Definition of Practising Dietetics

Definition of Practising Dietetics 

Dietetic practice can be in a paid or unpaid capacity (e.g., volunteer work) for which members use food & nutrition-specific knowledge, skills and judgment while engaging in:

  1. the assessment of nutrition related to health status and conditions for individuals, groups and populations;
  2. the management and delivery of nutrition therapy to treat disease;
  3. the management of food services systems; building the capacity of individuals and populations to promote, maintain or restore health and prevent disease through nutrition and related means; and
  4. the management, education or leadership that contributes to the enhancement and quality of dietetic and health services.

For greater clarity, dietetic practice includes the following activities:

  • Assessing nutrition status in clinical settings to provide meal plans, nutrition guidance or advice and/or formulating therapeutic diets to manage and/or treat diseases or nutrition-related disorders.
  • Assessing, promoting, protecting and enhancing health and the prevention of nutrition-related diseases in populations using population health and health promotion approaches, as well as strategies focusing on the interactions among the determinants of health, food security and overall health.
  • Managing  food and nutrition services, food provision, and developing food services processes in hospitals and other health care facilities, schools, universities, and businesses.
  • Conducting dietetic, health and evaluation research, product development, product marketing, and consumer education to develop, promote and market food and nutritional products and pharmaceuticals related to nutrition disorders or nutritional health.
  • Assessing compliance of long-term care homes to meet the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care standards related to nutrition and hydration of residents.
  • Developing or advocating for food and nutrition policy.
  • Teaching, mentoring, and precepting related to dietetic competencies, nutrition, food chemistry, food policy, or food systems service administration to students in dietetics or other professions, schools, the food and hospitality industry, and/or other healthcare providers.
  • Planning and engaging in direct food & nutrition research.
  • Communicating food & nutrition information in any print, radio, television, video, Internet or multi-media format.
  • Directly managing, supervising or assuring quality of front-line employees and dietetic staff engaged in any of the previously-mentioned dietetic practice circumstances.
  • Developing regulations, programs, dietetic competencies, and policies to deliver safe, ethical, and quality dietetic service to protect the public (including participation in Council and committee work, College assessors, Item writers and/or staff with a Dietetic Regulatory or Health Professional body).

The College does not consider the following activities as practising dietetics:

  • Holding a position solely in non-dietetic management (e.g., Vice President or Administrator of a hospital or other organization).
  • Holding a position solely in the area of human resources (HR), information technology (IT), or risk management.
  • Engaging in sales or marketing of pharmaceuticals that are not related to nutrition.
  • Assessing facility processes to meet accreditation standards related to non-dietetic management of facility (e.g., hospital) processes to meet healthcare accreditation standards.
  • Know that professional development is not practising dietetics. While professional development can help a dietitian maintain or increase competency, it is not practicing dietetics; it is professional development.

Additional resources