Mandatory Use of the "dietitian" Title

By law, all members, including temporary members, must be clearly identified when practising dietetics by using their professional title of “Registered Dietitian” or “RD”, or the French equivalent, “diététiste professionel(le)” and “Dt.P. After which they can indicate that they work in a specific area: public health, diabetes, pediatrics, oncology, or otherwise (as appropriate). 

It is generally acceptable to indicate that a practice is restricted to a particular area, such as children. It is also acceptable to use the title Public Health Nutritionist, where appropriate, because the term implies an area of practice rather than a specialty, and is recognized under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

The dietitian title is restricted.

Using the title dietitian in Ontario is prohibited under the Dietetics Act (1991) unless a person is a member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario. It is an offence for employers to aid and abet employees to inappropriately use the dietitian and doctor titles. The Dietetic Act states:
Restricted titles
7. (1) No person other than a member shall use the title "dietitian", a variation or abbreviation or an equivalent in another language. 1991, c. 26, s. 7 (1).

Representations of qualification, etc.
(2) No person other than a member shall hold himself or herself out as a person who is qualified to practise in Ontario as a dietitian or in a specialty of dietetics. 1991, c. 26, s. 7 (2).

9. Every person who contravenes subsection 7 (1) or (2) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 for a first offence and not more than $50,000 for a second or subsequent offence.

Inappropriate use

The professional misconduct regulation prohibits the inappropriate use of a term, title or designation in respect of a dietitian's practice. An inappropriate use may include:
  • Using a false or misleading term such as Medical Dietitian when the person is not a physician; or
  • Implying specialization or certification such as Paediatric Dietitian, since there are no recognized and certified specialties in dietetics.

Improper use of the "Doctor" Title

Registered Dietitians who hold a doctorate or Ph.D. may not use the title "doctor" in the course of providing or offering to provide dietetic services in Ontario.