Frequently Asked Questions

Gaining Registration – General

Gaining Registration – New Zealand Graduate

APCs

Taking Leave

Practice Supervision

Prescribing Supervision

Telehealth

Use of the title “dietitian”

Gaining Registration – General

<strong>What do I need to do if I accept a job in dietetics before being granted Registration?</strong>

As a new graduate or overseas-trained dietitian, your obligation to undertake practice supervision is not effective until you are formally granted Registration and holding an APC.


In the interim, you must take care not to use the title Dietitian/Registered Dietitian/RD in any context, until you are Registered and holding an APC (or have made a non-practising declaration).


Once you have received your certificate of Registration, you must obtain an APC without delay in order to continue working in your dietetic role without being in breach of the HPCA Act 2003.

<strong>What is a certified copy?</strong>

A certified copy is a direct copy (photocopy) of an original document sighted by an official with the necessary legal power i.e. a Justice of the Peace, Solicitor, Notary Public or Officer gazetted to take statutory declarations.


The names and contact details of local Justices of the Peace are available online through the Royal Federation of NZ Justices’ Associations website.


The official must sign the copy, print their name under the signature, state their position or designation, endorse the copy with an official seal or stamp, and include the statement: “Certified true copy of original document sighted”.

<strong><strong>English is not my first language. What do I need to supply?</strong></strong>

If English is not your first language, you will be required to provide a certified copy of your English language proficiency test.

Please read the Board’s English Language Requirements Policy for more information.

<strong><strong>Criminal Conviction History Checks</strong></strong>

You are required to supply a criminal history check as part of your Registration application.

If you have lived in New Zealand for 12 months or more, please supply a completed copy of the Request for a criminal conviction history by a third party form with your application.

You may also be required to provide a certified copy of a Criminal Conviction History check for any country you have lived in for 12 months or more aged 17 years or older.

Please read the Criminal Convictions/ Police Reports Policy for more information.

Gaining Registration – New Zealand Graduate

<strong>Do I need to have my university results back before applying for registration?</strong>

No.

You can send in your application together with all the required documents as soon as you have handed in your thesis. Then, once the Board receives confirmation of your Course Completion, your application may progress to grant Registration.
For further information refer to NZ Graduates.

<strong>Once I have my university result, how long is it expected to take to get my registration conferred?</strong>

Once we have received your Course Completion letter from your education provider/university and there are no other outstanding documents your Registration will be complete within ten working days – normally sooner.

<strong>I’m an International Student. What am I required to provide?</strong>

As outlined on the New Zealand Graduate Registration Application Form, you may be required to provide additional documents if they apply to you.

If English is not your first language, you will be required to supply proof of English language proficiency.

Please read the English Language Requirements Policy for more information.

Additionally, you may also be required to provide a certified copy of a Criminal Conviction History check for any country you have lived in for 12 months or more aged 17 years or older.

Please read the Criminal Convictions/ Police Reports Policy for more information.

Practice Supervision

<strong>Do I need to find a supervisor in order to apply for my first APC?</strong>

No, you do not. You can immediately apply for your APC once you are Registered.
Please read the Requirement to hold an Annual Practice Certificate Policy.

<strong>Do I need to find a supervisor in order to hold an APC if I do not currently have a role as a dietitian?</strong>

As soon as you start working, whether it is full-time, part-time, paid or voluntary employment, you need to have a supervisor, should you have the condition to work under supervision on your APC.


Please refer to the Requirement to hold an Annual Practice Certificate Policy and Supervision information.

<strong>Where can I find a suitable supervisor?</strong>

Your supervisor may be at your place of employment, or they may be any other suitable supervisor with whom you are able to schedule the required meetings, as well as formal and informal supervision sessions.
It is possible to make such arrangements over Skype or video conference if you should find yourself in an environment where there are no/very few available supervisors in the area where you work and live.


Refer to the Practice Supervision Policy for further information about supervision.


You can also contact Dietitians New Zealand, the professional association, for an indication of suitable supervisors located in your area.

APCs

<strong>Where might dietitians work within the Scope of Dietetic Practice (where they require an APC)?</strong>

This list of examples is from the Dietitians NZ website and is not all-inclusive:

– Hospitals

– Community

– Marae

– Corporate health & wellness divisions

– Professional sports teams/NZ Academy of Sport

– Government agencies, e.g. Ministry of Health

– Private practices

– Large food companies

– Media, e.g. writing for publications; social media or television representation

– Research

– Education

– Food service

– Health promotion

– Nutritional companies

Any role which utilizes the dietetic knowledge, skills and judgement of a Registered Dietitian requires an APC.

<strong>Is there any benefit to having an APC as a new graduate if I am still looking for employment? </strong>

Yes.

If you are proactively seeking employment and you hold an APC, you will be available to begin work immediately. This prevents any delays when starting your new job as a Registered Dietitian. You can undertake professional development (MyCCP), even if you are not employed yet.  In order to do any type of work whether it’s full-time, part-time, voluntary or paid employment, you need to hold a current APC.

Please refer to the Requirement to hold an Annual Practice Certificate Policy for more information.

<strong>When do I renew my APC?</strong>

You must renew your practising status online between 1 and 31 March each year. You will either apply for an APC if you are Practising, or make a Non-Practising Declaration if you are not working and wish to maintain your entry on the Register.
APC applications, Non-Practising Declarations, and their corresponding payments are made online through your Practitioner Portal.

Taking Leave

<strong>What do I need to do before I travel or work overseas?</strong>

Contact the Board to advise you will be ceasing to work in New Zealand. Take some time to familiarise yourself with the Return to Practice process for when you return. If you are moving to Australia and wish to work there look at the agreement we have with the Dietitians Australia – the MRVRC.
Before you leave:
1. Make sure your CCP for the current year is up to date – minimum credits completed and logged.


2. Make sure you have completed the MOODLE Prescriber Update for the current practising year if you are a prescriber.


3. Contact the Board when you have finished working and we will change your status to Non-Practising.


4. If you are a supervisor you will need to SIGN OFF from any supervision agreement and the practitioner will need to get a new supervisor. If you want to continue supervising them you will need to retain your APC – you cannot be a supervisor unless you hold a current APC.


5. Put a reminder in your calendar to renew your APC in plenty of time before returning to work in New Zealand.  


6. Put a reminder in your calendar to complete the MOODLE Prescriber update before you return to work.  


7. Put a reminder in your calendar that in March each year you must make a Non-Practising Declaration and pay the fee.


And remember, always keep your contact details updated via the Practitioner Portal.

<strong>What do I need to do before I take parental leave? </strong>

Contact the Board to advise you will be taking parental leave. Take some time to familiarise yourself with the Return to Practice process.
Before you go on leave:
1. Make sure your CCP for the current year is up to date – minimum credits completed and logged.


2. Make sure you have completed the MOODLE Prescriber Update for the current practising year if you are a prescriber.


3. Contact the Board when you have finished working and we will change your status to Non-Practising.


4. Put a reminder in your calendar that in March you must make a Non-Practising Declaration and pay the fee.


5. If you are a supervisor you will need to SIGN OFF from any supervision agreement and the practitioner will need to get a new supervisor. If you want to continue supervising them you will need to retain your APC – you cannot be a supervisor unless you hold a current APC.


6. Put a reminder in your calendar to renew your APC in plenty of time before returning to work.   


7. Put a reminder in your calendar to either complete the MOODLE Prescriber update before you return to work or ensure you complete it prior to 31 March. 


Check out this infographic on parental leave.

Prescribing Supervision

<strong>I do not prescribe in my current role but would like to retain my prescribing endorsement by doing the annual prescribing MOODLE update. Do I need a prescribing supervisor?</strong>

Yes, all dietitians who wish to maintain their prescribing endorsement must have a prescribing supervisor. It is recommended that you read the MOODLE course material then discuss it with your prescribing supervisor prior to sitting the test. Another suggestion is to discuss hypothetical cases – your prescribing supervisor should be able to provide some examples.

<strong>I am a new graduate in a role in which I will be prescribing. How do I choose a prescribing supervisor and how often should we meet?</strong>

Prescribing supervisors must have a minimum of 3 years clinical/prescribing experience. Ideally your prescribing supervisor will also be your practice supervisor with whom you meet regularly (weekly in the first 6 months and weekly/fortnightly thereafter).
Otherwise, it is recommended that your prescribing supervisor is someone who works with you and whom you can contact easily if you have prescribing questions.

