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Study of Registration Practices of the
COLLEGE OF DIETITIANS OF ONTARIO, 2007

  1. 1. INTRODUCTION
  2. 2. BACKGROUND OF THE REGULATORY BODY
    1. a. Legislation
    2. b. Protected Titles
    3. c. Definition of the Profession
    4. d. Labour Market/Economic Trends
    5. e. New Developments Within the Profession
    6. f. Staffing
  3. 3. REGISTRATION PRACTICES
    1. a. Registration Requirements and Application Process
    2. b. Documentation Required from Internationally Trained Individuals
    3. c. Credential Assessment (Third Party and/or Internal)
    4. d. Academic/Program Requirements
    5. e. Work Experience Requirements
    6. f. Examinations
    7. g. Language Requirements
    8. h. Fees
    9. i. Third Parties
    10. j. Typical Length of the Registration Process
    11. k. Accredited Programs
    12. l. Internal Review/Appeal Process
  4. 4. BRIDGING PROGRAMS
  5. 5. MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENTS
  6. 6. APPLICANTS’ INTERACTIONS WITH REGULATORY BODY
    1. a. Nature and Frequency of Communication
    2. b. Backlogs
    3. c. Complaints Regarding the Registration Process
  7. 7. CHANGES SINCE THE 2005 SURVEY
  8. 8. REGISTRATION INFORMATION AND STATISTICS
  9. 9. SOURCES

ISBN 978-1-4249-6454-3 [HTML English version]


1. INTRODUCTION

The Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC) undertook a study of registration practices of Ontario's regulated professions during the fall and winter of 2007–2008. The purpose of the study was to understand each regulated profession's 2007 registration practices and to establish baseline data and information to enable the OFC to measure progress as it fulfills its mandate under the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, 2006.

This report reflects the registration practices of the College of Dietitians of Ontario (CDO) as of December 31, 2007. Information in this report was gathered from:

The College of Dietitians of Ontario also provided registration information and statistics for 2005, 2006 and 2007 through a standard spreadsheet designed by the OFC.

An analysis and summary of the findings for all of the regulated professions is contained in the OFC's Ontario’s Regulated Professions: Report on the 2007 Study of Registration Practices.

2. BACKGROUND OF THE REGULATORY BODY

a. Legislation

The College of Dietitians of Ontario (CDO) operates in accordance with the Dietetics Act, 1991 and the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.

b. Protected Titles

Only dietitians registered with the CDO can use the title ”Dietitian” or ”Registered Dietitian” (RD), or some variation, abbreviation or equivalent of these titles in another language. Only dietitians registered with the CDO can hold themselves out to the public as a person who is qualified to practise in Ontario as a dietitian.

c. Definition of the Profession

In Ontario, registered dietitians are educated in the sciences related to foods and human nutrition, and they are trained to apply their knowledge in a variety of settings. Registered dietitians are required to continue their professional development in order to expand the competencies needed for delivering safe, ethical and high-quality dietetics services.

The practice of registered dietitians is varied and includes the following:

Registered dietitians practise in many different settings, such as hospitals, public health units, home care agencies, primary care centres, long-term care facilities, private practice, fitness centres, industry and government.

Other practitioners, such as nutritionists, may provide nutrition advice, but under Ontario law only registered dietitians are held accountable to the public and to the CDO for their conduct, the quality of their care and the nutrition services that they provide.

d. Labour Market/Economic Trends

There is a definite shortage of dietitians throughout Ontario, but especially in rural areas and northern Ontario. Ontario is a net importer of dietitians from other provinces, registering almost as many dietitians from out-of-province as are graduated from dietetic programs in Ontario.

e. New Developments Within the Profession

The labour market for dietitians has been expanding in recent years because of the expansion of government-funded positions and increasing demand for private practice dietitians.

f. Staffing

The CDO’s staff consists of nine employees (8.5 full-time equivalents), three of whom are involved in the registration process.

3. REGISTRATION PRACTICES

a. Registration Requirements and Application Process

i. Requirements for a General Certificate of Registration

There are nine categories of registration requirements for the General Certificate of Registration.

  1. Academic Preparation: All applicants must have graduated from an accredited program in foods and nutrition from a Canadian university, or an equivalent that meets the academic subject-area requirements for accredited programs in dietetics.

  2. Practical Training: All applicants must complete the practical training requirement: an internship program, practicum, or program of practical experience that is accredited (or approved as equivalent to accredited) by the Council of CDO.

  3. Language Proficiency: All applicants must be able to speak and write either English or French with reasonable fluency. The CDO will require an applicant to take language tests if his or her language of dietetic education is not English or French.

