Why Hire a Registered Dietitian
The Regulated Health Professions Act and the Dietetic Act set out the responsibilities, powers and procedures for the College of Dietitians of Ontario to regulate the profession of dietetics to ensure that dietitians meet legal and professional standards for safe, ethical and quality health care. Public protection and access to quality dietetic care are the only reasons for regulating dietitians.
- Dietitians must meet high academic and professional standards to be registered with the College.
High standards for academic and training must be achieved in order to practice as a Dietitian in the province of Ontario. These enforceable standards define the professional scope of practice, academic and training requirements, ethics, professional conduct, and continuing competence to dietetic practice. The high academic standards for dietitians include an accredited 4-year undergraduate degree or equivalent degree with appropriate courses in science and human nutrition, an accredited dietetic internship or equivalent supervised practical training; and, successful completion of the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination.
- As professionals, Registered Dietitians are accountable for offering quality nutrition care.
In Ontario, Registered Dietitians work with a high degree of autonomy and are accountable to the College of Dietitians of Ontario for safe, competent and ethical practice. Each dietitian must participate in quality assurance and practice assessment programs to ensure continuing competency.
- The Public has recourse for concerns and complaints about a dietitian's nutrition care.
When an employer or anyone else has a concern regarding a dietitian, they can easily contact the College of Dietitians of Ontario. The College has the legal obligation and power to investigate reports or complaints and to take action.
"a quality assurance program shall include,
- continuing education or professional development designed to,
- promote continuing competence and continuing quality improvement among the members,
- address changes in practice environments, and
- incorporate standards of practice, advances in technology, changes made to entry to practice competencies and other relevant issues in the discretion of the Council;
- self, peer and practice assessments; and
- a mechanism for the College to monitor members' participation in, and compliance with, the quality assurance program."
Program Goals Assists members to improve their individual competence;
- Identifies members demonstrating a need for improvement in competence and provide direction and support for enhancement;
- Evaluates dietitians' participation in the Quality Assurance Program;
- Identifies the issues affecting the practice of dietetics and quality of service; and
- Evaluates the impact of Quality Assurance Program to ensure that it remains effective.
All members are expected to submit their SDL Tool each year by October 15th. The purpose of the SDL Tool is to support Registered Dietitians' reflection on the nature of their practice, their professional competence with respect to Professional Standards for Dietitians in Canada and to require them to develop plans for professional improvement.
Members use the SDL Tool to:
- Identify areas of strength;
- Identify areas that need improvement;
- Evaluate a learning plan from the previous year to determine whether specific areas of competence have been met; and
- Develop a learning plan to enhance specific areas of competence
- Online web-based learning accessible anywhere, anytime
- Live links to references
- Practical learning based on professional practice scenarios
- Multiple-choice questions to assess knowledge application
- Provide assurance to the public and other stakeholders that Registered Dietitians (RDs) in Ontario practice safely, competently and ethically; and
- Where there is a need, assist RDs in improving their individual competence in a positive and supportive environment using processes that are flexible and acceptable to members.