Regulation Matters 2020, Issue 3, December

Random Selection shows Lack of Compliance with Liability Insurance Requirements

Are you sure you are covered?

Every year, the College’s random selection to verify compliance with liability insurance shows that dietitians have not complied with this professional obligation. We encourage you to double-check your liability insurance coverage.

All members of the College who are practising dietetics, paid or unpaid, within or outside of Ontario, must hold liability insurance. The requirement for liability insurance is not exclusive to dietitians working with individual clients or dietitians working in certain dietetic practice settings.

The rule of thumb is: if you are a member of the College practising dietetics you need insurance.

Nine Common Reasons for Non-Compliance

1.  Members are unaware their liability insurance policy expired so there are gaps in coverage.

 2.  Members are unaware they are practising dietetics under the College’s definition, either in a paid or unpaid capacity.

3.  Members are unaware they needed insurance even though they are not working directly with clients/patients.

4.  Members are unaware they needed insurance coverage even though they practise dietetics outside of Ontario.

5.  Members assumed they were covered under their employer’s insurance, but they were not.

6.  Members are covered under their employer’s liability insurance policy but the coverage does not meet College By-Law No. 1: General requirements.

7.  Members recently changed jobs and they were unaware that their new employer does not have liability insurance coverage for dietitians.

8.  Members with more than one employer did not have sufficient coverage for all their places of employment.

9.  Members did not have coverage for their dietetics-related volunteer work. Members did not have coverage for "side gigs" — paid or unpaid short-term work, outside of regular employment, wherein the dietitian is practising dietetics. When practising dietetics in side-gigs, members must use the dietitian title and have liability insurance coverage. Simply not using the dietitian title while you are a College member does not absolve you from your professional obligations, including the requirement to hold liability insurance.

Double-check to confirm that you are covered 

In the random selection process,  we found that there are two assumptions dietitians made when they found out that they were not covered:

  • They assumed they had sufficient liability insurance coverage, but they did not.

  • They assumed they did not need coverage, but they did.

Dietitians must always fulfill their professional obligations, even during challenging times such as the Covid-19 pandemic. If liability insurance has fallen off your radar recently:

  • Take some time to check and confirm you are adequately covered, so you can easily provide proof if asked.

  • Put plans in place such as calendar alerts to renew your individual policy.

  • Check-in regularly with your employer to ensure you are continuously covered.

Consequences for Non-Compliance

  • A non-compliance letter that remains in a member’s file indefinitely with the College.

  • A possible referral to the Inquiries, Complaints, and Reports Committee (ICRC).

  • Targeted selection to demonstrate proof of coverage in subsequent year(s).

Remember, if you are a member of the College and you practice dietetics, you need professional liability insurance.

If you have any questions or suggestions on how the College can improve our communications about liability insurance requirements, please email: