Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitian

The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCA 2003) requires the Dietitians Board to ‘set standards of clinical competence, cultural competence, and ethical conduct to be observed by health practitioners of the profession.’ These are generally referred to by Regulatory Authorities as professional standards and competencies.

The current professional standards and competencies registered dietitians are required to meet, to work safely and competently in New Zealand, are the Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians (2017).

Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians define the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours required for dietetic practice in a variety of contexts. They describe the minimum standards and competencies required for practice as a dietitian in New Zealand. They are a reference for the Dietitians Board in exercising its statutory functions – they are the standards that uphold a dietitian’s professional credibility to the public and other health professionals. These standards are designed for a dietetic workforce with increasingly diverse roles in health and other sectors and are central to the identity of the dietetic profession.

The structure of the Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians is different from the RCRs. It is contemporary and reflects more accurately the breadth of dietetic practice in which dietitians work, focussing on the professional attributes required by dietitians to work across multiple contexts in an increasingly complex health system. Additionally there isabetter alignment to other health professional competency standards.

BOARD EXPECTATIONS:

Practitioners are expected to recognise and practise to the Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians relevant to their dietetic practice.

Practitioners:

The Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians are recognised as the minimum standards and competencies required for practice as a dietitian in New Zealand.

If a practitioner is called for MyCCP Audit, Auditors will use the Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians as a reference document.

Dietetic Education Programme Providers:

Dietetic Education Programmes will complete the Accreditation process during 2019 (prior to implementation).

From January 2020 Dietetic Education Programmes will be expected to deliver a reaccredited education programme that provides graduates with the knowledge, skills and professional attributes to practise dietetics as defined in the Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians.

Students enrolled in an Accredited Dietetic Education Programme prior to January 2020 will complete their programme of study under the current Accreditation Standards; students should be mindful that upon Registration they will need to recognise and practise to the Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians relevant to their dietetic practice.

The Board:

If the Board receives a Notification about a practitioner, then the date of the Notification and competency standards for that period will be applied in decision-making.

From 1 April 2019 the Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians will be the recognised competency standards and used in all relevant Board policy and procedures.

Board Registration Examinations will reflect the revised standards from March 2019.

The Public & other Stakeholders:

The public and other stakeholders can expect that from 1 April 2019 registered dietitians will practise to the Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians –  the standards that uphold a dietitian’s professional credibility to the public and other health professionals.