Why Regulation Matters
In Ontario, the law sets out the responsibilities, powers and procedures for the College of Dietitians of Ontario to regulate the profession of dietetics in the interest of public protection. The College works for the public to ensure that dietitians are qualified to offer safe, competent and ethical dietetic services.
Enforceable Professional Standards
A high standard for academic and practical training must be achieved in order to practice as a dietitian in Ontario. The College establishes and enforces standards for entry-to-practice, professional scope of practice, ethics, professional conduct and continuing competence.
Standards to become a dietitian include:
an accredited 4-year or equivalent degree with appropriate courses in sciences and human nutrition, administration and humanities;
an accredited dietetic internship or equivalent supervised practical training; and,
successful completion of the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination.
While anyone can legally provide nutrition education and advice, what sets Registered Dietitians apart is that, under the Regulated Health Professions Act
, they are accountable to the College of Dietitians of Ontario for safe, competent and ethical practice. Each dietitian must participate in a quality assurance and practice assessment programs to ensure continuing competency. Dietitians and employers have an obligation to report under certain circumstances, dietitians who are not practicing ethically, safely and competently.
Complaints Resolution Process
The College also has a complaints resolution in place for anyone who has a concern or complaint about the services they have received from a dietitian. The College of Dietitians of Ontariom
has the responsibility and power to investigate and take action in all complaints.
Dietitian, A Protected Health Profession Title
In Ontario, only members of the College of Dietitians of Ontario are regulated and authorized to use the title "dietitian. Individuals who are not members of the College are prohibited from using this professional designation or from holding themselves out as qualified to practice as a dietitian or in a specialty of dietetics. You can verify that your nutrition expert is a qualified dietitian by consulting the Register of Dietitians.