NSDA Update Fall 2018

Executive Manager's Message

Work is well underway towards meeting NSDA’s strategic goals. Strategic goals were established by the board of directors in September 2017. The board of directors oversees the strategic plan related to the goals and staff/volunteers carry out the plan.

Strategic Goal: Enhance collective understanding of regulation and the role of NSDA
A public education strategy will inform the public about the regulation of dietetic practice, including information of the profession’s protected titles, credentials, scope of practice, and accountability. An objective is to enable the public to make an informed choice when seeking nutrition advice. A Communications Committee was established to advise on a communication strategy. Committee members include Monica Rodriguez (chair), Cathy Chenhall, Jane Pryor, Bonnie Conrad, Courtney Ceponis, and Jennifer Garus. The Committee reviewed other colleges’ and associations’ public education strategies to inform the development of NSDA’s strategy. Over the summer, the Communications Committee developed key messages related to the strategic goal and put out a request for proposals for a marketing firm to implement the strategy. The marketing firm will use the key messages to revise NSDA’s website content for a public audience, develop digital media (e.g. infographics) and set up social media.

Another component of the strategic goal is to enhance dietitians’ understanding of professional regulation. We continue to await the proclamation of the Dietitians Act. The Dietitians Act was approved by the legislature in 2009. The Act will come into force (aka proclamation) after Cabinet approves the regulations that accompany the Act. The regulations are currently being reviewed by the Department of Health and Department of Justice. In the fall and spring, I will meet with dietitians around the province to provide an overview of what will change when NSDA transitions to the Nova Scotia College of Dietitians and Nutritionists.  

Strategic Goal: Review the Continuing Competency Program and explore its relevance and utility
Successful completion of a continuing competency program (CCP) provides a regulatory body reasonable assurance that health professionals meet their career-long professional obligation to engage in professional development activities. A CCP also provides reasonable assurance that health professionals are current and competent to practice. The review of the CCP will assess whether and how the current CCP meets these objectives.

A comprehensive evaluation of the current program has been planned and is underway. The evaluation will:
1. Identify strengths and limitations associated with the current Program in meeting the desired outcomes.
2. Identify how the CCP can be simplified and become more user-friendly, yet effective in meeting its desired outcomes.
3. Identify how the CCP can be enhanced to meet the desired outcomes.
4. Identify whether current supports are effective in meeting registrants’ challenges successfully completing the Program.

The workplan includes:
1. Scrutinizing audit findings to identify trends, problem areas, and potential enhancements/changes to the Program and supports.
2. Exploring other regulatory bodies’ programs and identifying trends.
3. Conducting a literature review.
4. Comparing the current CCP with results of the environmental scan and identifying the pros and cons associated with the differences and similarities.
5. Identifying dietitians’ barriers, concerns and preferences with the current Program.
6. Identifying dietitians’ concerns and preferences with potential modifications.
7. Identifying whether dietitians’ submissions improve.

In November 2020, the board of directors will review and consolidate the Continuing Competency Committee’s recommendations for changes to the CCP. This plan is subject to change based on findings, resources, and other priorities that may arise.

We use a variety of communication vehicles to communicate with you, but communications are only effective when they are read/heard. We rely on email to communicate and invite your participation in the work being done to meet NSDA’s strategic goals.  Feedback is welcome!  To comment on the strategic plan, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

JGarus newsletter

Jennifer Garus, MScAHN, PDt.
Executive Manager