NSDA Update - Winter 2019

Article Index

President's Message

As I write this, it is a beautiful sunny, but extremely cold day, so I hope everyone is keeping warm and safe during this very cold and icy winter. I, myself, am longing for spring and warmer days.

In the Fall Newsletter, I talked a lot about the role and the work of the Board. I would like to provide a brief update.  We have had a busy few months.

  • The Board’s Nominations Committee is working diligently to develop a recruitment strategy that will allow for a strong, sustainable board in our future as a College. The Nominations Committee, of Melissa Campbell, Janice Terry and Laura Bockus-Thorne, are to be commended for their dedication and work on the development of a process for recruitment of high quality, diverse and competent leadership for future board stewardship.
  • The Board’s Governance Committee has been looking at the skill sets, knowledge and experience of our current board members, through the completion of a gap analysis. This data is very useful to the Nominations Committee in conducting their work, as well. The members of the Governance Committee, Sarah MacDonald, Amy MacDonald and Jennifer Josey, continue to work to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the Board, ensuring that evaluation processes, such as the gap analysis, evaluation of the orientation program of the Board, and meeting evaluations, are completed. Again, this committee is to be applauded for its work.
  • Valerie MacPherson and Megan Austin work as our risk lead team ensuring that the Board’s decision-making process, and other internal controls, are in line with the established Risk Oversight Framework. These individuals hold a very important role on the Board and must be praised and thanked for their work.
  • Jennifer Garus, our executive manager, has been doing a tremendous job of providing you, the registrants, with a great overview of how the College will function and our responsibilities to our College as licenced dietitians.  While Jennifer is not an “official” member of the Board, in her role as executive manager, she has a wealth of knowledge that she provides to the Board as needed. This is an incredible support to the Board and we greatly appreciate her assistance and guidance as we may require it.  She also does an amazing job overseeing and running the overall operations and inner workings of NSDA, and all of us, as registrants, must recognize how fortunate we are to have an executive manager like Jennifer.
  • Since December, an Ad Hoc Committee, consisting of Judy Lowe, Janice Terry, and Jennifer Garus, with help and input from the Nominations and Governance Committees, has been reviewing and revising the bylaws for the College of Dietitians and Nutritionists of Nova Scotia. A special meeting of the entire Board was held in early February for continued review, revision and approval of the changes to the Bylaws. The next step is to obtain legal opinion with respect to the revisions. These bylaws will then be circulated to registrants for review and consultation. This had been a long and tedious process and I want to sincerely thank everyone who was involved, and for willingly giving their time to this undertaking.

I want to share some highlights from our regularly scheduled November board meeting with you.

  • Jennifer Garus, Judy Lowe, and Sarah MacDonald provided an overview of learnings from the Canadian Network of Agencies for Regulation (CNAR) conference they attended, so that all board members could benefit from the knowledge they gained. This is of vital importance because all education we receive is our ‘insurance’ that we are doing what we should be doing and what we need to do.
  • There was robust discussion around fees for Temporary Members, with the final decision being to stay with the status quo for the immediate future.
  • The Nominations Committee shared their vision and plan with the Board for their work over the next 8-12 months, a brief summary of which was provided above. It is anticipated that this new process will be in place for recruitment and nominations next year (2020).

In closing, I just want to remind everyone that renewal time is here…. I guess I had better get my CCP forms updated.


Judy Lowe

NSDA President 2018-2020


2018-19 Board of Directors (from left to right): Megan Austen, Melissa Campbell, Janice Terry,
Judy Lowe, Sarah MacDonald, Jennifer Garus, Laura Bockus-Thorne, Jennifer Josey, Amy MacDonald.
Missing: Valerie MacPherson.

Notice of Annual General Meeting & Education Day

The Annual General Meeting and Education Day will be held on May 3, 2019 at the Best Western Plus in Dartmouth.  The agenda will be posted and emailed to registrants in the spring.

