FAQs: Completing Your SDL Tool and Practice Hours in a Pandemic

Posted: October 5, 2020

Publié le 5 October 2020

Here are three FAQs we have been asked during this renewal period.

1. Due to the pandemic, an action item for one of my SMART goals was cancelled (e.g. training course).  How shall I proceed with this when completing my Self-Directed Learning (SDL) Tool this year?

Different situations may arise so that the goals written in last year’s SDL Tool are no longer relevant. For example, a dietitian may unexpectantly change jobs, be redeployed or a course may have been cancelled. However, during the year, a dietitian may have pursued other learning or professional development goals related to a new job or other activities. 
The evaluation of goals in the SDL Tool allows dietitians to have flexibility in guiding their learning. When evaluating the learning goals written in last year’s SDL Tool, you may choose “yes”, “no” or “currently pursuing” for the goal completion. If you have not been able to complete a goal, indicate a new goal that you have achieved or that you currently pursuing, and explain why in the appropriate section of the SDL Tool.

2. I’ve been redeployed and I’m not sure when I will return to my dietetic work. What should I do about my SMART goals this year?

We understand there may be uncertainty for dietitians during the pandemic.  A transferrable example in this situation may also be when someone is on leave or undergoes a job change. It is our professional responsibility to ensure we have the knowledge, skill and judgment to practice when we will be returning to our work.

You may choose to complete a learning goal that is feasible for you right now. Consider areas of competence that you would want to upgrade or develop upon your return to your work or consider recent developments or controversies in dietetic practice that you wish to explore. Perhaps you could identify a goal that will help you maintain or improve core competencies of professional practice or ethics, or transferrable skills like ‘active listening’, increasing  knowledge of typical components of an action plan for a program or project, etc. that are relevant to dietetic practice.

When you are writing your goal remember to be clear and specific and be sure to articulate your learning outcome. Here is a link to all the resources to guide you in writing SMART goals.

3. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do if I think I may not meet 500 hours of dietetic practice moving forward (e.g. over the next few years)?

When a member declares less than 500 hours of dietetic practice in the past three years, they receive information on their options (e.g. signing a voluntary undertaking, completing and submitting a learning diary, or resigning). The College appreciates that a member may not wish to sign a voluntary undertaking or resign and is currently evaluating this in the context of the pandemic.

In the interim, we would advise any member who is concerned that they may not meet the 500 hours of practice as required, to review the definition of practicing dietetics considering any paid or unpaid work. In addition, you may wish to maintain a learning diary of professional development activities. Please click here for more information regarding learning diary.