In Nova Scotia, the dietetics profession is regulated according to the Professional Dietitians Act (1989). Health professions are regulated provincially, rather than nationally. The Nova Scotia Dietetic Association (NSDA) is the dietetic regulatory body in Nova Scotia. Dietetic practice is regulated in the public interest. Regulation assures the public that their practitioner is accountable for meeting regulatory requirements, and that there is somewhere for them to go if they experience poor quality care or harm that results from a dietitian’s actions. In contrast to non-regulated practitioners, regulated professionals are accountable to meet regulatory requirements based in legislation, regulations, standards of practice, a code of ethics, and policies.
To meet its mandate, NSDA follows a well-established regulatory framework. An act (also known as legislation or a statute), bylaws and policies direct the governance and operations of the organization. Government approves an act. Bylaws elaborate on statements within the act and are developed by the board of directors and approved by NSDA’s registrants. Policies elaborate on statements within the act or bylaws. Bylaws and policies can not contradict what is stated in the act, but further define and elaborate on the statements within the act.
The act, bylaws and policies direct a regulatory body’s four core functions: registration, continuing competency, professional practice, and complaints. This Guide will now elaborate on the regulatory requirements related to each of the four functions.