Call for Nominations for Board Positions

There are vacancies on the board of directors for three member at large positions for the 2019-2021 term.board

Please complete the Nomination Form to nominate yourself or another dietitian for this opportunity. Scan and email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax to (902) 445-9572 by March 13, 2019.

The Board governs the organization and manages its affairs in order to meet the organization’s mandate, to regulate dietetic practice in the interest of Nova Scotians. It functions according to relevant legislation, regulations, bylaws, and policies. Click HERE to view the Board Charter.  The Board maintains the most beneficial allocation of resources while advancing the organization's objectives. The Board defines in its strategic plan what is to be accomplished consistent with the capabilities of the executive manager and committees, and its emphasis is on oversight, strategic direction and policy.

Participation on the Board is an opportunity to

  • contribute to the leadership and decision-making that governs the organization,
  • learn about professional self-regulation,
  • practice competencies not normally performed in your area of practice,
  • add professional experience to your resume, and
  • enable getting to know dietitians in a variety of practice areas from around the province. 

Varying experiences and perspectives contribute to worthwhile discussion and effective decision-making on any board. An orientation session presents an overview of self-regulation, board meeting procedures, and governance policies. Typically, directors can expect to attend three in-person meetings throughout the year (held on a Friday evening and Saturday), an in-person meeting the day before the AGM, and occasional meetings by conference call. Ideally, nominees have a good understanding of professional self-regulation and are committed to decision-making in the public interest. The member at large attends and contributes at all board meetings and may participate on a board committee which meets periodically by conference call.  

College Update

This past fall, presentations were held to provide an overview of what will change when NSDA transitions to a College. The timeline for proclamation of the new Act remains unknown, but we are preparing for fall 2019.  In the spring, sessions will be held in Digby, Yarmouth and Cape Breton.  A session will also be offered via video conference.  Dates and times will be emailed to registrants in the spring. 

When the Dietitians Act (2009) is proclaimed, NSDA will become the Nova Scotia College of Dietitians and Nutritionists (NSCDN). The aim of professional regulation is to protect the public by ensuring professionals are qualified to practice and practice in a competent, safe and ethical manner.  NSDA was established in 1956 and had the dual role of functioning as both a regulatory body and an association.  In 1998, NSDA began functioning solely as a regulatory body.  Dietitians of Canada took on the profession's association role.

Under NSDA's current legislation, the profession's titles are protected.  Therefore, only those licensed with NSDA may use the protected titles: dietitian and nutritionist.  The new Act protects the titles, registered dietitian (RD) and nutritionist.

In the new legislation, the profession's scope of practice is defined. A defined scope of practice will enable the profession to move forward in a manner consistent with most other health professions in Nova Scotia and with dietitians in most other provinces.  A scope of practice will enable dietitians to practice to their full capacity.  In other words, they will be authorized to do what they are qualified to do.  For example, the dietitian will be licensed to order an enteral nutrition regime for a patient in the hospital. Standards for nutrition prescription have been developed and will be launched after college proclamation. 

There will be new license categories and the ability to move onto a non-practicing roster if a registrant is taking a leave of absence from practice.  The new legislation will enable the profession to self-regulate and for the board to govern in accordance with best practices and in-line with other colleges in Nova Scotia. 

Annual Renewal

Click HERE to view information about the annual renewal process.  If you wrote and passed the November 2018 sitting of the Canadian Dietetic Registration Exam (CDRE), you are NOT due to submit a learning log nor complete the Jurisprudence e-Learning Module until March 2020.

Continuing Competency Program 

Click HERE to view resources to assist you to set specific learning goals and complete the learning log.  For assistance completing the Continuing Competency Program, please contact the Practice Advisor, Amanda Connors at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The new Continuing Competency Program (CCP) auditing process was carried out in 2018.  It is outlined in Policy 5.2.  The rubric used to evaluate submissions can be found HERE.

