PCE cancellation FAQ Updated June 23, 2021

NSCP updated ourPCE Cancellation FAQ on June 23, 2021.  NSCP staff had requested Dalhousie Physiotherapy student representatives provide questions from their classmates that may not have already been addressed in our FAQ.  Six questions and answers were added to the FAQ (see the last 6 questions on the page).  Thank you to the student representatives for collecting the questions from their classmates.  


Coincidentally, the CPA issued an open letter to CAPR on Friday June 25, 2021 related to the relaunch of the PCEWe are aware of the letter and believe all of the questions raised are addressed on our FAQ.  For example, theCPAreferences the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) cancelling their practical exam requirement as an equivalent situationto our current PCE issue.  While NSCP recognizes why parallels to the MCC situation might be brought up by CPA and/or its members it is important to understand the context and differences between the MCC’s entry level competency program and the Physiotherapy entry level competency program.  Fortunately, this context was addressed in our FAQ update and the relevant question is included below:

The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) announced they will no longer require the practical exam for Medical Residents moving forward. Why can’t this be done for physiotherapy?


The situations are different. The Medical Council of Canada has an accepted and established minimum 12 month post graduate medical training requirement that must be completed in order to get the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC). This allows the MCC more flexibility in cancelling the practical exam while considering other options. Physiotherapy does not have a standardized, effective, and mandatory 12-month post graduate training requirement  to fall back on.


Physiotherapy does have mentorship; however, this is quite different from the post graduate training requirements of the MCC. Mentorship is non-standardized and therefore subjective. Mentorship was set up to develop a mentoring and learning relationship for entering practice. It is not a validated evaluation tool but an indicator of areas to further develop. Not all provinces have it and it is different from province to province. Each school has slightly different programs and clinical experiences and that is why a non-biased national exam run by a third party is so important.


It is important to realize that CAPR has been looking at alternative ways to evaluate competency since before the pandemic. However, the research, development and psychometric validation takes many months to complete. CAPR’s current immediate focus is running an exam that is valid and will clear the backlog as soon as possible. When the pandemic first hit CAPR’s focus was on developing a virtual written exam to get new graduates qualified for provisional licensure so they could enter the work force and begin consolidating their knowledge and skills. Unlike the MCC, Physiotherapy does not have a 12-month post graduate training program to fall back on for evaluation of competency that would enable us to drop the clinical as it is and work on a new innovative plan. 

NSCP is supportive of the current approach from CAPR.  For more details and updates on the current state of the plan please refer to CAPR’s weekly updates at https://www.alliancept.org/covid-19-updates/ .


NSPA (the Nova Scotia Chapter of the CPA) has been a valued stakeholder in this process providing the NSCP insight into local CPA members perspective on thiissue.

We will provide ongoing communications as we learn more and will keep you apprised of the situation.

Call for Nominations - May 6, 2021


At the recent AGM we failed to fill the third vacancy on the Board of Directors. Pursuant to the Physiotherapy Act, SNS 1998, c. 22, s. 13 (1), the Registrar is required to cause an election to be held within sixty days for the purpose of filling the vacancy.

We are seeking nominations for the position of Director, NS College Board of Directors. The term of office is two years and is renewable twice to a maximum of three terms. The ideal candidate will be a practicing physiotherapist from outside of HRM.

If you are interested in improving Physiotherapy service in the interest of the public, advocating on behalf of the public and establishing best practices then this is where you need to get involved.

Nominations forms and all the information you need are found here https://nsphysio.com/about-us/board-of-directors-staff/board-nominations.  All nominations must be received no later than June 2nd, 2021.

If an election is required (2 or more nominees) it will take place through our online member profile from Jun 8th-15th, 2021.  Details on the election process will be provide after the nomination deadline.


Joan Ross, PT


NS College of Physiotherapists 

Statement RE: March 20, 2021 National Competency Exam Cancellation

March 25, 2021

The Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists was notified on Saturday, March 20, 2021, that due to technical challenges, the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) was forced to cancel the clinical component of the Physiotherapy Competency Exam, scheduled on March 20th and 21st, 2021.  The NSCP has been contacted directly by affected individuals and is aware of the recent media reports, social media campaign and the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA)’s position statements circulated on March 21, 2021. 

Seven registered Physiotherapy Residents in Nova Scotia were participating in the exam that was cancelled on March 20th.   The NSCP acknowledges, the immense impact the cancellation has had on candidates and their families who have invested their time, energy, and effort to prepare for this day.  Licensing exams are stressful enough even under ideal conditions.  

The NSCP is working with our partners and stakeholders including CAPR, other provincial physiotherapy regulators, our Board of Directors, and the Nova Scotia Physiotherapy Association (NSPA -the provincial chapter of the CPA) to gather information, explore options and make decisions about next steps.  

Some reports have indicated that this exam cancellation has presented an incremental barrier for public access to Physiotherapy services.  As the regulatory body for Physiotherapists in Nova Scotia the NSCP’s primary mandate is safety of the public and will ensure this focus is maintained through this difficult period for our current and future registrants.  To clarify for our local situation - exam cancellations have not limited licensing to practice in Nova Scotia.  Affected registrants have previously had their sponsored status’ extended until the end of the pandemic.  The NSCP would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the various clinical sponsors for their ongoing commitment to supporting the next generation of Physiotherapists and extending their commitment to this essential role during the pandemic.       

We will provide ongoing communications as we learn more and will keep you apprised of the situation.  


College Announces Decision Regarding Daniel Purcell, PT

March 10, 2021

On February 17, 2021, the Hearing Committee of the Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists (the “NSCP”) accepted a Settlement Agreement advanced by the NSCP and Daniel Purcell, and recommended by the Investigation Committee of the NSCP pursuant to Section 50 of the Physiotherapy Act.

The Settlement Agreement contained agreed facts, the allegation against Mr. Purcell, the admissions of Mr. Purcell, and the agreed disposition.

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