Have you been trained to be a dietitian in your country?

Do you want to be a dietitian in Nova Scotia?

Click HERE to download the Pathway to Licensure.

  • The Canadian Dietetic Practice Orientation and Assessment Tool is designed to assist internationally educated dietitians to understand dietetic practice in Canada.  Internationally educated dietitians can complete a self-assessment to compare their knowledge and skills to the standards required to practice dietetics in Canada.
  • If you are moving to Nova Scotia, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia is a community organization that welcomes immigrants to Nova Scotia, and offers services to help immigrants build a future in Canada.  Click here for more information about immigration to Canada. Click here for information about programs and supports.
  • Please review the following steps and email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.  You can expect an email reply within two to three business days.  You are also welcome to meet about the steps of the application and assessment process. 

Step 1

Before applying to NSDA, contact World Education Services (WES) for an academic assessment. The WES assessment determines whether your degree is equivalent to a Canadian university degree.  Ask WES for the “Comprehensive Course by Course Report” and ask that WES send the assessment results directly to NSDA.

Telephone (toll-free): 1-866-343-0070
Website: www.wes.org/ca/application/apply_now.asp

Step 2

Submit a complete application package to NSDA.  The application fee is $400.  Click HERE to apply online (click 'Initial Application'). Also send documents listed on the DOCUMENT CHECKLIST.  If your first language is not English or if you have not completed your education in English, you must complete and provide official results of language proficiency tests. To take the KCAT, the following tests and scores are recognized:  TOEFL IBT report (internet score of 79)  or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic – total band score of 6.5.

The NSDA Registration Committee will assess your qualifications to see if your university degree and practical training are reasonably related to Canadian accredited dietetic education programs.  The Registration Committee will determine your eligibility to take a computer-based exam called the Knowledge and Competency Assessment Tool (KCAT).  If there are major gaps in your education and training, you may not be eligible to take the KCAT.  The next KCAT is February 26, 2020 in Halifax or Toronto.  Click HERE for more information about the KCAT.

  • Once a complete application is received, you can expect a response from the Registration Committee within 4 weeks.  If you are not eligible to write the KCAT, you will receive information about how to become a dietitian in Canada and other career options. You may appeal the Registration Committee’s decision within 30 days of written notice.  The cost to take the KCAT is $400.

Step 3

The KCAT will determine whether you need additional education and training.  Based on your results, you may need to complete a Canadian dietetics degree and internship OR complete a bridging program OR complete the Performance Based Assessment (PBA).   If you complete a bridging program, you must take the PBA after completing the bridging program.  There are bridging programs at Mount Saint Vincent (Halifax, NS) and Ryerson University (Toronto, ON). Click HERE to view the KCAT Preparation Guide.

The PBA is completed in Toronto, Ontario in July.  It is an in-person oral and written assessment. The fee is $2,300.  Click HERE for more information about the PBA.


After successfully completing the PBA, you will be eligible to write the Canadian Dietetics Registration Exam (CDRE).  The CDRE is written two times each year (May and November). Once you qualify to write the CDRE, you may register as a temporary member with NSDA and work as a dietitian in Nova Scotia (with applicable work permit).

How long is the application and assessment process?

The length of time depends upon when a complete application is received.  For example, an applicant who submits a complete application and meets eligibility criteria* by November 30 can take the KCAT in February.  If successful taking the KCAT, the applicant can take the PBA in July.  If successful taking the PBA, the applicant can take the CDRE in November.  (Note that these times are estimates for 2020 - dates to be confirmed.)

*Eligibility criteria to take the KCAT: 

- Completion of a degree and practicum reasonably related to a Canadian accredited dietetics degree and practicum

- English language proficiency

SURVEY:  The Fair Registration Practices Act (FRPA) is intended to ensure the registration processes that regulated professions follow are procedurally fair, transparent, impartial and objective. The Department of Labour and Advanced Education (LAE) has tasked a third party (Research Nova Scotia) to carry out an evaluation of FRPA to determine if this legislation is serving the intended aims. Part of this evaluation is a survey for applicants and registrants of regulated professions. The feedback of those directly impacted by FRPA is vital to understanding its function and effectiveness. The results of the surveys will inform the future of this legislation. Please be thoughtful, honest, and candid when you complete the survey. The surveys are anonymous – they do not ask for personal information and only a summary report of the results will be made available to the LAE. The survey should take 20 minutes to complete and there is an option to stop and complete the survey at a later time - just remember to copy down the code at the top of your survey. The Fairness in Regulated Professions' Registration Processes Survey - Members and Applicants is intended for registrants and applicants of regulated professions. This survey gathers data on the impact of FRPA and professional registration practices. This survey will open on September 17, 2019 and will close on October 8, 2019