Fifteen percent of CCP submissions are audited annually through random selection and based on screening for satisfactory completion. Auditors are dietitians who volunteer to audit.  For consistency and correctness, all auditors are trained on how to complete the audit. Every effort is made to keep submissions confidential and anonymous to auditors.

An unsatisfactory submission is incomplete or has an audit score below 50%. Two trained auditors review each submission that is found to be unsatisfactory to prevent discrepancies/inconsistencies in the auditing process. If the submission remains unsatisfactory based on the scores from two independent auditors, the Continuing Competency Committee will review the submission and give the Practice Advisor further direction.

 Unacceptable CCP Submissions

If your submission is unsatisfactory, your subsequent submission will also be audited. A personalized letter is sent by registered mail indicating problem areas, specific suggestions for improvement, and follow up action. Upon notification of audit results, support is offered to facilitate understanding of the expectations of the CCP. Dietitians are strongly encouraged to meet with the Practice Advisor, Amanda Connors. A license will not be renewed if the subsequent submission is unsatisfactory.

When dietitians apply to other colleges, NSDA completes a Labour Mobility Verification Form to inform the other college that the dietitian is registered in good standing.  If your last CCP submission was unsatisfactory, this will be communicated to the other college.


The Jurisprudence e-Learning Module is a mandatory component of the Continuing Competency Program. Dietitians complete the e-Learning Module every five years.  The Module supports dietitians to maintain a current understanding of the regulatory, provincial and federal requirements related to dietetic practice in Canada. The Module provides dietitians with information related to legislation, standards and guidelines that govern dietitians’ conduct, in particular the Professional Dietitians Act, other provincial legislation, standards of practice, and the code of ethics. It is an open-book series of quizzes. The sources for answers to the Module’s quiz questions are found within the Module or referenced within the Module. See Policy 5.3 for more information.


As I am not currently practicing as a dietitian, should I maintain my license with NSDA?

At this time, you are advised to maintain your license with NSDA if there is a possibility that you will return to dietetic practice at some point. When NSDA becomes a college, there will be a non-practicing roster.  Before resigning, contact NSDA to understand implications specific to your situation.

I am moving out of Canada to practice as a dietitian, but I may return to Nova Scotia to practice at a later date.  Should I maintain my license in Nova Scotia?

You are advised to maintain your license with NSDA if you have never written and passed the Canadian Dietetic Registration Exam (CDRE).  Based on Policy 4.10, you would be required to pass the CDRE for reinstatement unless you are registered in good standing with another Canadian dietetic regulatory body at the time of application.

If you passed the CDRE more than three years before the date of application, you will need to satisfy the Registration Committee that you have been registered as a dietitian in good standing in the other jurisdiction, have practiced a minimum of 600 hours in three years before the date of your application and have met a regulatory body’s continuing competency requirements.  Otherwise, the Registration Committee may deem upgrading required for reinstatement.

How do I change my email address in the NSDA renewal system?

You can access the online database throughout the year.  Please keep your email address, mailing address and employment information up to date by logging onto the membership database and updating your profile details.  

If you have a change in email address or wish to change your password, log on and click on your name at the top right corner of the screen.  Then click Account.

 Where do I find my renewal receipt and license verification?

To access your renewal receipt, log onto the membership database and click on My Applications (found on the left side of the screen under Applications). Hard copies of license cards are no longer mailed out.  To access your license verification online, log-on and click on Download My License (found on the left side of the screen under My License).  

 NSDA is on Facebook

There is an NSDA Facebook group to enhance communication with Nova Scotia dietitians about regulatory related issues. Employment and continuing education opportunities are also posted.  

With any social media site, there are risks because information is not private. Inappropriate or misinterpreted posts can harm the reputation and integrity of individual professionals or the profession. Posts will be monitored. If you have concerns, please contact NSDA directly. It is not intended to replace the networking forums that already exist through Dietitians of Canada or the Dietitians Network of Nova Scotia.  Join the NSDA Facebook group HERE!