January 2018 Newsletter

President’s Message

Melissa Campbell, NSDA President

I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday season with friends and family and I wish you all the best in 2018.

In the fall, the board asked for stakeholder feedback from registrants on the proposed mission, vision and strategic directions for the organization.  Many of you offered your feedback.  On behalf of the NSDA board, I would like to thank you for taking the time to review the proposed mission, vision and strategic goal statements.  It is wonderful to see registrants engaged. The feedback was valuable to help finalize the direction for the organization. 

The board has finalized its strategic plan.

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

Vision:  Trust and excellence in regulation and practice

Strategic Goal Statements

Regulation of Practice

  • Review the Continuing Competency Program and explore its relevance and utility
  • Collaboratively develop preceptorship competencies

Governance Excellence

  • Develop a strategy to recruit and maintain leaders who enhance and contribute to NSDA's mission, vision, values and strategic direction

Communication and Engagement

  • Enhance collective understanding of regulation and the role of NSDA

Over the next three to five years, the organization will work on fulfilling these commitments.

In reviewing your feedback, I also wanted to answer questions and address concerns raised. 

Suggested, was that NSDA take on the role of addressing the practice of those not registered with NSDA who may not be trained to provide reliable nutrition advice. NSDA does not have the ability to intervene when individuals who are not registered with NSDA provide nutrition advice. The provision of nutrition advice is public domain.  Teachers, fitness instructors, nutrition consultants, wellness coaches, nutrition coaches, etc. provide nutrition advice and NSDA does not have the jurisdiction to oversee their practice. NSDA's public education strategy will address this concern.  The strategy’s objective is for the public to recognize the role of the regulatory body for reassurance that those registered with NSDA are qualified, competent and safe to practice. 

It was questioned whether NSDA monitors the profession’s protected titles. NSDA intervenes when others refer to themselves as a nutritionist because nutritionist is a protected title in Nova Scotia under the Professional Dietitians Act. Protected titles are in place to ensure that the public understands that those who use such titles have specific credentials, education, training, continued competence, and experience certified by a regulatory body and is subject to the oversight of a regulatory body. Protected titles provide clarity to the public about the qualifications of the professional who is providing services.   Dietitians and the public often notify NSDA when they learn of an individual referring to themselves as a nutritionist when they are not authorized to do so.  NSDA communicates with the individual to inform them that they are not authorized to use the title, and advises them to cease using the title.  If you are aware of others using a protected title when they are not authorized to do so, contact NSDA.  

A suggestion was that NSDA advocate for dietitians’ service coverage under health care insurance plans. Advocacy is the role of an association, not a regulatory body.  Although this advocacy serves the public interest by increasing access to dietitians’ services, it does not fall within NSDA’s mandate. 

A suggesion was that there be a bio and/or photo of board members, so registrants are aware of who is serving on the board. We will work on developing this on the website, so it is available to all stakeholders, including the public as well as registrants.

A common question related to the strategic goal statement: Collaboratively develop preceptorship competencies. The statement does not articulate with whom NSDA will collaborate. The intention is to collaborate broadly, and include those with expertise in competency development, education, and preceptorship.

If you have any other questions or concerns you would like clarified, please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can address them personally or in the newsletter.  Thank you.

Melissa Campbell, PDt
NSDA President 2016-2018