  4. Record of Ethical and Competent Practice: The applicant must satisfy the CDO that he or she has not been found guilty of, and is not the subject of any current proceedings for, professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity in Ontario or any other jurisdiction in relation to the practice of dietetics or any other profession.

  5. Good Conduct: The applicant must not have been found guilty of any criminal offence or an offence under the Food and Drug Act (Canada) or the Narcotic Act (Canada).

  6. Upgrading Requirement: If an applicant completed the academic and practical training requirements more than three years before the date of application, he or she must have practised safely as a registered dietitian or must have successfully completed a refresher or upgrading program approved by the CDO's Registration Committee.

  7. Canadian Citizenship/Permanent Residency Requirement: The applicant must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada or must be authorized under the Immigration Act (Canada) to engage in the practice of dietetics.

  8. Canadian Academic and Practical Training (CAPT): If an applicant was trained outside of North America and meets the CDO’s academic and practical training requirements, he or she must complete one advanced course in clinical nutrition, and practical training under the supervision of a registered dietitian in Canada. The purpose of the CAPT requirement is to familiarize applicants with current dietetic practice in Ontario. This helps them prepare for the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination.

  9. Examination Requirement: All applicants must successfully complete the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE), unless they have continuously registered since October 1, 1998, with the dietetic regulatory body of one of the following provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland/Labrador.

An applicant who has satisfied the nine categories of registration requirements is eligible to apply for a General Certificate of Registration.

ii. Requirements for a Temporary Certificate of Registration

An applicant who has met the first eight categories of requirements, and who has already applied to write the CDRE, may be issued a Temporary Certificate to practise under the title of “registered dietitian.” Applicants who have previously held a Temporary Certificate and/or have previously failed the examination will not be issued a Temporary Certificate.

iii. Application Process for a General Certificate of Registration

The particular application process that an applicant must follow depends on his or her academic and practical experiences. Please see the CDO website for complete details. To satisfy the basic requirements in categories 1 and 2, applicants should submit documents as described below.

Category 1: Academic Qualifications

Graduates from academic programs accredited by Dietitians of Canada must submit the following to the CDO:

Graduates from a foods and nutrition university program that is not accredited by Dietitians of Canada must submit the following:

Category 2: Practical Training Program

Graduates from a practical program accredited by Dietitians of Canada must submit the following to the CDO:

Graduates from a foods and nutrition university program that is not accredited by Dietitians of Canada must submit one of the following:

Additional Requirements

Any applicant who has completed dietetic training more than three years ago must also submit the following:

Documents Under a Different Name

If an applicant submits any documents that are under a different name than the one he or she is using at the time of registration, the applicant must provide proof of the change of name (e.g., a copy of a marriage certificate).

b. Documentation Required from Internationally Trained Individuals

i. Standard Documentation

In addition to the documents that must be submitted by domestically educated and trained applicants, applicants with international credentials must submit the following documents:

ii. Options for Applicants with Unavailable/Destroyed Documents

There is no formal process for applicants who are unable to provide documentation. The CDO has only ever had one case where an internationally trained applicant did not have access to documents because they were lost. In that case, the person was not registered.

The CDO helps applicants to locate required documents or alternative documentation.

c. Credential Assessment (Third Party and/or Internal)

Before applying to the CDO, each internationally trained applicant must have his or her academic degrees assessed by Comparative Education Services (CES) at the University of Toronto to determine whether the degrees are equivalent to university-level degrees in Canada.

All applicants, domestically or internationally trained, who lack an accredited foods and nutrition education program and/or an accredited program of dietetics practical training must have their academic credentials and/or practical training assessed for equivalency by the CDO’s Registration Committee.

d. Academic/Program Requirements

All applicants must have graduated from an academic program in foods and nutrition from a university that is accredited by Dietitians of Canada, or an equivalent that meets the academic subject-area requirements for accredited programs in dietetics.[1] Equivalency is defined as any university program in nutrition that meets the following subject-area requirements:

e. Work Experience Requirements

There are no formal work experience requirements to be registered with the CDO. However, in order to be eligible for registration, all applicants must have some accredited practical training.

i. Basic Requirements for Practical Training

The council of the CDO approves as an equivalent to its practical experience requirements any internship, practicum, or program of practical experience that is successfully completed after the applicant's academic training and that:

ii. Accredited Programs

The following institutions in Ontario offer internship programs that have been accredited by Dietitians of Canada:

The following internship programs are also accredited:

In addition, the following master’s degree programs offer accredited practical training:

Dietitians of Canada maintains an up-to-date list of accredited internship programs on its website.

iii. Canadian Academic and Practical Training (CAPT) for Internationally Trained Individuals

If an applicant was trained outside of North America and meets CDO’s academic and practical training requirements, he or she normally must also fulfill the Canadian Academic and Practical Training (CAPT) requirement, by completing:

The duration of the practical training must be at least 10 weeks, but it must be extended if the applicant is assessed as not meeting the practical training outcomes for CAPT.

