Nova Scotia College of Medical Laboratory Technologists

Temporary Restricted License for New Graduates

Policy # 3.10.02

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 temporary restricted license allows the MLT graduate 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 MLT to gain clinical experience and to improve their medical laboratory competencies while providing protection to the client.

Remember: You cannot work as a medical laboratory technologist in Nova Scotia until you have received notice from NSCMLT that your application has been approved. You must have a temporary license before starting employment orientation. It is a violation of the NSCMLT act and/or regulations to practice medical laboratory technology without a license and a fine or penalty will occur. I refer you to section 39,40 and 41 of the NSCMLT act.

Temporary Restricted License Requirements

  • Graduation from an accredited MLT program, and are waiting to write their CSMLS exam, or waiting for CSMLS exam result notification
  • Completion of NSCMLT initial application online at and submission of all required documentation along with remittance of the appropriate fees
  • Confirmation letter on official letterhead from an accredited MLT program confirming successful completion of a MLT program. Note as a NSCC graduate, NSCC will provide NSCMLT a list of names of successful graduates
  • Name appears on CSMLS eligibility roster to write the CSMLS exam (CSMLS will provide the list)
  • Provides proof of a transitional graduate membership from CSMLS
  • Acquire professional liability insurance (PLI)
  • An offer of employment
  • A copy of the employer’s intent to hire letter
  • A copy of a signed job description (Employer will provide)
  • Renew license yearly

Restriction of a Temporary License

As a temporary restricted license holder, you must:

  • Hold a temporary license before starting employment orientation
  • Have on-site access to a licensed MLT that provides direct supervision for assistance and consultation
  • 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
  • Cannot perform delegated functions. A temporary license holder can only perform the tasks in which they have been deemed competent by a licensed MLT
  • Required to write the CSMLS exam to a maximum of 2 times
  • The applicants progress can be viewed 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 close physical proximity to the temporary license holder. NSCMLT defines "supervisor" as a licensed MLT that has indept knowledge and performs the competencies in which the temporary license holder is performing. 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 restricted 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 license may be issued to qualified individuals to allow the applicant up to 2 attempts at the CSMLS exam. The temporary 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 license. The temporary license holder will also need to acquire associated membership and PLI with CSMLS to maintian their temporary 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
  • A list of duties to be performed submitted by employer and approved by NSCMLT
  • 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 unsucessful attempt the applicant must forward to NSCMLT a copy of their CSMLS notification mark
  • After the second unsucessful attempt the applicant temporary license will no longer be valid.
  • A Temporary Restricted License is No Longer Valid If:
  • Your temporary 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%
  • You have not successfully completed the CSMLS exam within 18 months of the first attempt
  • NSCMLT determines that the temporary restricted license holder does not exhibit progress 
  • We receive notification that you were unsuccessful challenging the CSMLS Exam after 2 attempts
  • Termination of employment
  • Professional mis-conduct
  • Being issued an active practicing license
  • After two unsuccessful attempts at the CSMLS exam the temporary restricted license is revoked and cannot be reissued. You must stop work immediately and your employer will be notified of the suspension of your license

Successful Completion of the CSMLS Exam

Once a temporary restricted license holder passes the CSMLS exam the temporary license will be upgraded to an active practicing license with NSCMLT at no additional charge. You must provide a copy of your CSMLS certificate to NSCMLT for this to occur.

Approved September 2015. Reviewed July 2016 April 2018.

Get in Touch

380 Bedford Highway, Suite 202
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3M 2L4


Phone: 902-453-9605

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

Fax: 902-454-3535