Psychologist (PhD or Masters) Diagnostics, Prov. Preschool Autism Services - Positions Across NS

Company : IWK Health

Req ID: 162041 
Department/Program: Provincial Preschool Autism Services, Provincial Preschool Autism Services 
Location: Flexible within the Province; Flexible within the Zone
Type of Employment: Various Permanent and Temporary opportunities (ranging from 40% to 100% FTE)
Start Date: Beginning September 2023, flexible start dates are available up to March 2024
Union Status: NSGEU Hlthcare, Healthcare Bargaining Unit
Compensation: $37.1261 - $64.6097
 /hour, pending Master's or Phd background
Closing Date: Open Until Filled

Successful applicants will be eligible to receive a one-time Signing Bonus ($7,000 for permanent roles and $5,000 for temporary). In turn, a Return of Service will be required for a (2) year period, or a minimum of 1 year for a temporary assignment. Please note that Signing Bonuses are prorated for part-time positions (based on FTE). 


Relocation assistance of up to $5,000 may be included for those that qualify. 



IWK Health is a respected academic health sciences centre, providing tertiary and primary care for two million children, youth, adults and families each year across the Atlantic region. We have a team of approximately 4000 employees, physicians, volunteers and learners at sites across Nova Scotia. People build careers with IWK Health with our focus on training and mentorship opportunities. We recognize each other’s talent and celebrate our successes. We collaborate in modern facilities or virtually from home, align our work to our values, and enjoy access to enhanced benefits and wellness programs. We are proud to support our patients, families and communities and are grateful for the generous donor support we receive


Promoting an anti-racist environment and calling out discrimination as we work and provide care, is important to us. We are located in Mi’kma’ki, the unceded and ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq people. Working in Mi’kma’ki and providing care to those across Atlantic Canada is a shared privilege with the original inhabitants who have lived here for many thousands of years prior to colonization. There are 13 First Nation communities across Nova Scotia, and more than 50 historic African Nova Scotian communities who also have a long, deep, and complex history dating back over 400 years. We have the highest percentage of people with disabilities in the country. Nova Scotia has a higher proportion of transgender and non-binary people than any other province or territory in the country. We are active in our work to eliminate discrimination but have more work to do to build that trust, acknowledge our biases and reduce the barriers our diverse communities face. We want IWK Health to be a safe and supportive space of equity and belonging in the care we provide and the employment we offer. We welcome all interested persons who self-identify as Indigenous, Black/African Nova Scotians, Persons of Colour, Immigrants/Newcomers, Persons with Disabilities, 2SLGBTQIA+ to apply to support our goal for our workforce to be representative of the patients, families, and communities that we care for at all job levels.

The Opportunity

Provincial Preschool Autism Services 
The Provincial Preschool Autism Service (PPAS) is a partnership between IWK Health (IWK), Nova Scotia Health (NSH), Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia (HSNS) and Autism Nova Scotia (Autism NS). Based upon an extensive review and engagement, autism services in Nova Scotia are in the process of transitioning to a needs-based model responsive to the individual needs of children and their families.  It will provide person and family-centred services to preschoolers across Nova Scotia who are suspected of or have a diagnosis of autism. The new and enhanced services will include a greater number and range of interventions and supports available for children and families. Examples include: autism clinical intake and care coordination, family and health professional education, diagnostic assessments, QuickStart NS parent coaching toddler program, a 12-month intensive intervention for children with the greatest social communication and behavior needs, autism interventions by interprofessional teams, and transition to school. The intent is to create an efficient, sustainable, and integrated continuum of health services for preschool age children with autism where services and supports are matched to the needs of children and their families.

Reporting to the Manager of Provincial Preschool Autism Services, the clinical psychologist position is responsible for completing clinical diagnostic assessments of children who are suspected of having a diagnosis of autism. The role may serve both preschool and school age children (note the Provincial Preschool Autism Service will also coordinate diagnostic assessments for school age children). Multiple strategies are underway to enhance access to autism assessments province-wide while intervention services are being enhanced and the Psychologist will play a key role in providing high quality, evidence-based assessment services to children and their families.

All psychologists will work as part of a broader provincial team to support autism diagnostics and collaborate as part of an integrated service delivery model for the Provincial Preschool Autism Service (PPAS). As a result, Psychologists may/will also support PPAS clinical interventions through direct clinical service for families, caregiver education, or clinical consultation and collaboration with families and interprofessional team members as part of PPAS intervention services (i.e., interprofessional teams, intensive service, care coordination, etc). 


Team members completing Diagnostic Assessments are part of the Provincial Preschool Autism Service and are integrated with existing autism diagnostic services provincially. Diagnostic assessments will be coordinated provincially through a provincial clinical intake service and a provincial waitlist. Diagnostic services are supported by provincial clinical leadership and the goal is to reduce variations in access to autism assessment for families, meet standard wait time benchmarks, and support all clinicians to maintain professional competencies. 


Depending on expertise and experience and/or skills developed through the course of employment with PPAS, the psychologist will work with various teams to provide direct, consultative, or collaborative services with interprofessional autism intervention teams and with families to provide foundational education, caregiver coaching, care coordination, and transition to school-based intervention services. The proportion of time dedicated to each activity will vary by position and community, depending on needs of the team and families.

Hours of Work

Various permanent and temporary opportunities are available throughout the province. This includes Full-Time and Part-Time work options. 

Available FTE ranges from 100% to 40% (to be determined in collaboration with the hiring Manager)

Travel is an expectation of the role to ensure equitable access to diagnostic assessments province-wide 

About You

We would love to hear from you if you are registered or eligible for registration with the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners in Psychology (NSBEP).

For those with a Master's background, we are looking for those with a minimum of (3) three years of pediatric work experience. For those candidates with a Phd, this would include a minimum of one-year post-doctoral supervision, a one year of full-time predoctoral residency in a relevant area (e.g., Clinical Child Psychology, Pediatric Health Psychology, Forensic Psychology), and a minimum of (2) two years of relevant pediatric work experience. 

Successful applicants will possess knowledge including but not limited to:

  • typical child development and divergent neurodevelopment
  • the range of behavioral manifestations of Autism and patterns of co-occurring conditions
  • relevant health conditions and their implications for a diagnosis of Autism
  • the impact of context, such as social, familial, and environmental factors on development
  • ability to create a relevant management plan with the family, taking into account identified strengths and difficulties, as well as the family's priorities and knowledge of available resources.

Training and experience in the use of standard autism assessment instruments, specifically the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedules-2 (ADOS-2) and other related autism assessment and cognitive assessment instruments is preferred.  Supervised training will be provided by the employer for candidates who meet all other job requirements but do not have specific autism diagnostic experience. Knowledge of Autism evidence-based intervention techniques is preferred.

Please ensure your resume includes all relevant education, experience, training, and certifications.

Where there are no qualified candidates who meet the minimum years of pediatric work experience,  consideration may be given to Registered Master's Psychologists and PhD Psychologists without experience.

Once You've Applied

Thank you for your interest in IWK Health.


Please note that we only contact applicants selected for interview/testing. If we invite you to participate in an assessment process (such as an interview or testing) you have the right to request accommodation.  Please discuss your needs when invited to the assessment process.


This is a Healthcare bargaining unit position.  Successful applicants changing unions, bargaining units, or employment status, are advised to seek clarification regarding their seniority, benefits, and vacation entitlement and/or usage, prior to accepting the position.


An offer of employment is conditional upon the completion and satisfactory results of all applicable background checks and confirmation of credentials. 

If you are an employee of IWK Health, please apply through the internal careers page to ensure you are flagged as an internal applicant. 



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