Defined Licence

A Defined Licence may be issued to a physician who has not completed all of the qualifications necessary for full licensure. Qualifications required for a Nova Scotia medical licence reflect the current national standards to practice medicine in Canada.

When applying for a defined licence the following requirements are reviewed and approved by the College:

  • a medical degree;
  • postgraduate training appropriate for the practice;
  • professional eligibility examinations;
  • English language proficiency (PDF) requirements;
  • requirements for licensure as set out in College policies:
  • a Sponsor and Supervisor approved by the College;
  • legally able to work in Canada; and
  • comply with any requirements considered necessary by the College in order to meet the provincial standards for the practice of medicine.

For more information on defined licensing, please contact: registration@cpsns.ns.ca 

In Nova Scotia, the Medical Act & Regulations requires that a defined licensee be overseen by both a Supervisor and a Sponsor for the duration of this licence.

The goal of supervision is to evaluate and support the defined licenced physician as they work towards full licensure.

For more information on supervision, please contact: supervision@cpsns.ns.ca

Practice Readiness Assessment for Internationally Trained Physicians


The National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) is a group of provincial and national organizations which came together to develop a pan-Canadian assessment standard for international medical graduates (IMGs) seeking a licence to practise medicine in Canada. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia participated in this collaboration.  Read more