January 2018 Newsletter

 winter

 


President’s Message

Melissa Campbell, NSDA President

I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday season with friends and family and I wish you all the best in 2018.

In the fall, the board asked for stakeholder feedback from registrants on the proposed mission, vision and strategic directions for the organization.  Many of you offered your feedback.  On behalf of the NSDA board, I would like to thank you for taking the time to review the proposed mission, vision and strategic goal statements.  It is wonderful to see registrants engaged. The feedback was valuable to help finalize the direction for the organization. 

The board has finalized its strategic plan.

Mission:  In the public interest, NSDA regulates dietitians and nutritionists to practice in a safe, ethical and competent manner.

Vision:  Trust and excellence in regulation and practice

Strategic Goal Statements

Regulation of Practice

  • Review the Continuing Competency Program and explore its relevance and utility
  • Collaboratively develop preceptorship competencies

Governance Excellence

  • Develop a strategy to recruit and maintain leaders who enhance and contribute to NSDA's mission, vision, values and strategic direction

Communication and Engagement

  • Enhance collective understanding of regulation and the role of NSDA

Over the next three to five years, the organization will work on fulfilling these commitments.

In reviewing your feedback, I also wanted to answer questions and address concerns raised. 

Suggested, was that NSDA take on the role of addressing the practice of those not registered with NSDA who may not be trained to provide reliable nutrition advice. NSDA does not have the ability to intervene when individuals who are not registered with NSDA provide nutrition advice. The provision of nutrition advice is public domain.  Teachers, fitness instructors, nutrition consultants, wellness coaches, nutrition coaches, etc. provide nutrition advice and NSDA does not have the jurisdiction to oversee their practice. NSDA's public education strategy will address this concern.  The strategy’s objective is for the public to recognize the role of the regulatory body for reassurance that those registered with NSDA are qualified, competent and safe to practice. 

It was questioned whether NSDA monitors the profession’s protected titles. NSDA intervenes when others refer to themselves as a nutritionist because nutritionist is a protected title in Nova Scotia under the Professional Dietitians Act. Protected titles are in place to ensure that the public understands that those who use such titles have specific credentials, education, training, continued competence, and experience certified by a regulatory body and is subject to the oversight of a regulatory body. Protected titles provide clarity to the public about the qualifications of the professional who is providing services.   Dietitians and the public often notify NSDA when they learn of an individual referring to themselves as a nutritionist when they are not authorized to do so.  NSDA communicates with the individual to inform them that they are not authorized to use the title, and advises them to cease using the title.  If you are aware of others using a protected title when they are not authorized to do so, contact NSDA.  

A suggestion was that NSDA advocate for dietitians’ service coverage under health care insurance plans. Advocacy is the role of an association, not a regulatory body.  Although this advocacy serves the public interest by increasing access to dietitians’ services, it does not fall within NSDA’s mandate. 

A suggesion was that there be a bio and/or photo of board members, so registrants are aware of who is serving on the board. We will work on developing this on the website, so it is available to all stakeholders, including the public as well as registrants.

A common question related to the strategic goal statement: Collaboratively develop preceptorship competencies. The statement does not articulate with whom NSDA will collaborate. The intention is to collaborate broadly, and include those with expertise in competency development, education, and preceptorship.

If you have any other questions or concerns you would like clarified, please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can address them personally or in the newsletter.  Thank you.

Melissa Campbell, PDt
NSDA President 2016-2018


Notice of Motion for Registration Fee Increase

NSDA’s board of directors will propose a fee increase at the May 2018 Annual General Meeting.  A registration and renewal fee of $400 will be proposed to come into effect for the 2019/20 fiscal year. Registrants attending the May date AGM in person or by proxy will vote on the motion. NSDA’s last fee increase was ten years ago (2008). The current fee for full licensed registrants is $310.

The following information is the rationale for the fee increase and compares NSDA’s proposed fee to other regulatory bodies’ fees.

For the past two years, budgeted expenses have been greater than expected revenue.  Instead of increasing the renewal fee, NSDA drew upon the contingency fund to balance the budget.  The contingency fund consists of investments and cash in the bank; it is set aside from the operating budget to cover unforeseen future expenses (e.g. inability to collect renewal fees (disaster) or fees associated with a complaint process).

Since 2010, ~ $20,000/year has been budgeted to cover expenses associated with College proclamation.  Annually, this expense has not incurred, and it contributed to growing the contingency.  The contingency for the fiscal year ending March 2017 was $166, 976.  The estimated contingency for the fiscal year ending March 2018 is $130,800.  Based on the draft 2018/19 budget, the contingency at the end of the 2019 fiscal year will be $67,368.  The auditor has advised that the contingency be equivalent to at least three to six months’ worth of expenses, and to aim to maintain a contingency of $100,000.  The board’s aim is to present a balanced budget for 2019/20 and rebuild the contingency to $100,000.  In March, the proposed 2018/19 budget will be posted on the NSDA website and there will be a motion to approve the budget at the May Annual General Meeting.

The board of directors understands that it must have regulatory and governance processes in place to meet stakeholders’ expectations.  It is essential to maintain government’s and the public’s trust in the profession’s ability to regulate effectively in the public interest. The board also recognizes its accountability to registrants, to be fiscally responsible and regulate in a manner that protects the integrity of the profession.