<strong>There are very few dietitians where I work so I am having trouble finding a prescribing supervisor. Can I have a prescribing supervisor who does not work in my organisation?</strong>

Yes you can, but ideally your prescribing supervisor will be local so you can readily ask questions when they arise. In your case it might be possible to have a doctor or a prescribing nurse as a supervisor as long as they have some knowledge of nutritional products.

<strong>I am a prescribing supervisor to a recent graduate. How often should we meet and how should we structure the meeting?</strong>

There are no rules on how often you should meet.
Be guided by the ability of your supervisee. If you are also their practice supervisor you will be meeting regularly so can take the opportunity to discuss prescribing then. Some of the supervision might be informal because the recent graduate might come to you with prescribing questions as they arise. More formal meetings can also be beneficial with the supervisee bringing to the meeting copies of scripts he/she has written for discussion.

<strong>I am the prescribing supervisor of an experienced dietitian. How often should we meet?</strong>

There are no rules on how often you should meet.
An annual meeting to discuss the annual MOODLE update material, and any changes to prescribing, may be useful. If you are also that dietitian’s professional supervisor, ensure that prescribing is discussed periodically.

Telehealth

<strong>How can I deliver safe, effective health services via telehealth?</strong>

You can deliver safe, effective health services via telehealth by adhering to the same principles you apply when providing care during a face-to-face consultation.
The list below is not exhaustive but is designed to provide you with some high-level guidance about what you should do to safely and effectively use telehealth.

<strong>Using telehealth to advise or treat patients/clients</strong>

Assess whether telehealth is safe and clinically appropriate for the patient or client, particularly noting the limitations of telehealth, and whether a direct physical examination is necessary to provide good care.

<strong>At the beginning of a telehealth consultation</strong>

• Identify yourself and confirm the identity of your patient or client.
• Provide an explanation to your patient or client of what to expect from a telehealth consultation.
• Ensure information is provided to clients and patients in a way they understand, and that informed consent is obtained, in particular, in relation to fees, proposed treatment and if you are recording the consultation.
• Ensure you protect your patient or client’s privacy and their rights to confidentially, particularly if you are working from home.

<strong>During a telehealth consultation</strong>

• Ensure you effectively communicate with your patient or client to establish their current condition and past health and medication history. Use qualified language or cultural interpreters where needed.
• Ensure the standard of care provided in a telehealth consultation meets the same required standards as care provided in a face-to-face consultation.
• Ensure you maintain clear and accurate health records of the consultation.

<strong>Ensure continuity of care</strong>

• Make appropriate arrangements to follow the progress of your patient and inform their general practitioner or other relevant practitioners of the treatment provided, including any medications prescribed.
• Keep other practitioners informed of the patient or client’s condition and the treatment you have provided when you are sharing the care of the patient.

Please refer to the Dietitians Board Guidelines on Telehealth for more comprehensive information.

Use of the title “dietitian”

<strong>The title of “dietitian”</strong>

‘Dietitian’ is a protected term under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCA Act).

A person may not use the title of ‘dietitian’, be known as a dietitian, refer to themselves as a dietitian, or portray themselves as one if they are not registered with the Dietitians Board or hold a current APC. 

The title of ‘dietitian’ cannot be used in any title until an individual is both registered and holding a current Annual Practising Certificate (APC).

<strong>I’m a New Zealand graduate and waiting to be added to the Register. Can I call myself a dietitian?</strong>

Until you are added to the Register, you cannot call yourself a dietitian until you:

  • Are registered with the Dietitians Board, and
  • Hold an Annual Practising Certificate.

While you are waiting to be added to the Register, you can refer to the title of your qualification and the University where it was conferred.

<strong>I trained overseas. Can I call myself a dietitian?</strong>

If you trained as a dietitian overseas, including in Australia, you cannot call yourself a dietitian until you:

  • Are registered with the Dietitians Board, and
  • Hold an Annual Practising Certificate.

While you are waiting to be added to the Register, you can refer to the title of your qualification and the University where it was conferred.

<strong>I have retired, can I still call myself a dietitian?</strong>

If you have retired from dietetic practice, you can no longer call yourself a dietitian.

You can, however, refer to the title of your qualification and the University where it was conferred.