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

Do you want to be a dietitian in Nova Scotia?

Click HERE to learn about how to become licensed to practice 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.  Internationally educated dietitians can do a 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 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

Before applying to NSDA, 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

Submit a complete application package to NSDA.  The application fee is $400.  Click HERE to apply online (click 'Initial Application'). Also send documents listed on the DOCUMENT CHECKLIST.  If your first language is not English or if you have not completed your education in English, you must complete and provide official results of language proficiency tests. To take the KCAT, 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.

The Registration Committee will assess your qualifications to see if your university degree and practical training are reasonably related to Canadian standards.   The Registration Committee 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 February 26, 2020 in Halifax or Toronto.  In 2021, the KCAT will be offered in Toronto, Ontario. Click HERE for more information about the KCAT.

  • Once a complete application is received, you can expect a response from the Registration Committee within 4 weeks.  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. You may appeal the Registration Committee’s decision within 30 days of written notice.  The cost to take the KCAT is $400.

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).   If you complete a bridging program, you must take the PBA after completing the bridging program.  There are bridging programs at Mount Saint Vincent (Halifax, NS) and Ryerson University (Toronto, ON). Click HERE to view the KCAT Preparation Guide.

The PBA is completed in Toronto, Ontario every July.  It is an in-person oral and written assessment. The fee is $2,300.  Click HERE for more information about the PBA.

If you wish to request an accommodation to take the KCAT or PBA, submit your request in writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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


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 application and 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.