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Documents You Should Bring or Have Sent to Canada to Apply for Occupational Entry, Work, or Educational Studies

Prepared by the Canadian Institute for Recognizing Learning (CIRL)
March 2004

Occupation: Dentist

Nova Scotia

Before you can practice dentistry in Canada, you must apply to be licensed. The first step in this process is to successfully complete two sets of certification examinations administered by the National Dental Examining Board (NDEB). If you graduated from a university program that is accredited and recognized by the National Dental Examining Board, you may apply for licensing immediately following successful completion of the Board’s certification examinations if you meet the remaining requirements as set by the province.

If you graduated from a non-accredited university program, you will first be required to apply for admission to a qualifying program by writing an eligibility examination at one of six universities in Canada. For a list of qualifying program locations go to and click on “Non-accredited Program” and select “Qualifying Programs”. If you pass this exam, you must successfully complete the qualifying program before you can write the National Dental Examining Board’s certification examinations.

In light of this process, if you graduated from a non-accredited university program in dentistry, you should not expect to immediately begin to practice as a dentist when you arrive in Canada. It may take two years or more to qualify. To obtain more detailed information on the examinations you will be required to write go to: and click on “Non-accredited Program”.

Following certification by the National Dental Examining Board, you may apply for licensing with the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia.

Document Translations

Documents will be accepted in any language.

To Apply for a License

To apply for a license to practice in Nova Scotia, you will need to bring or have sent to Canada the following documents. You should submit them along with your application and other forms provided by the Provincial Dental Board and a notarized copy of the certificate issued by the National Examining Board of Canada:

  1. A copy of your birth certificate.
  2. A letter of good standing from the Registrar of the jurisdiction where you previously licensed to practice dentistry sent directly to the Dental Board from the licensing authority.
  3. If you are not a new graduate, you must provide evidence that you practiced a minimum of 450 hours within the last three years of your application.
  4. If you are a graduate from dental program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada or the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation, you must provide a copy of your graduation certificate.

Following a review of your documentation, you will be required to meet with the Registrar of the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia in person to finalize the registration process. For more information contact the Board directly at 1-902-420-0083.

To Apply for Employment

There are agencies in Nova Scotia that can help you find employment in your field or in other occupations if you are unable to practice your occupation. They may also be helpful if you find that you cannot practice dentistry in Canada. To assist you with this, we also recommend that you obtain the following documents from your home country and be prepared to have them translated into English.

  1. Documentation and other evidence that demonstrate your ability to speak in English. It can be difficult to obtain employment in skilled trades in Canada without good language skills.
  2. Copies of previous job descriptions and other documentation that presents details of your past work experience, particularly how long you worked in each job.
  3. Copies of detailed courses descriptions of all courses you took during your cooking training.
  4. Copies of program descriptions of all degree and non-degree programs of study that you graduated from at college or university.
  5. Original or certified copies of degrees, diplomas, and certificates from the secondary schools, colleges and universities from which you graduated.
  6. Original or certified copies of transcripts from the above secondary schools, colleges and universities.
  7. Documents that describe courses or training you took through work or in the community.
  8. Documents that describe community organizations that you did volunteer work with and descriptions of your volunteer duties.
  9. Original letters of reference from previous employers confirming your job duties and responsibilities and the quality of your work. Some of these references should be from Canadians familiar with your work.
  10. Original letters of reference from community organizations for whom you did volunteer work.
  11. A resume prepared in a style consistent with Canadian business practices.
  12. Samples of your work.