October 2017 Newsletter

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Professional PicturePresident's Message

Firstly, I’d like to take this opportunity to recognize three board members who completed their terms at the AGM in May – Leisje McDougall-Young, Rachel Graham and Marsha Arnburg.  Thank you all for your commitment and dedication to the board.  I would also like to welcome our newest board member, Valerie MacPherson. 

The NSDA board is back into the swing of things after the summer.  The board and senior staff met in a facilitated session September 15th and 16th to set the direction for the organization.  As you may remember for last year’s annual report, the board had evaluated our previous strategic directions in 2016/17.  It was clear after this review that it was a priority to develop a new strategic direction in 2017/18.

 In preparation for the process, stakeholder input was gathered for the Board to consider via a confidential questionnaire.  Stakeholders who were invited to participate included:  members of the public; government; NSDA committee members; members of the NS Network of Regulated Health Professionals; and members of the Alliance of Canadian Dietetic Regulatory Bodies.  The survey asked a series of questions relating to how stakeholders felt the regulatory body was meeting its mandate and what they believe we should consider when planning for the next 3-5 years.  At the session, the board reviewed the stakeholder feedback, and completed an environmental scan and SWOT analysis to prepare us for developing our plan.

Below are the draft mission, vision, and strategic directions for the next 3-5 years.  Before they are finalized at our November board meeting, we would like to ask for NSDA registrant feedback.  Please click HERE to complete a brief questionnaire.

Mission - A mission is a one-sentence statement that describes the reason an organization exists and is used to help guide decisions about priorities, actions, and responsibilities.

Draft Mission:

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

Vision - A vision statement expresses the desired end-state.  It’s a one-sentence statement describing the clear and inspirational long-term desired change resulting from an organization’s work.

 Draft Vision

 “Trust and excellence in regulation and practice”

 Considering the draft vision for NSDA, the input from the stakeholder consultation, the SWOT analysis, and the environmental scan, the board developed the top three Strategic Goals for focus and action over the next 3-5 years

 Regulation of Practice

  • Review program and explore relevance and utility of CCP
  • Collaboratively develop competencies for preceptorship (NSDA and education programs)

 Governance Excellence

 Recruit and maintain a diverse group of leaders who have the skillsets and perspectives that align with NSDAs culture and strategic directions

Communication and Engagement

Enhance collective understanding of regulation and the role of NSDA 

As previously mentioned we would appreciate your feedback on our draft mission, vision, and strategic directions.  I hope you will take the time to complete the brief questionnaire.

Click here to view NSDA's current board of directors.

JGARUSExecutive Manager's Message

For NSDA, the fall is a time of new beginnings; the board and committees resume their work after a summer break. Early in November, all committee volunteers are invited to meet for its first in-person meeting.  Volunteers who recently attended professional development on the principles of administrative law will share their learnings with others.  It will also be a time to thank and recognize volunteers for their engagement.  An impressive number of volunteers, however, were active during the summer drafting the jurisprudence e-learning module and auditing the Continuing Competency Program (CCP) submissions. 

Over the summer, the jurisprudence e-learning module was finalized and it will soon be available for you to complete. Those involved in its development found it to be an excellent learning opportunity.  Over fifteen volunteers participated in the drafting and review of the e-learning module. Watch your emails for notice of its launch. 

Volunteers and staff were are also active during the summer months conducting the CCP audit.  Over fifteen dietitians volunteered to participate in training and anonymously audit the CCP submissions.  Their feedback was sought for improvements to the auditing process and the Continuing Competency Committee has already met to review their responses.

Much of my time over the summer months was implementing changes associated with the administration of the Canadian Dietetic Registration Exam (CDRE).  I am NSDA's representative on the Alliance of Canadian Dietetic Regulatory Bodies (the Alliance), and the Alliance's project manager for the CDRE.  A new exam vendor, Yardstick Assessment Strategies Inc., will administer the exam. The most significant changes include a new online scheduling process, additional exam locations, and the computer-based exam is four hours instead of six.

I'm pleased to welcome Amanda Connors back from maternity leave as practice advisor for twelve hours each week.  She will also take on the role of registration coordinator. For administrative support, Cheina MacArthur will join us at the NSDA office two mornings each week. My priorities moving forward will be to develop and implement a plan to meet the board's strategic goals, the ongoing review and development of standards and policies, and the roll-out of a public education strategy. 

Continuing Competency Program Audit Results

Fifteen percent of registrants' Continuing Competency Program submissions are audited annually. Of the 88audit submissions audited, 41 (46.5%) were well done, 35 (45%) were rated satisfactory, and 12 (13.5%) were unacceptable. All registrants whose submissions were audited received feedback.  

The CCP enables a dietitian to demonstrate their professionalism and career-long commitment to continuing competency by providing evidence of professional development that impacts their ability to practice in a safe, ethical and competent manner.  Resources are posted on the website to assist with the development of goals and completion of the learning log. If you would like feedback and guidance on your CCP submission, please contact NSDA's Practice Advisor, Amanda Connors at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Registrants Online Profile

Do you have a change in name, employment, email address or mailing address?  If so, please update your online profile. 

Go to Membership Renewal to update your profile and complete the online learning log.  Your username is the email address in the system. If you have had a change in email address and you forget your password, you will need to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for support.

To update your email address, log in with your previous email address.  Click on your name at the top right corner of the screen and click on Account. 

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NSDA is on Facebook 

FacebookA well known benefit of social media is the ease in which information can be exchanged. There is now a Facebook group to enhance communication with members 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 (e.g. Dietitians of Canada, Dietitians Network of Nova Scotia).

Join the NSDA Facebook group HERE