Jurisprudence Handbook

Article Index


Registration & Licensing

Under the Dietitians Act (2009), individuals are registered and then licensed to practice. Those registered with the College who are not licensed are on a non-active roster. Those who move from an active practice license to the non-active roster remain on the College register. These individuals may be on a leave of absence from their employment, or they may have moved to another jurisdiction. Those who renew their license under the Nova Scotia Dietetic Association who have not practice dietetics within the past 24 months of the date of proclamation, are registered with the College and are on the non-active roster.

Once licensed with NSCDN, a registrant is authorized to practice dietetics in Nova Scotia and use the titles dietitian and nutritionist. To use the titles and practice as a dietitian in another province, a dietitian must become registered in the other province. Dietitians practicing in more than one province must be registered with the dietetic regulatory body in the province(s) where they practice. Dietitians can be licensed in more than one province.

The Virtual Practice Policy is relevant to dietitians practicing by electronic means (e.g., telephone, internet or email counselling). Some provinces require the dietitian to be licensed in the province where the client lives when practicing by electronic means. In Nova Scotia, dietitians licensed with another provincial regulatory body may provide services by electronic means to Nova Scotians.

Dietitians must practice under the name registered with NSCDN. To practice under a different name, the dietitian must provide evidence of the name change (e.g., a marriage certificate). The database (also known as the register) must contain a dietitian’s current information. A registrant's online profile can be updated through the Online Renewal System  at any time throughout the year.

Licensing Categories Under the College

Active practicing license – An active practice license is maintained with a minimum of 500 hours of dietetic practice over a three-year period. The active practice hour requirement comes into effect one year after the proclamation date of the Dietitians Act (2009). According to the Dietitians Regulations (2022), dietitians maintain a record of hours worked in the practice of dietetics that covers the preceding three years. The College may audit these records at any time. Dietitians are exempt from the active practice hour requirement within the first three years of passing the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE).

Temporary license – A temporary license is relevant to dietitians licensed in another province who require a license to physically practice in Nova Scotia for a period not to exceed 12 months.  These dietitians must be licensed in another Canadian province to qualify for a temporary license.

Candidate license – A candidate license is a license category applicable to individuals (e.g., graduates from an accredited dietetic education program) who have not yet passed the CDRE. This license category replaces NSDA’s “temporary membership.” The designation for this license is "registered dietitian (candidate)" or RD(c).

Conditions or restrictions may be placed on any of the license categories. An example of a condition is to practice under the direct supervision of another dietitian. An example of a restriction is to limit practice to a specific area of practice.

There will also be a non-active roster. This roster is not a license to practice nor a license to use a protected title. Dietitians on a leave of absence or retired can transfer to a non-active roster until they return to practice. They are not required to participate in the CCP or pay the annual renewal fee while on the non-active roster.


If a dietitian held registration with NSCDN in the past and is seeking an active practice license again, they must apply for reinstatement. If the dietitian engaged in 500 hours of dietetic practice in the past three years, they would qualify for an active practice license. If the dietitian practiced less than 500 hours of dietetic practice in the past three years, the Registration Committee would review their application to assess eligibility. The Registration Committee would determine the need for a condition, restriction, or upgrading. A condition may include practicing under the supervision of a dietitian. A restriction may be to limit practice to a practice area that falls within the registrant’s individual scope of practice.

Resources related to this section:

Active Practice Policy

The Dietitians Act (2009)

Virtual Practice Policy