Regulations laid out changes to licence names and categories, bringing the province in line with emerging pan-Canadian standards and nomenclature for licensure. It is hoped that these changes will facilitate physician mobility within the country. These are changes in name only and will have no effect on a physician’s practice.


The names of certain types of licences have also changed as follows:

The 2011 Medical Act also mandates that all licensed physicians:

  • have medical liability insurance, such as that provided by the CMPA; and
  • participate in a program of continuing medical education through the CFPC's MAINPRO or the Royal College's MOC.

Types of Licence

Full Licence: Granted to physicians who hold the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) and certification with the College of Family Physicians of Canada or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for independent medical practice.

Restricted Licence: Granted to physicians who meet the criteria for a Full Licence but have restrictions or conditions imposed or where the Registrar determines that urgent or other circumstances exist (Special Case or Emergency).

Defined Licence: Granted to physicians who do not meet the requirements for a Full Licence but meet the requirements for independent medical practice under sponsorship and supervision.

Academic Licence: Granted to physicians with a faculty appointment with Dalhousie University for clinical, teaching or research duties on the request of the Dean of Medicine, Dalhousie University.

Temporary Licence: Granted to physicians fully licensed elsewhere in Canada to provide temporary coverage for up to a maximum of six (6) months.

Clinical Assistant Licence: Granted to physicians to provide medical services within a clinical division or department of a Nova Scotia tertiary care hospital under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician.

Postgraduate Training Licence: Granted to physicians registered in a full-time postgraduate or fellowship training program, elective training or a clinical traineeship with Dalhousie University.

Postgraduate Practising Licence: Allows postgraduate trainees in a training program at Dalhousie University during their final two years of specialty training and final six months of family medicine training to provide locum coverage (moonlighting).