Prior learning assessment and  recognition Process

If you did not complete education and training which were approved by the College, the College will do an assessment to determine whether you have the minimum knowledge and skills to practice as a dietitian in Canada.

The College considers the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process to be a more fair and valid assessment of your dietetic knowledge and skills because it directly assesses what you currently know and can do, and it is not affected by factors outside of your control, like incomplete course descriptions or poor translations which may not fully reflect the content of your education and training.  In addition, the PLAR process provides a way for the College to recognize knowledge and skills that you gained after your degree through continuing education and practice, something that is not achievable in a paper-based credential assessment.

What is the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process

The PLAR process will directly assess your current knowledge and skills, compared to the national standards. It is made up of several steps:

Summary of the PLAR Process
Summary of the PLAR Process flow diagram

To be eligible for the PLAR process you must:

  • Have completed a degree reasonably related to dietetics, nutrition or food;
  • Have completed practical training in dietetics or demonstrate that your degree alone (without practical training) qualified you to practice in the country where the education institution is located;
  • Meet the minimum language proficiency requirement in English
 

Click here for instructions about how to apply for the PLAR process.

If you are deemed eligible for the PLAR process, the next step is the KCAT – a computer-based multiple choice exam designed to assess your knowledge as compared to the foundational knowledge and academic performance indicators in the national competencies.  Click here to view the KCAT preparation guide.

Your results on the KCAT will determine your next steps:

  • A level I result means that you demonstrated sufficient knowledge and competence to move to the next step in the process, the Performance-Based Assessment (PBA);
  • A level II result means that you have demonstrated partial knowledge and competence. Your score reflects that there are some gaps in your knowledge and competence compared to the national standards.   If you receive a level II result, you have two options:
    • Re-write the KCAT. You may rewrite the KCAT a maximum of three times as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements. You may choose (but you are not required) to complete additional studies to increase your knowledge and competence before rewriting the KCAT, or
    • Apply to admission to Ryerson University’s certificate program for Internationally-Educated Nutrition Professionals (IEPN); if you successfully complete the IEPN after receiving a level II KCAT result, you are eligible to proceed to the PBA.
      • A level II result on the KCAT does not guarantee admission to the IEPN. Ryerson University has its own eligibility criteria for the IEPN and may have limited enrolment. 
  • A Level III result means that you did not demonstrate sufficient knowledge and competence. You are not eligible to complete the PBA. You may rewrite the KCAT a maximum of three times as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements. You may wish to consider, however that your results identified significant gaps which may best be addressed by completing an accredited degree and accredited practical training in Canada.
KCAT is written once a year. The next administration of KCAT is scheduled for February 26, 2020.

Key Dates

Activity/Timeline Date
KCAT Administration February 26, 2020
Deadline for submitting complete Application (i.e. all required documents must be received by the College) January 15, 2020
Deadline to pay KCAT Fees  January 29, 2020
Deadline to request accommodations to write the KCAT January 29, 2020

If the College determines that you have demonstrated appropriate foundational knowledge and competence related to the academic performance indicators of the national standards, you will move on to the PBA, which is a written and oral assessment designed to assess the competence of internationally educated applicants compared to the practicum-related performance indicators in the national competencies.  Click here to view the PBA preparation guide.

Your results on the PBA determine your next steps:

  • If you pass the PBA, you will be required to complete the College’s Jurisprudence Knowledge and Assessment Tool (JKAT), which is designed to improve your knowledge and application of laws, standards, guidelines and ethics relevant to the profession of dietetics in Ontario.
  • If you fail the PBA, you may re-take the PBA a maximum of three times, as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.  You may choose to complete additional studies (formal or informal) to increase your knowledge and competence before attempting the PBA again.
The next administration of PBA is scheduled for July 31, 2019. Deadline to register for July 31, 2019 PBA is June 26, 2019.

The JKAT is an online tool designed to improve your knowledge and application of laws, standards, guidelines and ethics relevant to the profession of dietetics in Ontario. The tool uses scenarios and multiple-choice questions to ensure that you can apply your jurisprudence knowledge to practical situations. References are provided online within the exam.

When you have successfully completed the JKAT, you are eligible to write the CDRE.  You will be required to submit additional information so that the College can determine whether you meet the remaining requirements for registration with the College.  If you meet the other registration requirements, you have the option of requesting a temporary certificate of registration, which will permit you to practice while you wait for the results of the CDRE.

Canadian Standards for Dietetic Education and Training

The Partnership for Dietetics Education and Practice (PDEP) has developed the national competency standards for dietetics education and is the accrediting body approved by the College for Canadian dietetics education programs. 

The assessments in the PLAR process were designed to assess your knowledge and skills against the Integrated Competencies for Dietetics Education and Practice (ICDEP) and the accreditation standards. 

The College has developed a website to explain the minimum standards required for dietetic practice in Canada and to help you assess your current knowledge and skills against those standards.