January 2017 Newsletter

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 President’s Message

Melissa Campbell, NSDA President

I would like to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and were able to enjoy time with family and friends.

The NSDA board had a busy fall. We met in November at the NSDA office. At this meeting we used a mode of governance called generative governance to identify areas of improvement for the board. Generative governance can be employed at times throughout a meeting when a certain issue may need more finite discussion than can be had at the board table. In this mode the board engages in deeper inquiry, exploring root causes, values, new ideas, etc. This is done in a smaller group, away from the board table. It allows all ideas or thoughts on a topic to be discussed or rooted out. A summary of what was discussed in the smaller group is then brought back to the full board. The board used this mode for the first time to identify a board improvement plan.

One of the key areas for improvement identified by the board was establishing an ethical decision-making framework. Ethical decision-making refers to the process of evaluating and choosing among alternatives in a manner consistent with ethical principles. In making ethical decisions, it is necessary to perceive and eliminate unethical options and select the best ethical alternative. A board ‘ad hoc’ committee was established to look into whether the NSDA board requires this type of framework, and if so, to create one.

The board also participated in a world café to review and evaluate our strategic goal statements.

• Strategic Goal Statement #1: To ensure members are competent and practice in a safe and ethical manner – The organization has completed a great deal of work towards meeting this goal statement, such as the revamping the Continuing Competency Program, creating standards of practice (in progress), developing authorization statements, producing policies and position statements, etc. This goal statement is essentially the mandate of the organization. This work is ongoing and continually evolving.

• Strategic Goal Statement #2: To provide effective strategic direction and oversight using a hybrid model of governance – When the strategic goals were created, a governance and nominations committee was created to help meet this goal. Substantial work has been done within the goal statement to operate as an effective hybrid governance model, such as creating a macroagenda, establishing governance policies, and developing and implementing evaluation processes for recruitment, board orientation, meetings, the chair, and committees.

• Strategic Goal Statement #3: A comprehensive enterprise risk management system is in place – This strategic goal has been completed. The risk management system is in place. The Risk Committee has been dissolved and replaced with a Risk Lead. The terms of this board position are still being developed, but they will be responsible for maintaining the risk management system and ensuring the board looks at its work through a ‘risk lens’.

• Strategic Goal Statement #4: Stakeholders are informed about the regulation of dietitians and nutritionists – The key stakeholders have been identified. Key messages have been drafted for each stakeholder group regarding proclamation. This strategic goal now lies with operations as an operational communication strategy. A communications plan is currently in place and awaiting proclamation. The board Stakeholder and Public Relations Committee has been dissolved and an operations communication committee and terms of reference have been established.

For the remainder of the 2016/17 fiscal year, the board and organization will continue to work within these strategic goal statements. In fall 2017, the board will identify a new strategic plan. I wish to congratulate all current and past board members, committee members, consultants, volunteers and Jennifer Garus who helped develop and/or work through this strategic plan. A tremendous amount of work has been done in the past five years towards meeting these goals. Although we are a small organization, we are truly leaders in the world of regulation.

Working through evaluating our progress towards meeting our strategic directions, two board committees were dissolved, as previously mentioned. The board work that has been identified as priority falls within two areas: governance and recruitment. Two current board committees are: Governance, which will address evaluation, the Governance Committee's macro agenda, orientation, mentorship and a governance enhancement plan; and Nominations Committee which will address recruitment, retention, skills gap analysis, Honorary Life Membership award criteria implementation and selection, and board succession planning. These committees have been populated and are working towards meeting their mandate.

I wish you all well in 2017 and I hope to see many of you at the AGM May 12th at the Old Orchard In in Wolfville.

Melissa Campbell, PDt
NSDA President 2016-2018


Hold the Date for the 2017 Annual General Meeting & Education Day

NSDA's Annual General Meeting and education day will be Friday, May 12 at the Old Orchard Inn in Wolfville.  

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 six vacancies on the board of directors as member at large for the 2017 - 2019 termboard

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 April 10, 2017.

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.


Call for Nominations for Honorary Life Membership Award

Please complete the Nomination Form to nominate a dietitian for this honour. Scan and email the Form and a summary of the nominee's accomplishments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax to (902) 445-9572 by February 24, 2017. 

The NSDA board of directors has established an Honorary Life Membership Award in recognition of dietitians who have made an outstanding contribution in the profession of dietetics or who have rendered distinguished or valuable service to the profession. The Board may grant an Honorary Life Membership by resolution and the majority vote of the Board . The award will be limited to three per year.

An Honorary Life Member must be a current or past member. The award consists of a lifetime membership in the organization and an award. Membership fees for the remainder of their career will be waived. The Honorary Life Membership is an associated class of membership. As an Honorary Life Member, attendance and participation at meetings and on committees is welcomed. Honorary Life Members will not have voting privileges or be eligible to hold a position on the Board. 

When the new Dietitians Act comes into effect, there will be an active practice and a non-active practice roster. According to the new regulations, an Honorary Life Member is entitled to remain in the active practice roster by participating in the Continuing Competency Program and maintaining the required number of active practice hours.


Renewal

The online renewal form and learning log are accessible from the NSDA website / Membership Renewal. You can access it from your Smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop to conveniently update the renewal form, pay your renewal fees, and complete the online learning log. Please read the renewal form carefully for renewal instructions. A late fee will apply if an incomplete renewal package is not received by midnight on March 31, 2017. 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.

The CCP submission extension may be granted due to medical reasons. A request for extension must be made before March 31, 2017 with a physician’s note.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.


 Jurisprudence e-Learning Module

The Jurisprudence e-Learning Module is currently being piloted with members and will be launched in 2017.learning

Members will be required to complete the online e-learning module by March 31, 2018 and then every five years. All new members will be required to complete the e-learning module within one year of registration, and then every five years.

The Jurisprudence e-Learning Module will be a component of the Continuing Competency Program (CCP). The Module will support dietitians to maintain a current understanding of the regulatory, provincial and federal requirements related to dietetic practice. The legal principle ‘ignorance of the law excuses no one’ means that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because they were unaware. A Jurisprudence Study Guide will provide dietitians with information related to laws, standards and guidelines that govern dietitians’ conduct, in particular the Professional Dietitians Act, standards of practice, code of ethics, and federal and provincial legislation related to dietetic practice.

Jurisprudence exams are a current and best practice in professional regulation. The Jurisprudence e-Learning Module is not an exam. It is a mandatory component of the CCP to enable dietitians to maintain professional practice competencies. It is an open-book series of quizzes. Answers to the Module’s quiz questions will be found within the Study Guide or sources referenced within the Guide.