Internationally Educated Applicants

To practice Respiratory Therapy in Nova Scotia you must hold a certificate of registration/license with the Nova Scotia College of Respiratory Therapists (NSCRT).  If you are currently registered as a respiratory therapist in another regulated Canadian jurisdiction, apply under the "Respiratory Therapists from other Canadian Jurisdictions" menu option. If you are not currently registered as a respiratory therapist in another Canadian jurisdiction and have not graduated from an approved Canadian Respiratory Therapy program, please review the information below for eligibility requirements.

Internationally Educated Applicants - Pathway to Licensure

To be eligible for a license with the NSCRT, internationally educated applicants must have an assessment of their formal education program and clinical experience to determine if it is similar to the entry to practice requirements for NSCRT registration.  Internationally educated applicants will also be required to undergo a competency assessment to verify that they possess all of the competencies required to enter practice as a respiratory therapist in Nova Scotia.  The assessment is based on the National Competency Framework (NCF).  The NCF is a list of entry to practice competencies considered essential for the practice of Respiratory Therapy in Nova Scotia. Please note that the competency assessment is performed by the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario (CRTO) and applicants are responsible for all costs associated with the assessment (Estimated timelines and fees).  

Following the assessment, if an internationally educated applicant has demonstrated competency in many but not all required areas they may need further education to attain these competencies.  Completion of a competency assessment is not a guaranteed pathway to licensure.  Limited educational resources exist to remediate gaps in knowledge or competency.  If formal education is not similar enough to respiratory therapy education in Canada and/or significant gaps are identified in a clinical skills assessment, it may be recommended that an international applicant apply for regular entry into the full-time respiratory therapy program in Nova Scotia, or any of the approved respiratory therapy education programs across Canada.  

If an international applicant has demonstrated competency in all required areas, they are eligible for a Temporary Graduate License with the NSCRT.  Temporary Graduate License holders are able to practice in Nova Scotia. There are conditions and restrictions on this practice license which will be reviewed with applicants once eligibility for the license has been determined.  Members who hold this class of license hold the protected title of Graduate Respiratory Therapist (GRT) and must successfully challenge the Canadian Board for Respiratory Care (CBRC) national certification examination within 18 months to obtain an active practice license. The examination is offered twice per year.  If GRTs do not successfully challenge the exam within the 18 months/3 attempts, they are no longer eligible for licensure in any category with NSCRT.

Please note that you may not work as a respiratory therapist, or in any way hold yourself out as a person qualified to practice respiratory therapy in the province of Nova Scotia until after your application for registration has been completed and your registration (license) is confirmed by the NSCRT.


1.  Application for Registration – To begin the application process you will be required to complete the online initial application form. Do not submit any fees at this time.  The application will provide us with your contact information and give us a general idea of your education and work experience. Processing of the Application for Registration form may take up to four weeks.

2. Verification of identity:  A copy of your passport or birth certificate uploaded to the online profile.  Proof of eligibility to work in Canada (work via or permanent residency card) will be required before a license is issued but is not required to begin the application process. 

3. Criminal Background Check, including a Vulnerable Sector check: Must accompany all new applications and be uploaded to the online profile.  The Criminal Records Check/Vulnerable Sector Check must be obtained within the past 4 months and performed by a local police agency, the RCMP, or private organizations such as CSI Screening or My Backcheck.  If you reside outside of Canada or have recently moved to Canada from another country, an international criminal records check is required.  Applicants who have a criminal record should upload a Declaration of Criminal Record to expedite the registration process.

4. Language Fluency: You will need to submit documentation to support the required status of fluency if your first language is not English.   For information on the acceptable tests and scores, please refer to the Language Proficiency Requirements Fact Sheet.  You are unable to progress to the competency assessment until the language bench marks have been met.  It is recommended that you participate in the free online self-assessment service offered by the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB). Visit for general information and to participate in a free online self-assessment of your language skills visit

5. Credential Evaluation: You must have your education/academic qualifications verified by World Education Services (WES). To have your academic qualifications evaluated by WES, please contact them at All reports from WES must be forwarded to the NSCRT directly from WES.  You are required to have the WES ICAP Course by Course Evaluation completed.  Basic evaluations will not be accepted and will delay your application.

6. Registration verification form (if applicable): If you have been registered/licensed as a respiratory therapist or in any other health profession in another country you must have an NSCRT registration verification form completed by your previous regulatory body and forwarded directly to the NSCRT Registrar (  You must complete section 1 and forward to the regulatory body to complete section 2.

7. Letter(s) of reference from past employers: Provide a letter of reference from each employer in which you have been practicing as a respiratory therapist (or in a related field) over the past five years.

8. Completed NSCRT Declaration Form:  Print and sign this form then upload to your online profile.  Applications will not be reviewed until this form is received.

9. Completed Professional Portfolio and Competency Portfolio Form:  This form is designed to provide an opportunity to present your skills and knowledge acquired through a variety of experience and will also be used to verify / acknowledge your competencies in the field of respiratory therapy required for practice in Nova Scotia and in Canada.  Please refer to the National Competency Framework (NCF) for further details on competencies.  Individuals are encouraged to review the NCF prior to beginning the application process to ensure your training and experience are similar enough to the professional of respiratory therapy in Nova Scotia.

Please note: If any of the documents required are available in a language other than English you must attach to the original an English copy translated by a certified translator.  All costs associated with translation are the responsibility of the applicant.

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1959 Upper Water Street, Suite 1301
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 3N2