Seeking Volunteers for Interim Competency Process

The Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists (NSCP) is seeking volunteers for our Credentials Committee.  The Credentials Committee considers applications for registration and licensure as a Physiotherapist in Nova Scotia. 

Postponements and cancellation of the National Physiotherapy Competency Exam due to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused significant ambiguity for Nova Scotia Resident Physiotherapists on their next steps to fully entering the profession.  

The NSCP has adopted an interim policy to provide an alternative credentialing process to be in effect while the PCE clinical component is not available.   This interim process will be conducted by the credentials committee (Download Terms of Reference). 

Who can volunteer?

There are 3 required roles on the Credentials Committee (Follow the links for more details on what we are looking for with each role):

For those considering applying please note that applications will be accepted until Feb 7th, 2022. 

Please also note that for those that may not fit the 3 defined categories (Public, Current/Former Board Member, Current/Former Sponsor) there is space for you on the committee and your applications are welcome.  Please submit use the application form and include a copy of your CV with your application.

CAPR Discontinues PCE Clinical Component

The Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) announced the discontinuation of the clinical component of its Physiotherapy Competency Examination (PCE).  They will continue administering their written competency exam and the credentialling program and will begin a major effort to review and re-conceptualize evaluation services for entry-to-practice physiotherapy in Canada..  

This announcement has no immediate impact on the Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists’ interim competency process.  As the interim process is implemented, evaluated and updated the implications of this announcement will be taken into consideration. 

NSCP will continue to communicate updates regarding the competency process. 

Truth and Reconciliation Day

Nova Scotia will officially recognize September 30th as the annual Truth and Reconciliation Day beginning in 2021.

Truth and Reconciliation Day will acknowledge the legacy of residential schools and the role it holds in the reconciliation process.

In honour of First Nations, Inuit and Metis the Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists’ Office will be closed on September 30, 2021.


Interim Competency Evaluation Process update - Dec 3, 2021

Posted Dec 3, 2021

NSCP has committed to providing an alternative credentialing process to be in effect while the PCE clinical component is not available.  The target was to have an interim policy approved in early November with more details on timelines provided in late November.  Your patience is appreciated as we worked through the policy development and planning for implementation of the interim process.  The policy development phase was extended to review the policy in context with emerging information from other jurisdictions, but has now been completed.

The approved Interim Competency Evaluation Policy is now available for download here.  The policy describes the overall process and requirements.  There are still resources to develop and they will be made available when completed.

Following is a summary of high level key activities and tentative target timelines.  Timelines will be adjusted as required and communicated when changes (increased specificity on anticipated dates, delays or early completion of milestones) are indentified.  

Activity  Target Completion Date 
Recruit/Appoint Credential Committee Jan/Feb 2022
Create/Compile Resources (for Applicants, Sponsors, and Committee Members)  Jan/Feb 2022
Create Training for Committee members  Feb 2022
Deliver CommitteeTraining  Feb/March 2022
Committee Begins Reviewing Applications  March 2022

Credentials Committee 

The Credentials Committee will be comprised of a minimum of 3 members, as follows:

  • 1 public member;

  • 1 registered Physiotherapist that meets the criteria as a sponsor. Sponsors will not review applications for their own residents (current or past); and

  • 1 Physiotherapist who is a former or current member of the Board.

The intent is to recruit enough members to have 2 committees operating concurrently to minimize delays once applications are received. 

If you would like further information on the appointment process when it is available email expressing which role you are interested in.

In the interest of allowing staff to focus on the implementation individual requests for further information/questions related to the process will be accepted and incorporated into future communications, however, we will not be able to respond on an individual basis.

Physiotherapy Competency Exam (PCE) virtual clinical component cancellation

September 16, 2021

On September 14, 2021, the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators (CAPR) announced that despite their staff’s sincere and sustained efforts to re-launch the virtual clinical component of the PCE, the attempt was deemed unsuccessful.  The re-launch began on September 8, 2021, with two subsequent administrations on September 11th and 13th.  CAPR’s full announcement can be found at

It is the Nova Scotia College of Physiotherapists’ (NSCP) understanding that the CAPR Board of Directors directed CAPR staff to cancel the virtual examination and return focus to administering the face-to-face clinical component as CAPR has successfully done prior to the pandemic.  The timeline to deliver the clinical component is still to be determined.  CAPR also stated the innovation agenda will once again be a priority and include discussion of the overall examination program.

The NSCP’s primary mandate is safety of the public.  Focus on this mandate has been, and will continue to be, maintained through this difficult period for our current and future registrants.   

The PCE is the national benchmark for entry level competency for Physiotherapists in Canada and has two components, a written Qualifying Exam (QE) and a practical clinical component.  In Nova Scotia, applicants that have successfully completed the qualifying exam may apply for a Provisional license and work as a Resident under a practicing physiotherapist (sponsor) limited to 12 months or 2 unsuccessful attempts of the practical component.  With CAPR’s early efforts through the pandemic of moving the written qualifying exam to a virtual format and the NSCP’s decision to extend residents’ licenses beyond the 12-month limit, graduating physiotherapists have been able to work under a Provisional License in Nova Scotia.  Claims that cancellation of the clinical component of the exam and subsequent failures to successfully run a virtual version of the clinical component may have reduced access to physiotherapy care in Nova Scotia are inaccurate.   The NSCP does recognize that residents are limited to work in practice settings/sites that have a sponsor available and willing to accept them.   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 once again. 

With the virtual clinical component of the exam now being cancelled with no definitive timeline for a face-to-face clinical component and in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances the pandemic has placed the residents and sponsors in, the NSCP Board of Directors have decided to create a path to full licensure for some affected residents that wish to apply.   The path will meet the NSCP’s legislated requirements, public mandate of ensuring competency and mandate of regulating in the public interest.  Staff have been directed to provide a detailed process for Board review on October 20, 2021, adhering to the following principles:

The process will be an interim measure for some of the affected candidates and be limited to the time that the national competency standard: clinical component is not available to residents. When a national competency standard: clinical component is available, the NSCP will support this standard requirement for full licensure. 

The application process will apply only to residents that have been actively licensed on a provisional basis for 12 consecutive months or greater.  

The process must not erode public confidence in full licensure as a Physiotherapist 

Current and all future applicants must be made aware of the risks of licensure without successful completion of the PCE with regards to labour mobility

 Please note, as this process continues all communications to staff, and volunteers must be professional and made through appropriate channels.  Therefore, we ask that all correspondence on board matters be directed to  The NSCP Board of Directors is comprised of volunteers mandated to speak with one voice representing the public interest. 


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