Newsletter - January 2023

Article Index


Nova Scotia Dietetic Association


 Trust and excellence in regulation and practice          


 In the public interest, NSDA regulates dietitians and nutritionists to practice in a safe, ethical and competent manner. 



Changes to Jurisprudence e-Learning Module

Early in December, a new e-Learning Module was launched on a new platform.  The e-Learning Module consists of an online quiz (12 questions). Completion will be due annually. Previously, the Module consisted of 90 questions, required a 100% pass mark, and it was due to be completed every five years.

NSDA’s new database platform links the Module directly to dietitians’ online profiles (accessed through Membership Renewal on the NSDA website).  Moving forward, you will be able to access the Module from your online profile by accessing Continuing Education/eLearning.

Summary of Changes:

Completion of the Module will be due every year instead of every 5 years. Temporary members who successfully completed the November 2022 sitting of the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination are due to complete the Module by the 2024 renewal deadline. Dietitians who became licensed with NSDA after December 1 are not due to complete the e-Module until Renewal 2024.  

The Module will consist of 12 questions and the estimated time to complete the module is 30-60 minutes.

Successful completion will be based on an 80% pass mark.

Completion is required before the 2023 renewal application is processed.

The Module supports dietitians to maintain a current understanding of the regulatory, provincial, and federal requirements related to dietetic practice.  It is an online ‘open-book’ quiz and is a mandatory component of the Continuing Competency Program. The annual completion of the Module will enable NSDA to focus the learning module on different topics for earlier access to information. For example, when the revised Code of Ethics is published, a module would pertain to that content. 

Appreciation is extended to working group members for their time and thoughtful input into the revision of this year’s Module. 

Questions are welcome and can be addressed to NSDA’s Practice Advisor, Amanda Connors at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



College Update

College proclamation is imminent.  Upon Cabinet’s approval of regulations, the Department of Health and Wellness will provide us with notice of college proclamation. We will communicate with you about immediate requirements. 

If the College Act is proclaimed before renewal:

  • evidence of professional liability insurance will be required with your renewal application
  • upon renewal, you will be asked to declare that you have engaged in the practice of dietetics within the past 24 months

Professional Liability Insurance

Upon proclamation, every dietitian with an active practice license must have professional liability insurance coverage. The minimum requirement is $5 million per claim. Legal expense endorsement coverage is strongly recommended. This endorsement covers your legal expenses should the College receive a complaint about your practice.

Many employers carry insurance that covers their employees while they are working for that organization. Your employer’s insurance does not cover any services you provide as a volunteer or outside your employment practice setting. Professional liability insurance provided by an employer is only acceptable coverage for dietitians within that employer’s workplace. Dietitians who practice in more than one workplace must carry professional liability insurance for each place of employment.

Dietitians should consider the risk in their practice and decide whether they wish to purchase legal expense reimbursement coverage and professional liability insurance in addition to the insurance provided by their employer(s). For example, dietitians who provide direct client care would be at a higher risk of a public complaint than a dietitian employed in an administrative role. Dietitians who volunteer or practice independently, must purchase professional liability insurance. Dietitians of Canada (DC) members can purchase insurance through DC.  There is also the option to purchase professional liability insurance through Trisura (HUB). Closer to proclamation, there will be further communication about when and how to provide evidence of liability insurance to the College.

Eligibility for an Active Practice License Upon College Proclamation

Upon proclamation, a dietitian’s full license seamlessly transitions to an active practising license if they have engaged in the practice of dietetics in the previous 24 months. There is not a specific hour requirement for an initial license. Dietitians are eligible for this license for a period of one year following proclamation of the College Act. Those who passed the CDRE in the three years immediately before proclamation of the College Act are eligible for the active practice license despite whether they have practiced.

If you have not practiced dietetics (paid or unpaid) within the twenty-four months preceding proclamation, your name will be on the non-active roster. To return to practice, you would apply for an active-practice license by applying for reinstatement. The Registration Committee would assess your application and upgrading may be required. Alternatively, a condition (e.g. mentorship) or restriction (e.g. limit to a specific practice area) may be placed on your license. 



2022-2023 Board of Directors

 President Kolten MacDonnell
President-elect Carole Thompson
 Vice President Sarah MacDonald
 Treasurer Amy MacDonald
 Secretary  Erica Reynolds 
 Member at Large  Lauren Wills

 whitepoint picture 2022

2022-23 Board of Directors and Staff.  From left to right:  Kolten MacDonnell, Jennifer Hemeon, Erica Reynolds, Amy MacDonald. Carole Thompson, Lauren Wills,  Nicole MacPherson and Amanda Connors.

Board Update

In 2020, the Board of Directors established its strategic directions. The following is a summary of initiatives taken related to its plan to address equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).  

The Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice (2020) and NSDA Standards of practice (2020) articulate expectations related to EDI in dietetic practice.

The NSDA has invested in education on EDI for board members and staff.  In 2021, the education component of its AGM addressed EDI related to dietetic practice and has been incorporated into the Jurisprudence e-Learning Module.

NSDA actively recruits for representation of diverse populations on NSDA committees and committees’ terms of reference have been revised to reflect the need for representation from equity-seeking groups.

NSDA commites to person-centred, gender-inclusive and cross-cultural language in communications and documents (e.g., Jurisprudence e-Learning Module, policies, etc.).

In the coming months, the Board will publish an infographic reporting its Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) commitment.

Kolten MacDonnell, PDt



Preceptor Guidelines

NSDA’s Preceptor Practice Guidance Working Group continues its project plan to draft a Preceptor Practice Guide.