The purpose of the CAPT requirement is to familiarize applicants with current dietetic practice in Ontario. This helps applicants prepare for the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination. For more detailed information about the CAPT requirement, visit the CDO website.

f. Examinations

i. Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination

All applicants must successfully complete the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE), unless they have been continuously registered since October 1, 1998, with the dietetic regulatory body in one of the following provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland/Labrador. Applicants become eligible to write the CDRE after they have satisfied registration requirements 1 through 8 (see section 3.a.i).

The CDRE is a multiple-choice examination that tests knowledge, application and critical thinking in the following areas: assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, communication and professional practice. The CDRE is designed to confirm competence. It is based on the Competencies for the Entry-Level Dietitian (Dietitians of Canada, 1996) and is being administered in nine provinces in Canada.

Applicants may write the CDRE in English or in French.

An applicant has four years or three opportunities, whichever comes first, to pass the CDRE. The first attempt must be made within one year of becoming eligible to write it. An applicant who fails the first attempt is allowed to write it a second time. After a second failure, the applicant must complete academic and practical upgrading before making a third and final attempt. If an applicant does not pass on the third attempt, within four years of becoming eligible, the applicant is not eligible to continue in the examination process.

For applicants to the CDO, the exam is administered every year in May and November in Toronto and at alternative sites in Ontario on request. Requests must be made in writing at the time of the application for registration.

ii. Study Aids

The Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE) Preparation Guide explains the basis of the exam and the examination process and provides sample questions. A copy of the most recent version of the guide is available from the CDO and is posted on the CDO website. It is provided when an applicant has been deemed eligible to write the examination and has paid the exam fee of $400 to the CDO.

In addition, as of 2007, there are plans for providing an online exam-preparation learning module on the CDO website by June 2008.

g. Language Requirements

All applicants must be reasonably fluent in written and oral English or French.

If an applicant's language of instruction for his or her dietetic education and training is not English or French, the applicant must demonstrate language proficiency in either language. Test results must be sent directly to the CDO by the testing organization.

i. English Proficiency

The applicant can demonstrate adequate English language proficiency either by:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Paper Test (PBT) Computer Test (CBT) Internet Test (iBT)
TOTAL

550

213

80

Listening

50

16

15

Writing

50

18

13

Reading

50

17

15

Test of Spoken English

A score of 50 is required on a Test of Spoken English (TSE), or a speaking component score of 26 on a TOEFL (iBT), the Internet-based TOEFL test.

ii. French Proficiency

An applicant can prove his or her French proficiency through:

  1. A TESTCan score of 4.5 in listening and reading, and

  2. A writing score of Band 4.0, and

  3. An interview test that confirms speaking performance.

h. Fees

The fees listed below are the total fees. There are no additional taxes.

Application Fees

Application fee

$100

Application fee + CDO academic equivalency assessment

$200

Application fee + CDO assessment of practical experiences

$250

Application fee + CDO assessment of practical experiences
+ CDO academic equivalency assessment

$350

Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE) fee

$400

Annual registration fee

$500

Bridging program fee (at Ryerson University)

$3,000

i. Third Parties

Name of Third Party Relationship to Regulatory Body

Comparative Education Services (University of Toronto)

Assesses the degrees of internationally trained individuals for equivalency with Canadian degrees.

Dietitians of Canada

Accredits dietetics education and training programs across Canada.

Educational Testing Service (ETS)

Provides English language proficiency tests.

Ryerson University

Provides the Internationally Educated Dietitians Pre-registration Program (IDPP).

TESTCan (University of Ottawa)

Provides French language proficiency tests.

j. Typical Length of the Registration Process

Once an applicant meets all the registration requirements, he or she may be registered within days. The practical training/internship process usually takes approximately one year to complete.

Once an application has the necessary documents, it is assessed by the Registration Committee at their next scheduled meeting. The Registration Committee normally meets eight or nine times a year.

k. Accredited Programs

The following Ontario universities offer undergraduate programs in dietetics that have been accredited by Dietitians of Canada, a national association that carries out program accreditation.

