How Does An Nova Scotia Employer Initiate An IME?

Brief Overview:
An Independent Medical Examination (IME) is a process in which an employer initiates a medical assessment of an employee by a qualified healthcare professional. In Nova Scotia, employers can initiate an IME in order to gather objective and unbiased medical information regarding the employee’s condition or disability. This information helps inform decisions about work accommodations, return-to-work plans, and the overall disability management process.

Answer with 5 supporting facts:

1. Requesting an IME: To initiate an IME in Nova Scotia, the employer should contact a reputable independent assessment provider like Rapid Interactive Disability Management (RIDM) to request the examination.
2. Valid Reason: The employer must have a valid reason for requesting an IME, such as when there are discrepancies between medical reports or conflicting information about the employee’s ability to perform their job duties.
3. Employee Consent: The employee must provide consent for undergoing an IME unless it is mandated by legislation or collective agreement terms.
4. Selection of Healthcare Professional: It is crucial for the employer to choose a qualified and impartial healthcare professional who specializes in conducting IMEs related to the specific condition or disability at hand.
5. Assessment Process: The selected healthcare professional will conduct a thorough evaluation that may involve reviewing relevant medical records, interviewing the employee, performing physical examinations if necessary, and providing objective findings based on their expertise.


Q1: Can I require all employees with disabilities to undergo an IME?
A1: No, requiring employees with disabilities to undergo an IME solely based on their disability would be considered discriminatory and against human rights laws.

Q2: What if my employee refuses to attend the scheduled IME?
A2: If your employee refuses without valid reasons or fails repeatedly to attend scheduled examinations despite reasonable notice given, you may consider taking appropriate disciplinary actions within legal boundaries.

Q3: How long does it take before receiving results from an IME?
A3: The duration for receiving results may vary depending on the complexity of the case and availability of healthcare professionals. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

Q4: Will the IME report outline any treatment recommendations?
A4: An IME report typically focuses on providing an objective assessment of the employee’s medical condition or disability rather than offering specific treatment recommendations.

Q5: Can I use an IME report to terminate an employee who is unfit for work?
A5: While an IME report can provide valuable information about an employee’s fitness for work, termination decisions should be made in accordance with applicable employment laws and regulations.

Q6: Are employees entitled to access their IME reports?
A6: Yes, according to privacy laws, employees are generally entitled to reasonable access to their personal health information, including the IME reports pertaining to them.

Q7: Can I use multiple IMEs for a single employee during a disability claim process?
A7: It is possible in certain circumstances where there are genuine concerns regarding conflicting medical opinions or complexities surrounding the nature of the disability. However, employers must act reasonably and be mindful not to unduly burden or harass their employees through repeated assessments.


Initiating an Independent Medical Examination (IME) in Nova Scotia requires proper adherence to ethical guidelines while ensuring valid reasons and obtaining employee consent. It is essential for employers to select qualified healthcare professionals experienced in conducting relevant assessments. The outcomes of thorough and unbiased IMEs can significantly inform and strengthen disability management decisions within organizations.