Guidelines for Resident Volunteers

Approved by PGME Committee 1 May 2014


The Postgraduate Medical Education office encourages trainees to participate as volunteer health care givers in supporting community activities. Given a postgraduate trainee’s status as a student with a restrictive education license, the following guidelines provide an overview of the process for participating as a volunteer physician.

Licensing requirement

The Educational Licence is not a licence for independent practice. Some degree of faculty supervision is required and the nature and degree of that supervision is left up to the educational program according to the expected competence level of the resident and the context of patient care, taking into account graduated assumption of responsibility. The nature of the supervision required is left to the discretion of the Training Program. Postgraduate Trainees are not permitted to be the Most Responsible Physician (MRP).

A summer camp or special event, for their own purposes, requires an independently licensed physician as the medical event Director, and the Director will act as a faculty supervisor (MRP). The faculty supervisor must hold a Full, or Defined or Temporary (Academic) licence with CPSNS. Postgraduate Trainees on Educational License cannot act as the MRP.


Prior to the volunteer event, residents must submit a written request to their program director outlining the details of their volunteer work, level of responsibility and the name of their academic supervisor (MRP) for approval. A record of this approval will be maintained on the trainee’s program file.