University of Western Ontario, Brescia University College

Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences
London

Ryerson University
School of Nutrition
Toronto

University of Guelph
Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Guelph

The following nutritional sciences program is new and has not yet been accredited by Dietitians of Canada.

Programme de Baccalauréat en Sciences de la nutrition[2]
Faculté des Sciences de la santé
Université d’Ottawa
Ottawa

For a full list of accredited programs in Canada, visit the website of Dietitians of Canada.

l. Internal Review/Appeal Process

Internal reviews are carried out by the Registration Committee of the CDO. The Registration Committee is composed of eight people, four of whom are public appointees and four of whom are elected registered dietitians.

Applications are assessed by a panel of the Registration Committee. Each panel must be composed of at least three members of the Registration Committee and must have a combination of public appointees and registered dietitians.

An applicant may appeal the decision of the Registration Committee or a panel of the Registration Committee to the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB).

Complaints about the CDO’s services to applicants and about timeliness are considered by the Registrar and Executive Director.

4. BRIDGING PROGRAMS

The Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University offers a bridging program, called the International Dietitians Pre-registration Program (IDPP), to help internationally educated applicants complete education and training to meet the CDO’s registration requirements. The program delivers university credits in food and nutrition and provides practical training and assessment that meets the Canadian Academic and Practical Training (CAPT) requirements (see 3.e.iii).

For the purposes of registration with the CDO, applicants who complete the IDPP are normally assessed to have the equivalent to an accredited internship program. In addition, the IDPP provides applicants with mentors, exposes them to a network of colleagues across different work settings, facilitates the job search process and helps applicants to prepare for the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination.

Note: Applicants who complete the bridging program are exempted from having to demonstrate their language proficiency through language tests.

The program is one year in length and has two intakes a year. It costs approximately $3,000 (Canadian).

5. MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENTS

In compliance with the Agreement of the Alliance of Canadian Dietetic Regulatory Bodies, which came into effect on October 1, 1998, and under the CDO’s registration regulations, an individual registered with another Canadian dietetic regulatory body, other than the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec, is deemed to have met the academic, practical training and examination requirements for a CDO General Certificate of Registration, if the individual fulfills all of the following conditions:

  1. When applying to the CDO, the applicant is still registered with a regulatory body of dietitians in another jurisdiction in Canada.

  2. The applicant was registered with a regulatory body of dietitians in Canada on October 1, 1998, or has passed the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE) before the date of application to the CDO.

  3. The applicant's registration in the other jurisdiction (from October 1, 1998 onward) was not in a restricted category such as temporary, qualifying, honorary, retired, inactive, associate or special.

  4. When applying to the CDO, the applicant's registration in the other jurisdiction (from October 1, 1998 onward) is not subject to any conditions, restrictions or limitations other than those that apply to all members.

Registration with the regulatory body in one jurisdiction is not transferable to the regulatory body in another jurisdiction. Therefore, the applicant must apply to the CDO using standard application procedures. In some instances, the applicant's qualifications for registration may be subject to further assessment by the Registration Committee

6. APPLICANTS’ INTERACTIONS WITH REGULATORY BODY

a. Nature and Frequency of Communication

The CDO maintains regular contact with its applicants, especially to help applicants to submit the necessary documents to complete an application.

b. Backlogs

The CDO does not experience backlogs in its registration process. Once an application file is complete, it is reviewed by a panel of the Registration Committee at the next scheduled meeting. The committee typically meets eight or nine times a year. Decisions of the Registration Committee panels are normally written and issued within 10 days of the panel decision.

c. Complaints Regarding the Registration Process

Complaints concerning some aspect of the registration process will be handled by the CDO Registrar. Ultimately, applicants who disagree with a registration decision can take their case to the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB).

7. CHANGES SINCE THE 2005 SURVEY

The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration conducted a survey in 2005 to collect information about occupational regulatory bodies in Ontario.

Since the 2005 survey, the bridging program has been implemented. Also, the language policy of the CDO has changed, so that applicants who complete the bridging program are exempted from having to demonstrate language proficiency through language tests.

8. REGISTRATION INFORMATION AND STATISTICS

Definitions used in these tables:

Alternative class of licence: a class of licence that enables its holder to practise with limitations; additional registration requirements must be met in order to be fully licensed. Alternative classes of licence granted by the College of Dietitians of Ontario are specified under the tables below.

Applicant: a person who has applied to start the process for entry to the profession.

Applicant actively pursuing licensing: an applicant who had some contact with the College of Dietitians of Ontario within the year specified. The CDO does not track this information.

Inactive applicant: an applicant whose CDO file has been closed because he or she did not submit required information by the CDO’s deadlines.

Member: a person who is currently able to use the protected title or professional designation “dietitian” or ”registered dietitian” (RD), or some variation, abbreviation or equivalent of these titles in another language.

Languages in which application information materials were available
Language 2005 2006 2007
English

Yes

Yes

Yes

French

Yes

Yes

Yes

Other(s)

 

 

 

Countries where internationally educated applicants were initially trained in dietetics
Applications received 2005 2006 2007
Largest number

India

India

India

Second-largest number

Iran

Iran

US

Third-largest number

Pakistan

Pakistan

China

Fourth-largest number

US

US

Lebanon

Fifth-largest number

Brazil

Mexico

UK

Staff employed by the College of Dietitians of Ontario
Number of staff 2005 2006 2007
Involved in registration process

3

3

3

Involved in appeals process

2

2

2

Jurisdiction where members were initially trained in dietetics (before they were granted use of the protected title or professional designation in Ontario)
Members Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International TOTAL
Total members1

1,954

687

60

101

2,802

Non-practising members2

81

34

6

7

128

1 Both general and temporary members.

2 “Not employed” members.

Applicants processed by the College of Dietitians of Ontario in 2005

 

Jurisdiction where members were initially trained in dietetics (before they were granted use of the protected title or professional designation in Ontario)
In 2005 (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31) Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International TOTAL
New applications received

89

50

7

32

178

Applicants actively pursuing licensing

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Inactive applicants

0

4

1

5

10

Applicants who met all requirements and were authorized to become members but did not become members1

0

3

0

0

3

Applicants who became members2

85

46

6

10

147

Applicants who were authorized to receive an alternative class of licence but were not issued a licence3

12

25

3

2

42

Applicants who were issued an alternative class of licence4

73

24

3

8

108

1 Applicants who became eligible for general membership but whose file was closed or who withdrew their application, or who have not paid their registration fees yet.

2 Both general members and temporary members.

3 Applicants who became general members without first becoming temporary members (members who cannot supervise another dietitian).

4 Applicants who became temporary members (members who cannot supervise another dietitian).

Applicants processed by the College of Dietitians of Ontario in 2006

 

Jurisdiction where members were initially trained in dietetics (before they were granted use of the protected title or professional designation in Ontario)
In 2006 (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31) Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International TOTAL
New applications received

93

60

4

41

198

Applicants actively pursuing licensing

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Inactive applicants

1

3

0

1

5

Applicants who met all requirements and were authorized to become members but did not become members1

0

0

0

0

0

Applicants who became members2

92

56

2

19

169

Applicants who were authorized to receive an alternative class of licence but were not issued a licence3

12

24

2

2

40

Applicants who were issued an alternative class of licence4

80

32

0

17

129

1 Applicants who became eligible for general membership but whose file was closed or who withdrew their application, or who have not paid their registration fees yet.

2 Both general members and temporary members.

3 Applicants who became general members without first becoming temporary members (members who cannot supervise another dietitian).

4 Applicants who became temporary members (members who cannot supervise another dietitian).

Applicants processed by the College of Dietitians of Ontario in 2007

 

Jurisdiction where members were initially trained in dietetics (before they were granted use of the protected title or professional designation in Ontario)
In 2007 (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31) Ontario Other Canadian Provinces USA Other International TOTAL
New applications received

91

71

12

37

211

Applicants actively pursuing licensing

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Inactive applicants

2

2

1

2

7

Applicants who met all requirements and were authorized to become members but did not become members1

4

2

0

0

6

Applicants who became members2

79

63

7

11

160

Applicants who were authorized to receive an alternative class of licence but were not issued a licence3

9

26

2

1

38

Applicants who were issued an alternative class of licence4

74

39

5

10

128

1 Applicants who became eligible for general membership but whose file was closed or who withdrew their application, or who have not paid their registration fees yet.

2 Both general members and temporary members.

3 Applicants who became general members without first becoming temporary members (members who cannot supervise another dietitian).

4 Applicants who became temporary members (members who cannot supervise another dietitian).

9. SOURCES

College of Dietitians of Ontario website. http://www.cdo.on.ca. Last accessed: March 28, 2008.

Dietitians of Canada website. http://www.dietitians.ca/. Last accessed: March 28, 2008.

Representatives of the College of Dieticians of Ontario met with staff of the Office of the Fairness Commissioner on December 7, 2007, to provide further information for this study.



[1] For example, an academic food and nutrition program from a US university that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetic Education is considered equivalent.

[2] The language of instruction for this program is French.