NSDA sets standards of practice to both support dietitians in their practice and regulate dietetic practice. Entrance standards ensure that those entering the profession practice in a competent1 and ethical manner. NSDA has established entry-level standards of practice (Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice) and standards of ethical practice (Nova Scotia Code of Ethics for Professional Dietitians). Standards of practice describe competent, collaborative, ethical and safe practice in a broad manner to be applicable to dietitians in multiple practice areas and settings. Yet standards are sufficiently specific to set the standard against which performance can be measured in a complaints process (NSCMLT, 2016).
Additional regulatory tools that serve to regulate and support practice include policies, position statements and practice guidelines. Dietitians are accountable to know and comply with standards and policies. Standards and policies direct practice and define the overall requirements and expectations for dietitians when performing a specific activity. Guidelines are recommendations endorsed by the NSDA board of directors.
1Competence - the ability to integrate and apply the knowledge, skills and judgement required to practise dietetics safely and ethically in a designated role and practice setting and includes both entry-level and continuing competencies (Dietitians Act, 2009).
Below is a table that outlines regulatory tools and provides examples of relevant documents and examples.
|Regulatory Tool||Relevant Documents||Examples|
|Standards of Practice||Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice
Nova Scotia Code of Ethics for Professional Dietitians
|A dietitian shall involve the patient and/or alternate decision maker in all decisions related to the nutrition care process.|
|Position Statement||Use of Social Media in Practice
Position Statement on the Recommendation, Endorsement, and Sale of Products
|Dietitians must be honest, transparent, objective, and use an evidence-based approach when recommending, selling or endorsing products or product lines.|
|Policy||Virtual Practice Policy
Extension of Continuing Competency Program Submission Due to Illness
|Dietitians providing or offering to provide services via electronic means across borders must inform clients of the jurisdiction(s) where they are registered and limitations of e-practice.|
Guidelines for Self-Employed Dietitians and Nutritionists
|A dietitian documents an interaction with a client within 24 hours.|
Reference: The Nova Scotia College of Medical Laboratory Technologists (2016). Professional Practice for Medical Laboratory Technologists in Nova Scotia.