The Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia is the licensing and regulatory authority of Nova Scotia Cosmetologists, salons and spas, industry business owners, colleges offering cosmetology programs, and students pursuing education in cosmetology. 

Law requires Cosmetologists practicing in Nova Scotia to receive formal training for a minimum number of hours in a registered school or college of cosmetology as defined by the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education and as specified by the Cosmetology Association's Act and By-Laws. A student enrolled in a program at a registered school or college of cosmetology must register for and successfully pass the Association's Provincial Examination to legally practice cosmetology in Nova Scotia.

Minimum Hourly Requirement for Licensure

(Hourly Requirements include theory, practical, and On the Job Training)

Hairdressing 1500 Hours 
Esthetics 1500 Hours
Nail Technology 300 Hours
Make-up Artistry 300 Hours
Eyelash Extensions 300 Hours
Body Hair Removal 300 Hours

A person who resides outside of Canada who is seeking to challenge the Provincial examinations must provide evidence as set out in the Association's policies that they have sufficient education or work experience (or a combination thereof) to write the examinations for the desired licence without further occupational training.

Applicants are required to successfully complete examinations within one (1) year of completing their education or within a longer time deemed appropriate by the Association.

For more information on examination and assessment, please view the Cosmetology Association's Provincial Examination Guidelines. will be assessed based on their qualifications and potential to successfully pass the subject examinations.

For more information on training schools and approved programs, please click here.

Out of Country Transfer Application Requirements & Process

Anyone who is moving to Nova Scotia from outside of Canada must obtain a licence from the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia in order to provide any cosmetology service to the public, for fee, gain, or expectation of reward or remuneration. In order to obtain a licence from the Association, the applicant must submit a Credential Review Application for review.

Note - applications MUST include the following:
  • Completed sections 1 to 13 of the application in their entirety.
  • Completed Schedule D (found on pages 10 and 11 of the application) in its entirety (including reasons for licensing request).
  • Photo ID with current address (issued by Canadian or Provincial Government).
  • Canadian Work or Study Permit.
  • Please pay special attention to the Application Checklist provided on page 7 of the Application.
  • Include the date and signatures on pages 2 and 11 where indicated.
  • Please include the prescribed fee (as per Schedule B of the Association's By-laws) (applications will not be reviewed prior to payment of the prescribed fee).
  • All documents must be translated to English by a certified translator (at the cost to the applicant).
  • Do not submit original documents as they will not be returned (the Association does not make photocopies of personal documents).
Applications can be submitted via regular mail, email, or by facsimile.

Please note:
The Board of Directors may waive minimum entrance requirements in special circumstances for persons with disabilities or other social disadvantages (such as war, flooding, fire, etc. Please contact the Cosmetology Association directly if any of these situations applies to you).  The Board must be satisfied that the applicant is likely to be successful in the study and practice of cosmetology.

Most portions of the application can be submitted prior to arrival in Canada. International applicants may submit a Credential Review application including payment of the application fee, with translated documentation, copies of certificates and/or diplomas, transcripts (related to cosmetology or English language learning), proof of English language proficiency testing, reference letters, and resume. Information on applying for a Canadian Work or Study Permit can be found at, and information regarding the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program and applications for the AIPP Program can be found at

IMPORTANT: in instances where an applicant's credentials cannot be verified due to language barriers or school closure (for example), a third-party assessment from an approved and registered school of cosmetology will be required.  For more information on the third-party assessment process, please click here.

If your application is successful you may be required to obtain an assessment, and will be subject to further examination and admin fees

English Language Proficiency
For those applicants whose first language is not English, proof of English language proficiency testing with a minimum pass level of 5 in all areas is required (equivalent to Canadian English Language Benchmark minimum level 5). Please click here for more information on Canadian English language benchmark requirements.

Documents not provided in English will require translation by a certified translator prior to being submitted to the Cosmetology Association and any costs associated with document translation are the responsibility of the applicant. 

For more information on English language learning, please visit or to find a program that may be right for you.

Credential Review Process
Credential Review Applications are evaluated on an individual basis; the timeline for processing is 6 to 8 weeks. Applications must be submitted as a complete package and must include the prescribed fee (as per Schedule B of the Association's By-laws) prior to processing. Forms should be completed in their entirety. For information on application assessment, please view the Cosmetology Association's Provincial Examination Guidelines. 

Please note: All credential review applications (including exam notifications) expire after 90 days post submission if the Association has requested additional information but has not received further communication from the applicant.

Please pay special attention to the requirements under the section that applies to your application.

Accessibility - Accommodations 
The Cosmetology Association will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate applicants with special needs. 

Click here for more information. 

Resource Links:

Preparing for work in Canada:
Labour Mobility (Canada):
Labour Mobility (NS):
Canadian Free Trade Agreement:
Fair Registration Practices (NS):
Pan Canadian Framework:
Cosmetology Association (NS)
128 Chain Lake Drive
Beechville, NS  B3S 1A2

Hours of Operation
Monday 8:30 - 4:00
Tuesday 8:30 - 4:00
Wednesday 8:30 - 4:00
Thursday 8:30 - 4:00
Friday 8:30 - 3:00

*Holiday or Weather closures/cancellations will be noted in the Calendar.
Office: (902) 468-6477
Fax: (902) 468-7147
Toll Free: (800) 765-8757

General Inquiries

Provincial Exam Information

Executive Director
Dana Sharkey, CAE 


Academy of Cosmetology
Hair, Esthetics, Makeup Artistry
33 Thornhill Drive, Unit 201. Dartmouth

Cape Breton Business College
Hair, Esthetics
93 Johnston Street, Sydney

CBBC - Halifax
Hair, Esthetics
1046 Barrington Street, Halifax
Eastern Esthetics
Nail Technology, Hair Removal, Eyelash Enhancements.
19 Crane Lake Drive, Halifax

Hair Design Centre
Hair, Esthetics, Makeup Artistry
278 Lacewood Drive, Halifax
Hair Masters
Hair, Esthetics, Nail Technology
26 Archibald Ave., North Sydney

Elevate Beauty Institute of Cosmetology
Hair, Esthetics, Nail Technology, Lash Technician
77 Crescent Drive, New Minas

NSCC Annapolis Campus
50 Elliott Road, Middleton
NSCC Burridge Campus
Hair, Esthetics, Nail Technology
372 Pleasant Street, Yarmouth

NSCC Marconi Campus
1240 Grand Lake Road, Sydney

NSCC Pictou Campus
39 Acadia Avenue, Stellarton