Accreditation of New Zealand Dietetic Education Programmes
The Dietitians Board (the Board) is required by Section 118(a) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (HPCA Act) to: “prescribe the qualifications required for scopes of practice within the profession, and, for that purpose, to accredit and monitor educational institutions and degrees, courses of studies, or programmes”.
The purpose of accreditation is twofold, to assure the quality of education and training and to promote continuous improvement of the programmes. All New Zealand prescribed qualification must be accredited and monitored by the Board.
The Board’s approach to accreditation is that of a ‘fitness for purpose’ model based on outcomes defined in the Scope of Practice: Dietitian. Conferment of a prescribed qualification indicates that a practitioner has moved beyond novice and advanced beginner level and is prepared to begin providing safe, competent and professional dietetic care in a variety of settings as part of a flexible workforce.
In undertaking its accreditation function, the Board acknowledges the innovation and diversity of teaching and learning approaches among dietetic education providers, and recognises that this diversity can strengthen the New Zealand dietetic education system and workforce, provided that each education provider meets Accreditation Standards and continually monitors and improves programme quality.
There are three New Zealand educational institutions that offer accredited dietetic programmes:
University of Auckland
University of Otago