The Guide will serve to promote preceptors’ understanding of the roles and responsibilities of being a preceptor and the knowledge, skills, and attributes to support effective practice as a preceptor.  This guidance document will act as a supportive resource to guide preceptors’ practice and their continuing competency goals. The Working Group will provide an update on their workplan at the 2023 Annual General Meeting.

The Working Group represents the various sectors who have an interest in this initiative and will include students and/or entry to practice dietitians (within first year of practice), preceptors, and dietetic practicum leaders.  If you wish to volunteer on this working group, please contact Jennifer Hemeon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include a written expression of interest.


Engagement and Consultation Framework

At the 2022 AGM, a motion was passed that advised NSDA’s board of directors to consider and address the content of this motion at upcoming Board meetings.


“NSDA, soon to be NS college, work with educators to develop policies and procedures that specifically outline how the NS regulator will collaborate with educators and other key stakeholders to address any and all issues related to dietetic education, for the by-laws of the regulatory body to reflect this policy (ies), and for a progress report to be shared at the 2023 AGM.”

What has been done to date?

To address the motion, the Board reviewed its current tools and has begun to explore new tools that can inform how they work with interested parties. For example, the board is reviewing the collaboration continuum, IAP2 framework and a mapping matrix.

The NSDA board uses its decision-making framework to systematically work though and document how decisions are made. It is routinely used and was used to make its recent decision related to the accreditation of dietetic education programs. 

When using the framework, the board identifies those individuals and groups who may be impacted by the decision and considers their perspectives and interests. The nature of the decision will influence the extent to which another party’s input influences the decision. A regulatory body’s paramount objective is to act in the public interest to promote safe, ethical and competent practice.  There may be issues related to the public interest that do not fall within a regulatory body’s mandate, for example, advocacy for insurance coverage for dietitians’ services.  

The motion was made in relation to NSDA’s decision to recognize EQUal (a subsidiary of Accreditation Canada) as the accreditor of education programs. Provincial colleges have a collective legislated duty to approve education programs that prepare students to enter a regulated profession. This aligns with a college’s mandate:  to approve education programs and to ensure that those who enter the dietetic profession have the knowledge, skills and judgment to practice safely, ethically and competently.  

The Board will provide anpther update at the AGM.

Notice of Annual General Meeting

The 2023 Annual General Meeting will be held via Zoom on June 20 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. 

If the College Act is in effect, there will be a vacancy for president-elect, treasurer, and member at large.  For more information about these positions, please contact Jennifer Hemeon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Staffing Changes

Welcome Nicole MacPherson as NSDA’s New Registration Coordinator.  

Following a Bachelor of Arts at St. FX University, Nicole completed her dietetic education and internship through MSVU. She brings a background primarily in research and reporting, with experience in administration and counselling. A parent of young children, Nicole leads a personal life filled with joy and chaos. She looks forward to supporting the registration process for new dietitians.

For questions related to registration and renewal, please contact Nicole at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Amanda Connors continues with NSDA as its practice advisor and is available to answer your practice-related questions.  Amanda can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Amanda Connors resized



Learning Log Examples

It is that time of year, when dieitians update their Continuing Competency Program learning logs for their license renewal.  Below are examples of learning log entries related to topics in this newsletter, and to dietetic practice.

Goal:  To enhance my understanding of person-centred language

Learning activity:  Internet search for “person-centred language” {list reputable sites you found useful}.

Outcome on practice:  I frequently see clients who have mental illness. The language I choose to use can impact how they feel respected and supported and can effect how they trust me as their dietitian. Without realizing, I used language that has become "normal” in society but could be offensive to my clients.  I will review my client resources to ensure that I use person-centred language and be conscious of my choice of language.  

Goal:  To enhance my skills as a preceptor, specifically with regards to teaching strategies.  

Learning activity: Completed Dietitians of Canada’s Learning on Demand course: Preceptor Education eLearning Course for Dietitians

Outcome on practice:  I have learned that I can be a more effective preceptor if I understand students' learning styles and adapt my communication and teaching approach to reflect learning styles.


Important Information

Moving out of province?  When dietitians apply to other colleges, NSDA completes a Labour Mobility Verification Form to inform the other college that the dietitian is registered in good standing.  There is a $25 administration fee for NSDA to send the new college verification of credentials, exam results, and the Labour Mobility Form.  The fee is payable by cheque or e-transfer.   If your last CCP submission was unsatisfactory, this will be communicated to the other college. 

As I am not currently practicing as a dietitian, should I maintain my license with NSDA?

At this time, you are advised to maintain your license with NSDA if there is a possibility that you will return to dietetic practice at some point. When NSDA becomes a college, there will be a non-practicing roster.  Before resigning, contact NSDA to understand implications specific to your situation.

How do I change my email address in the NSDA renewal system?

You can access the online database throughout the year.  Please keep your email address, mailing address and employment information up-to-date by logging onto the membership database and updating your profile details.  

If you have a change in email address or wish to change your password, log on and click on your name at the top right corner of the screen.  Then click Account.

 Where do I find my renewal receipt and license verification?

To access your renewal receipt, log onto the membership database and click on My Applications (found on the left side of the screen under Applications). Hard copies of license cards are no longer mailed out.  To access your license verification online, log-on and click on Download My License (found on the left side of the screen under My License).  

 NSDA is on Facebook

There is an NSDA Facebook group to enhance communication with Nova Scotia dietitians about regulatory related issues. Employment and continuing education opportunities are also posted.  

With any social media site, there are risks because information is not private. Inappropriate or misinterpreted posts can harm the reputation and integrity of individual professionals or the profession. Posts will be monitored. If you have concerns, please contact NSDA directly. It is not intended to replace the networking forums that already exist through Dietitians of Canada or the Dietitians Network of Nova Scotia.  Join the NSDA Facebook group HERE.