Examples of recent, current, and ongoing initiatives:           

  • Launch of the Jurisprudence e-Learning Module
  • Upgrading the website
  • Upgrading the online registration system and database
  • Developing policies and standards
  • Education and training for the board, committee members and staff
  • Planning and implementing the public education strategy
  • Launch and implementation of nutrition prescription standards
  • Communication strategy associated with college proclamation

Through education and training, NSDA keeps abreast and strives to implement best practices in governance and professional regulation.  For example, regulatory bodies must comply with the Fair Registration Practices Act and a regulatory body’s registration processes are audited every two years. At the time of the audit, the Fairness Review Officer develops an action plan for regulatory bodies to further increase the transparency, objectivity, impartiality, and procedural fairness of its registration practices.  Fulfilling a regulatory body’s primary responsibilities necessitates skilled staff, resources, ongoing professional development, and legal consultation – all have financial implications.

There are also registrants’ expectations and NSDA’s commitment to providing current technology (e.g. online renewal process and online Continuing Competency Program) and support, including support to complete the Continuing Competency Program and support dietitians to practice according to professional standards. 

Effective governance involves ongoing orientation and education, and effective communication to enable board members to meet their fiduciary responsibilities and their accountability to the organization and its stakeholders

Other Canadian Dietetic Regulatory Bodies’ Registration Fees

 Province  Fee  # Registrants
 British Columnbia $592  1260
Alberta  $570  1300 
Saskatchewan  $360  395 
Manitoba $575 480
Ontario $620 3885
Quebec $526 3035
New Brunswick $345 385
Prince Edward Island $300 60
Newfoundland $450 180
Nova Scotia $310 589

Other Provincial Regulatory Bodies Fees

College Fee # Registrants 
Radiation Therapists $450    600
Occupational Therapists $450 541
Paramedics $402 1300
Respiratory Therapists $475 310
Physiotherapists  $420 730

If you have questions, please email your question to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Hold the Date for the 2018 Annual General Meeting & Education Day

NSDA's Annual General Meeting and education day will be Friday, May 11 at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. 

The board of directors would like to address questions at the Annual General Meeting that members may have. If you have questions about the board's strategic plan, governance processes, budget, etc.,  please email your question to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Call for Nominations for Board Positions

There are vacancies on the board of directors for the member at large, treasurer and president-elect positions for the 2018-2020 term.board

Please complete the Nomination Form to nominate yourself or another dietitian for this opportunity.  Scan and email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax to (902) 445-9572 by March 2, 2018.

The Board governs the organization and manages its affairs in order to meet the organization’s mandate, to regulate dietetic practice in the interest of Nova Scotians. It functions according to relevant legislation, regulations, bylaws, and policies. The Board maintains the most beneficial allocation of resources while advancing the organization's objectives. The Board defines in its strategic plan what is to be accomplished consistent with the capabilities of the executive manager and committees to achieve these goals, and carries out its job with discipline, emphasizing strategic direction rather than short-term issues, policy rather than single events, and group rather than individual decisions.

Participation on the Board is an opportunity to

  • contribute to the leadership and decision-making that governs the organization,
  • learn about professional self-regulation,
  • practice competencies not normally performed in your area of practice,
  • add professional experience to your resume, and
  • enable getting to know dietitians in a variety of practice areas from around the province. 

Varying experiences and perspectives contribute to worthwhile discussion and effective decision-making on any board. An orientation session presents an overview of self-regulation, board meeting procedures, and governance policies. Typically, directors can expect to attend three in-person meetings throughout the year (held on a Friday evening and Saturday), an in-person meeting the day before the AGM, and occasional meetings by conference call. Ideally, nominees have a good understanding of professional self-regulation and are committed to decision-making in the public interest. The member at large attends and contributes at all board meetings and may participate on a board committee which meets periodically by conference call. 


 Jurisprudence e-Learning Module

The Jurisprudence e-Learning Module was launched in November and is a part of this renewal's Continuing Competency Program (CCP) submission.  Since the launch, we've received positive feedback about the relevance of the content to practice.  Should the module trigger questions related to your practice, Amanda Connors, NSDA's practice advisor, is available to answer your questions.  You can contact Amanda at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Seeking Volunteers to Audit CCP Submissions

CCP submissions are audited in April and May.  An estimated time commitment is approximately ten hours.  An audit training session is offered in March via video conference. If you are interested in more information, or to volunteer, please contact Practice Advisor, Amanda Connors at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Renewal

The online renewal form and learning log are accessible from the NSDA website / Membership Renewal. The Jurisprudence e-Learning Module is accessible HERECompletion of the Jurisprudence e-Learning Module is a part of this year's renewal package.  Registrants who passed the CDRE in November  2017 are not expected to complete the online learning log or the Jurisprudence e-Learning Module until 2019. 

Please read the renewal form carefully for renewal instructions.  It was mailed and emailed to you in January.  An email was sent to you in November with the Jurisprudence e-Learning Module link, your username and password. 

A late fee will apply if an incomplete renewal package is not received by midnight on March 31, 2018. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (902) 493-3034  if you have any questions.

A CCP submission extension may be granted due to medical reasons. A request for extension must be made before March 31, 2018 with a physician’s note.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.