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 Registration Competency Requirements (2009) (RCRs) are the current competency standards registered dietitians are required to meet, to work safely and competently in New Zealand. These were published in 2009, with a transition period in 2010 and full implementation in 2011. These standards were reviewed and updated in 2016 and 2017 culminating in the revised Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians (2017). The transition to the revised standards will take place over 2018 with full implementation in 2019.

 

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 is a better alignment to other health professional competency standards.


BOARD EXPECTATIONS:

A transition period will be in place throughout 2018 with an expectation that from 1 April 2019 the Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians will be fully implemented and recognised as the minimum standards and competencies required for practice as a dietitian in New Zealand.

 

Practitioners:

Both RCRs and Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians may be referenced during 2018, but practitioners should begin to recognise and practise to the revised standards.

The Board strongly recommends that from 1 April 2018 practitioners adopt the Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians when considering their professional development needs.

If a practitioner is called for MyCCP Audit in November 2018 (for MyCCP Audit as at 31 March 2019), then Auditors will use the Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians as a reference document.

From 1 April 2019 practitioners will be expected to recognise and practise to the Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians relevant to their dietetic practice.

 

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 currently in an Accredited Dietetic Education Programme will complete their programme of study under the current Accreditation Standards that address the RCRs, but 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:

During 2018 and up to 1 April 2019, the Board will refer to both the RCRs and the Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians.

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.