CDO is Seeking Item Writers for the Re-development of the Peer and Practice Assessment

Posted: June 22, 2023

Publié le 22 June 2023

Join us in shaping the update of the Peer and Practice Assessment with your expertise!

CDO is seeking dietitians registered in Ontario to develop test questions as “item writers” for a Practice Improvement Assessment (PIA) as part of the re-development of the Peer and Practice Assessment (PPA) for the Quality Assurance Program.
As an item writer, you will have the opportunity to make an impact on dietetic practice by developing assessment items that will help all dietitians identify areas of practice improvement and drive continuous professional development. Your contributions will directly influence dietitian growth and quality improvement across practice areas.
This opportunity allows you to network, develop test item writing skills, and apply dietetics knowledge to craft high-quality, reflective questions assessing critical competencies.
We are seeking six item writers across the following areas of practice: 
  • nutrition care,
  • population health promotion,
  • food provision,
  • including education, research, policy, management and/or leadership roles in any area of dietetic practice. 
The group of item writers will ideally be comprised of:
  • Dietitians with experience in various practice settings.
  • Dietitians in diverse geographic areas across Ontario.
  • Diverse representation.
  • Dietitians with varying years of experience.


Virtual – videoconference. Psychometrician John Wickett will facilitate item writing training. 


Item writing training will be held on Thursday, July 20th, from 9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. and Thursday, July 27th from 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Item writers must be available for both dates of the item-writing training.
Item writers need to be available for a training orientation videoconference session (approximately one hour) on a date prior to July 20th. Orientation sessions will be scheduled around item writer availability. 


Each item writer will be required to write approximately 20 multiple-choice items each. The estimated time to complete an item is approximately 30 minutes per item, although the time commitment may vary by item writer. Items will be developed over 6-8 weeks. After training, item writers will work at their own pace with provided deadlines. 


A total honorarium of $300 will be provided for the training, including training orientation (Total time is estimated at approximately five hours).
Compensation for item writing will be $30/item. 


  • Registered in good standing with the College of Dietitians of Ontario.
  • Good understanding of the Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice.
  • No perceived conflict of interest with external groups (e.g., the dietetic professional association).
  • A minimum of two years of dietetic practice experience in any area of practice (nutrition care, population health promotion, food provision, including education, research, policy, management and/or leadership roles).
  • A breadth of experience in the areas of practice indicated above is an asset.
  • Experience as a dietetic student preceptor is an asset.
  • Experience developing test questions is an asset.

 Skills and Attributes

  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Adaptive learner.
  • Openness to feedback and willingness to revise work as needed.
  • Comfort with computer applications (such as Microsoft Office) and use of secure document management sites, video conferencing platforms, etc.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • Ability to show good judgement and maintain confidentiality.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills. 


Interested individuals are invited to submit:
  • A resumé
  • A brief summary of your professional experiences related to requirements, skills and attributes listed above.
Please also indicate that you can attend both item writing training dates.
Applications should be sent no later than Monday, July 3, 2023 to Practice Advisory by email at Please include ‘PPA Item Writer’ in the subject line.
The College is committed to the principles of equity, and we encourage applications from all persons, including Black, Indigenous, and people of colour, persons with disabilities, and persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities. We are committed to providing an inclusive and barrier-free experience to applicants with accessibility needs in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code (2015) and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

If you are selected to participate, please inform us if you require accommodation. Accommodation requests will be addressed in confidence. We ask that resumés include contact information but do not include personal data including, but not limited to, age, health, marital and family status.
We thank all applicants for their interest, only those shortlisted will be contacted. Applicants will be notified by email on Friday, July 7th, if selected to participate. 

BACKGROUND: Peer and Practice Assessment Step 1 Re-Development 

CDO has embarked on a multi-year project to re-develop Step 1 of the Peer and Practice Assessment (PPA) and bring the PPA to a virtual format. The PPA is a learning opportunity to assess registrants' knowledge, skill and judgment based on the Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice (ICDEP) and other College Standards.
The purpose of re-developing Step 1 is to: 
  • Upgrade the process to align with right-touch regulation and reflect the College’s Strategic Priorities for 2020-2025.
  • More directly assess risk and factors mitigating risk in dietetic practice.
  • Engage registrants in critical reflection and learning to support practice improvement for safe, competent, and ethical practice.
  • Enhance continued competence improving practice quality and professional performance.