Nova Scotia College of Medical Laboratory Technologists

Temporary Restricted License

Policy # 3.10.01

NSCMLT mandate is to ensure applicants are qualified to practice as a medical laboratory technologist (MLT) in Nova Scotia. A temporary restricted license will be granted if the applicant meets the requirements of NSCMLT Regulations section 9 and this policy.

A MLT’s temporary restricted license allows the internationally educated medical laboratory technologist (IEMLT) to temporarily practice as a medical laboratory technologist (MLT) in Nova Scotia, with conditions and restrictions, until they are able to obtain an active-practicing license. The temporary restricted license creates an opportunity for the IEMLT to gain clinical experience and to improve their medical laboratory competencies while providing protection to the client.

It is intended to provide IEMLT’s the opportunity to practice in an area where they have met the equivalence through previous education, work experience and the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) prior learning assessment.

Temporary Restricted License Requirements

  • Graduated from an international medical laboratory program
  • Completion of a CSMLS prior learning assessment (PLA) and has successfully completed the equivalency of three or more disciplines
  • If deemed equivalent request to write the next CSMLS exam. Applicants name appears on the CSMLS eligibility roster to write the CSMLS exam (CSMLS will provide the list)
  • Enrolled in a recognized MLT bridging program and provides proof of registration into a bridging program or course(s) as recommended by CSMLS
  • Completion of NSCMLT initial application online at and submission of all required documentation along with remittance of the appropriate fees
  • Submits a sealed copy of their CSMLS PLA and learning plan or emailed directly from CSMLS
  • Acquire membership (non-certified membership) with CSMLS and professional liability insurance (PLI)
  • Provide proof of permanent Canadian citizenship status, or in the process of obtaining a work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
  • A copy of Canadian government issued photo identification
  • An offer of employment
  • A copy of the employer’s intent to hire letter
  • A copy of a signed job description (Employer will provide)
  • Upon successful completion of the educational requirements the applicant must challenge the next CSMLS exam
  • The temporary restricted license will be specific to a discipline where they have been deemed equivalent by CSMLS
  • Renew license yearly


Restriction of a Temporary License:

As a temporary restricted license holder, you must:

  • Hold a temporary license before starting employment orientation
  • Can only perform tasks the CSMLS prior learning assessment has deemed equivalent
  • Have on-site access to a licensed MLT who has in-dept knowledge of the procedures that provides direct supervision for assistance and consultation at all times and 
  • Perform MLT tasks under direct supervision of a licensed MLT
  • Must have a designated licensed MLT on each shift to provide direct supervision, assistance, consultation and guidance
  • The designated licensed MLT can not hold a temporary license
  • The temporary restricted license holder can not work onsite alone or with just another temporary license holder
  • Can not hold a supervisory or an advance technical position
  • Cannot perform delegated functions. A temporary license holder can only perform the tasks in which they have been deemed competent by a licensed MLT
  • Valid to write the CSMLS exam to a maximum of 2 consecutive times
  • The applicant’s progress can be reviewed at any time by the NSCMLT Registrar

These restrictions are meant to ensure that the temporary license holder is never in a situation where they do not have the ability to consult a licensed MLT for assistance.

NSCMLT defines “direct supervision” as having a licensed MLT in direct eye contact to the temporary restricted license holder. The supervisor will continually monitor the performance to ensure quality standards and best practice are upheld and be readily accessible for assistance or needed intervention. The supervisor will provide feedback to the temporary license holders so they will know what areas they are progressing in or where they need to improve. A supervisor will provide immediate feedback on critical incidents and provide positive steps to be taken to improve.

The employer determines which tasks the temporary license holder will perform.

NSCMLT does require that the designated licensed MLT be specifically chosen and identified so that the temporary license holder knows who to go to for assistance in their clinical laboratory. The designated licensed MLT should possess the appropriate skills and experience in the relevant clinical area to provide guidance and consultation to the temporary restricted license holder. The designated licensed MLT cannot hold a temporary license.

A Temporary Restricted License is Valid For:

A temporary restricted license may be issued to qualified individuals to allow the applicant up to 2 attempts at the CSMLS exam. The temporary restricted license may be reissued after 1 year beyond the date the individual first applies with NSCMLT.

After an unsuccessful attempt at the CSMLS national exam, NSCMLT will contact the temporary restricted license holder and the employer to inform them that the temporary license holder was unsuccessful on the CSMLS exam and will require further direct supervision and their license status will continue to be a temporary restricted license.

Additional Temporary Restricted License Requirements after unsuccessful attempt at the CSMLS Exam

  • Provide NSCMLT a copy of a completed CSMLS Association Non-certified Membership with PLI Application form
  • Require a mark greater than or equal to 50% on the CSMLS exam to be eligible for a continuous temporary restricted license
  • After the first unsuccessful attempt the applicant must forward to NSCMLT a copy of their CSMLS notification indicating mark
  • After the second unsuccessful attempt at the CSMLS exam the temporary license is revoked and cannot be reissued. You must stop work immediately and your employer will be notified of the suspension of your license
  • Your temporary restricted license has expired (Each license expires on Dec. 31 and must be renewed for the next year)
  • Your CSMLS exam mark was less than 50%, a temporary license will not be further granted
  • You were not successful on completing the CSMLS prior learning plan within the CSMLS guidelines
  • We receive notification that you were unsuccessful at challenging the CSMLS Exam after 2 attempts
  • Termination of employment
  • Professional mis-conduct
  • Being issued an active practicing license

 Successful Completion of the CSMLS Exam Up To 2 attempts

Once an MLT passes the CSMLS exam they are eligible for a practising license. The temporary restricted license will be upgraded to an active practicing license with NSCMLT at no additional charge in the same year. You must provide a copy of your CSMLS certificate to NSCMLT for this to occur.

 Successful Completion of the CSMLS Exam After Completion of the CSMLS Learning Plan

Once you complete your learning plan as set out by CSMLS and are successful on passing the CSMLS exam you are eligible for a practising license.


DATE REVIEWED: JUNE 2015, Jan. 2017, April 2018

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Halifax, Nova Scotia B3M 2L4


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Toll Free: 888-897-4095 (NS only)

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