Have you been trained to be a dietitian in your country?

Do you want to be a dietitian in Nova Scotia?

Click HERE to see the Pathway to Licensure. This describes the process to become licensed as a dietitian in Nova Scotia.

The Canadian Dietetic Practice Orientation and Assessment Tool helps internationally educated dietitians to learn about dietetic practice in Canada. It is recommended that internationally educated dietitians do this self-assessment to compare their knowledge and skills to the Canadian dietetic practice standards. 

  • If you are moving to Nova Scotia, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia is a community organization that welcomes immigrants to Nova Scotia, and offers services to help immigrants build a future in Canada.  Click here for more information about immigration to Canada. Click here for information about programs and supports.
  • The application process is below.  Email the registration coordinator at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.  You can expect an email reply within two to three business days.   

Step 1

Contact World Education Services (WES) for an academic assessment. The WES assessment determines whether your degree is equivalent to a Canadian university degree.  Ask WES for the “Comprehensive Course by Course Report” and ask WES to send the assessment results directly to NSDA.

Telephone (toll-free): 1-866-343-0070
Website: www.wes.org/ca/application/apply_now.asp

Step 2

Your qualifications will be assessed to see if your university degree and practical training are reasonably related to Canadian standards.  This assessment will determine your eligibility to take a computer-based exam called the Knowledge and Competency Assessment Tool (KCAT).  If there are major gaps in your education and training, you may not be eligible to take the KCAT.  The next KCAT is in the spring of 2022.  Due to the pandemic, the exam MAY be offered from your home computer in a virtual, remote-proctored format. Click HERE for more information about the KCAT.

In order to take the KCAT, there is an English language requirement.  Is your first language English or did you complete your education in English?  If not, you must provide official results of language proficiency tests. The following tests and scores are recognized:  TOEFL IBT report (internet score of 79)  or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic – total band score of 6.5.

An official letter from the director of your practicum program is required.  If the letter is not in English, have the letter translated to English and certified. The letter should describe the following information:

  • Length of the program
  • Practicum settings (e.g. hospital, long term care facility, clinic)
  • Types of experiences
  • Who supervises and evaluates the students 

If you are not eligible to write the KCAT, you will receive information about how to become a dietitian in Canada and other career options. 

To apply to NSDA, submit an application and pay the application fee ($185).

Step 3

The KCAT will determine whether you need additional education and training.  Based on your results, you may need to complete a Canadian dietetics degree and internship OR complete a bridging program OR complete the Performance Based Assessment (PBA).   

There are bridging programs at Mount Saint Vincent (MSVU)  (Halifax, NS) and Ryerson University (Toronto, ON).  If you complete a bridging program at MSVU, you must take the PBA after completing the bridging program.  

Your KCAT results may show that you are eligible to take the PBA.  The PBA is completed in Toronto, Ontario every fall.   It is an oral and written assessment. Due to the pandemic, the exam will be offered from your home computer in a virtual, remote-proctored format. The fee is $2,485.  Click HERE for more information about the PBA.

You may request an accommodation to take the KCAT or PBA.  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. 

Those who are unsuccessful on the KCAT or the PBA have the right to appeal their examination results.

Mount Saint Vincent University Bridging Program

If you score a level 2 on the KCAT, you are eligible to apply to the Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) Bridging Program.  There is an English language proficiency requirement to take the Bridging Program (IELTS score of 6.0 with no score below 5.5).  The Bridging Program is divided into two parts.  One part is academic and includes ten courses.  There must not be a grade below B-.  There is also a practicum and it is 24-36 weeks.  There is an evaluation after taking the academic courses to make sure you are ready to succeed in the practicum.  After successfully completing the Bridging Program, you can take the PBA.


After successfully completing the PBA, you will be eligible to write the Canadian Dietetics Registration Exam (CDRE).  The CDRE is written two times each year (May and November). Once you qualify to write the CDRE, you may register as a temporary member with NSDA and work as a dietitian in Nova Scotia (with applicable work permit).

How long is the assessment process?

The length of time depends upon when a complete application is received.  For example, if you submit a complete application and meet eligibility criteria* by mid-December, you can take the KCAT in February.  If successful on the KCAT, you can take the PBA in July.  If successful taking the PBA, you can take the CDRE in November.  

*Eligibility criteria to take the KCAT: 
- Completion of a degree and practicum reasonably related to a Canadian accredited dietetics degree and practicum
- English language proficiency

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions or to schedule an in-person or telephone appointment.  She will respond to your email within two to three business days.  Should your application be denied, you may appeal the Registration Committee’s decision within 30 days of written notice. 

Click HERE to read the NSDA Registration Policies.