Dietitians are regulated health professionals. To use the title Registered Dietitian (RD), dietitians must be registered with the dietetic regulatory body in the province in which they practice. Dietitians have a degree in human nutrition and dietetics from an accredited university program and undergo comprehensive and rigorous supervised practical training. Dietitians are held accountable to the highest standards of education and ethics and stay on top of emerging research, skills, and techniques.
- have, at minimum, completed four years of recognized university level education in human nutrition and dietetics;
- have completed a one-year (minimum 1250 hrs) dietetic practicum in clinical nutrition care, population and public health nutrition and nutrition management;
- have completed their education from a national accredited program to ensure that they meet the Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Practice and Education (ICDEP) for entry-to-practice. The accrediting agency (Partnership for Dietetic Education and Practice), Accreditation Standards and ICDEPs are approved by the NBAD Board of Directors.
- are regulated under An Act Respecting the New Brunswick Association of Dietitians and must be registered with the NBAD to practice in N.B. and use the reserved title “Dietitian”;
- have passed a national competence examination (the Canadian Dietitian Registration Exam);
- are required through legislation to maintain their competence and meet approved Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics; and,
- are required to practice in the best interest of the public – safely, competently and ethically.
Dietitians are known for:
- assessing nutritional needs of individuals and groups;
- using a client-centered approach;
- designing, implementing and monitoring nutrition care plans and medical nutrition therapy based on current and relevant scientific, medical and nutrition information;
- disseminating relevant scientific information about food and human nutrition to promote health and assist individuals, groups and communities attain, restore or maintain health;
- managing quality food service operations in healthcare institutions, education facilities, and government agencies.
Dietitians work in a variety of work setting such as hospitals, community health centres, government office and food industries. Watch the video “I am a Dietitian” produced by Dietitians of Canada to learn about Dietitians.
What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?
Across Canada, the title “dietitian” is protected by law. “Nutritionist” is also a protected title in Alberta, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
In New Brunswick, “Registered Dietitian” and “Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist” are protected by law; however “Nutritionist” is NOT protected — that means anyone can use it. Titles and abbreviations like “Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Nutritional Practitioner, RONP, RNCP, ROHP, RHN, CPN” are not the same as Registered Dietitian and do not indicate the person is a provincially regulated health professional. They are often used by those who have completed a privately owned training programs that vary in lenght and rigor.