Professional Standards for Dietitians

Dietitians have a responsibility to provide the public with knowledge and ethical nutrition practice in accordance with the Professional Standards for Dietitians in Canada. This document describes the six (6) core standards that guide dietitians in daily practice and essentially describe professional characteristics.

These characteristics are:

1. professionals provide a service to a client

  • the dietitian and client need to work together to establish and achieve mutually desirable goals.

2.  professionals base their practice on a unique body of knowledge

  • the dietitian uses scientific knowledge of food and human nutrition and recent research to provide up-to-date professional information to those seeking nutrition advice.

3.  professionals competently apply knowledge

  • the dietitian uses his/her knowledge as well as information obtained from the client and analyzes all relevant data to formulate, monitor and evaluate a plan.  The dietitian will ensure that the plan is appropriate for the client, the client understands and agrees to the plan and that mutually set goals are achieved.

4.  professionals maintain competence in their area of practice

  • the dietitian is responsible for ensuring that he/she is up-to-date and maintains competence in his/her area of practice.

5.  professionals adhere to a code of ethics

  • the dietitian must adhere to the ethical guidelines of the profession.  This includes identifying skills limitations and seeking help when necessary.  Also, protecting the clients right to privacy and respect.

6.  professionals are responsible and accountable to the public for their own actions.

  • the dietitian is responsible for adhering to the legislative guidelines and standards of practice for the profession.  This provides the public with nutrition services that are safe and effective.  The public has a right to file a complaint and there is a process in place to resolve such complaints.

Futher information on the professional standards including indicators and outcomes can be found in the document Professional Standards for Dietitians in Canada (

Dietitians of Canada, College of Dietitians of Ontario, Professional Standards for Dietitians in Canada 1997.