Are you a psychologist educated in another country and thinking of relocating to Nova Scotia to live and work?
Are you an internationally educated psychologist already living in Nova Scotia?
The Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology works hard to make the registration process as easy to understand as possible. Application information is available under the “International Applicants Section” section of the website, here.
The Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology encourages all internationally educated applicants to connect with the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) http://www.isans.ca/, a community-based organization that welcomes newcomers and offers a full range of support programs towards settlement in Nova Scotia. ISANS also provides support for those intending to immigrate to Nova Scotia prior to arrival.
Under The Nova Scotia Psychologists Act, Regulations & Board Policy, applicants who want to register with the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology must meet the following criteria:
- Possess a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology that is acceptable to the Board, from an educational institution approved the Board
- Possess sufficient acceptable psychology work experience in the area(s) for which they are declaring
- Speak and write English or French with reasonable fluency, depending on the language of services to be provided
- Be of good character
- Possess an understanding of local practices and conditions, and
- Demonstrate an understanding of professional practice and ethical issues
- Pass any examinations required by the Board
- If an applicant holds a certificate of registration as a psychologist in another jurisdiction, the standards of which the Board determines to be equivalent to the requirements of Subsections 15 (1) or (2) of the Act. the Board may waive any or all requirements in Subsection 15(1) or (2) of the Act.
You may begin compiling documents and complete your application to the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology prior to arriving in Canada.
A pathway document has also been created to help guide internationally educated applicants through the registration process. Here is a link to the document:
A link is also provided directly below which provides an outline of costs related to the registration process with the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology:
Below are the Steps to Registration with the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology for Internationally Educated Applicants.
Step 1. Academic Equivalency Evaluation
If your degrees (undergraduate and graduate) were issued by a university outside of Canada or the U.S.A., you must first submit your Credentials for Academic Equivalency Evaluation to one of the following organizations:
Important additional information is provided in the below PDF about each organization which may assist you and this should be reviewed prior to obtaining an evaluation.
Step 2. Complete the Application Process with the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology
If Step 1 is successful, (the academic level of your degrees is found to be equivalent to at least a Canadian Graduate degree at master’s or doctoral level), you will then need to have a psychology-specific assessment of your academic and experience qualifications completed by the Board. (In the event that Step 1 is unsuccessful in demonstrating academic equivalency to at least a master’s degree, then this would mean you would not be eligible for registration.)
2.1 Complete the Online Application Form
2.1 a) Here is a link to the Online Application Guide which should be reviewed before starting with the Online Application:
2.1 b) Here is a link to the actual Online Application System:
2.2 Provide Supporting Documentation to accompany your Application
2.2.1 Curriculum Vitae (resume)
2.2.2 Photo ID
2.2.3 Criminal check
2.2.4 Child Abuse Check / Declaration
2.2.6 Information about your program of study including coursework
Please refer to following Guide which outlines in detail what we expect for Supporting Documentation:
2.3 Arrange for Supplemental Forms to be completed and provided to the Board
2.3.1 Psychological Practice Profile
2.3.2 Reference Form
2.3.3 Confirmation of Standing Form
2.3.4 Supervisor’s Consent
Those who wish to complete any of the above forms in advance of the online application, may download the forms via the below link. However, the following supplemental forms are included within the sequence of the Online Application Process, so the below link is optional.
Step 3. Assessment by the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology
Once all requirements of your application are completed and the application is submitted, the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology will review your application. The assessment process and criteria is outlined in the following PDF:
Step 4. Response from the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology / Application Deadline
When complete, the application is submitted to the Board of Examiners for the next Board meeting. The Board typically meets every calendar month except for August. Due to the workload volume and required processes for the Registration / Review Subcommittees and the Board, it is necessary for the the Board to impose a two week cutoff for any agenda items. This means that all agenda items must be complete and submitted two weeks in advance of monthly meetings. This includes but is not limited to the following: applications for registration, requests for oral exams, or any other registration items. In the event that an applicant misses the monthly deadline, no documentation has to be re-completed or resubmitted, the application will simply be reviewed at the next meeting.
A listing of all Board meeting dates, is available via the following link:
Once the Board of Examiners has completed its assessment of your application materials, you will be contacted in writing, typically within 2 weeks. To facilitate this communication, the registration decision will be sent to you via email.
There are three possible outcomes following this assessment by the Board:
- If both the academic and experience requirements are met, and it is determined that you possess equivalent registration with another psychology regulatory body, the Board may approve your name for placement on the Register of Psychologists, pending your completion of a Transfer Interview. In other words, your application would be approved, but you must complete an in-person interview before you would be granted registration. Every effort is made so that the interview can be conducted at a time convenient to the applicant and subject to the Board’s schedule. Information concerning the Transfer Interview is available via the below link:
- If your academic credentials are approved, but you have not met the legislated psychological experience requirement and/or you do not possess equivalent registration with another psychology regulatory body, the Board may approve your name for placement on the Register of Candidates. Placement on the Register of candidates would include completing the legislated period of Candidate Register supervision and examinations. Supervision is completed while one is registered as a Psychologist (Candidate Register) and working in Nova Scotia. For information on the examinations and candidacy requirements, please visit the FAQ page for Candidate Registrants, available via the following URL:
- If it is determined that you do not possess a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology that meets the criteria of acceptable degrees in psychology and/or you do not meet other requirements noted in the criteria at the top of this page including equivalent registration with another psychology regulatory body, the Board must decline the application. In the event that your application is declined, you will be informed in writing of the criteria not met and you will be provided with the opportunity to have your application sent to the Registration Decision Review Subcommittee “Review Subcommittee” that will conduct a second review of the registration decision. If you wish to have your application reviewed by the Review Subcommittee, then you will be required to advise the Registrar of this request within 30 calendar days from the date of the decision on your application for registration.
Information concerning the registration fees and professional liability requirements is outlined via this link:
Links to other resources available to assist internationally educated psychologists are below
- The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration provides information on its website relevant to internationally trained individuals. The website address is: http://novascotiaimmigration.com
- Additionally, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (which is funded jointly by the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia) is currently offering a Career Pathway Loan Fund for internationally trained immigrants living in Nova Scotia. To find out more information you may visit their website: http://www.isans.ca/cplf
- For even more information, please see the below information and link from “Nova Scotia Start”. This a program of the Government of Nova Scotia. If you are getting ready to immigrate to Nova Scotia, this is the place to start. Nova Scotia Start offers you information and support to work in Nova Scotia; Develop your communication skills; Settle into your new community. All services are free of charge and they are available both before and after you arrive in Nova Scotia. http://www.novascotiastart.ca/outsideNS.html
- Careers Nova Scotia
- Fair Registration Practices Act (FRPA) Office
As a checklist, to ensure you have reviewed all documentation involving the application process for international applicants, here is a listing of all PDF documents and pages referenced in the above procedures.
1. Academic Equivalency Information
2. Online Application Guide
3. Supporting Documentation Explanatory PDF
4. Supplemental Forms page
5. Core Competencies in Psychology
6. Requirements and Criteria for Assessing International Applicants
7. Transfer Interview Information
We welcome enquiries by either phone or email. However, email may offer the opportunity for you to receive a considered response and often makes communication more efficient as the applicant and the Board Office may be in different time zones. If you have asked for a reply, a staff member will answer your email as soon as possible. We aim to respond within 24-48 hours on working days but may respond more quickly if we are able to do so.
The Board staff and contact information is available via the contact us page: