Dietitians are one of a number of health professions regulated by the 16 Regulatory Authorities established under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCA Act).
The principal purpose of the HPCA Act is to protect the health and safety of members of the public by providing for mechanisms to ensure that health practitioners are competent and fit to practice their professions.
In order to practice as a Dietitian in New Zealand it is necessary to:
- be registered by the Dietitians Board; and
- hold a current practising certificate.
Registration concerns the approval of an application to register as a health practitioner in the profession, having the appropriate qualification, and being considered fit for registration and competent to practice (as required under section 15 of the HPCA Act).
Registration alone does not entitle a practitioner to legally practice dietetics.
A registered dietitian practising the profession of dietetics without a current practising certificate is grounds for disciplinary action.
Specifically, section 8 of the HPCA Act prohibits a registered dietitian from performing services which fall within the description of dietetics and requires that practice must be in accordance with the conditions on the practitioner’s Scope of Practice.
A practising certificate is about current entitlement to practice dietetics.
Please refer to the Dietitians Board’s Prescribed Qualifications and Scope of Practice.
The Dietitians Board sets the professional standards and competencies required for all registered dietitians to ensure they are working safely and competently in New Zealand. These standards were reviewed and updated in 2016 and 2017 culminating in the revised Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians (2017). The transition to the revised standards took place over 2018 with full implementation in 2019. Please refer to Professional Standards & Competencies for more information.