Regulation Matters 2021 - Issue 1, May

We are Excited About the New Competencies for Entry-Level Dietetic Practice!

The new ICDEP v. 3.0 focus on outcome-based learning and assessment with emphasis on the recognition of diversity and cultural safety. The College commends all the members of the ICDEP Working Group for their dedication to the project.  

The new ICDEP will be fully incorporated into education programs by August 31, 2023. As of May 2024, the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE) sitting will be based on the new ICDEP. Accreditation of dietetic education programs will follow a framework that includes the new ICDEP beginning September 1, 2023.

Why the Excitement?

The practice competencies are articulated within inter-related Domains of Competence which help build a better understanding and application of entry-level dietetic practice (refer to Figure 1 below). The inter-relationship of the Domains of Competence is illustrated through their intersecting-coloured bands in Figure 1. The Food and Nutrition Expertise Domain is central to all activities carried throughout the three dietetic practice Domains of Nutrition Care, Population Health Promotion, and Food Provision. Informing these practice domains are the broader domains of Professionalism and Ethics, Communication and Collaboration, and Management and Leadership. (PDEP, ICDEP, Version 3.0, 2020)

Domains of Competence at Entry-to-Practice, and their Inter-Relationship (PDEP, ICDEP, Version 3.0, 2020)

The use of a Modified Miller’s Pyramid improves the clarity in how the Performance Indicators under each Practice Competency are evaluated within each assessment setting (refer to Figure to below). This helps drive consistent quality of graduates upon completion of programs. 

Modified version of Miller’s Pyramid (PDEP, ICDEP, Version 3.0, 2020)

Perhaps most noteworthy, are the addition of new competencies and associated performance indicators that recognize and respect diversity, promote awareness of Indigenous foods, values, and trauma, and emphasize a requirement to practice in a manner that promotes cultural safety. This sends a clear message that the dietetic profession is serious about addressing these issues and values a truly client-centred care approach.  

What is the Impact of the New ICDEP for College Members?

While the new ICDEP v. 3.0 focus on the training of students prior to registration as a dietitian, the new competencies also have an impact on those currently practicing:

  1. Confidence: There is value in understanding how new dietitians are trained to be regulated health care professionals to instill public trust and confidence.

  2. Preceptoring: Dietitians examine whether they can provide the outcome-based learning experiences required within the new ICDEP. Many dietitians involved with formal training programs may receive training, but others may need to independently familiarize themselves of them.

  3. Continually Improving Competence: As reflective, self-regulating professionals, dietitians are expected to be safe, competent, and ethical in their practice. As dietitians achieve registration and enter the workplace, their abilities will evolve, consistent with their practice experience and continuing education. Consider how the revised ICDEP can impact your ongoing continued competence and practice.

  4. Professional Development: Review the revised ICDEPs and determine if there are any competencies that could be identified for professional development (e.g. within your annual Self-Directed Learning (SDL) Tool to identify learning goals and learning outcomes).

  5. College Program Changes: The College is working on incorporating the revised ICDEP v. 3.0 into its programming, policies, and processes (e.g. Professional Practice Program - Practice Advisory and Quality Assurance and Registration Programs) which may result in some program changes.

Rationale for Revising the ICDEP

It is considered best practice to undergo a review process of entry-level competencies approximately every five years to ensure they keep up with the profession. The revisions to the 2013 ICDEP v. 2.0 was an extremely robust process with multiple stakeholder engagement, including experts in the area of competency development and the dietetic educators, regulators and profession across Canada. Through several rounds of consultation feedback, the input of registered dietitians significantly contributed to a final product that reflects the evolution of the dietetic profession across the country. The new ICDEP have a direct impact on public protection by ensuring safe, effective, and ethical dietetic education and training within Canada.


Dietitians should familiarize themselves with the new ICDEP v. 3.0 which have been approved by the College’s Council and consider how these competencies may impact their dietetic practice. The College will keep members and stakeholders apprised of any changes to policies and processes that may impact their professional obligations.
To view the new ICDEP v. 3.0. and find out more about why we are excited about the new competencies click here.