Determining CurrencyPractice Hours

Background


Council approved a policy  on determining currency[1] practice hours for Dietitians in Ontario in June 2022. Ultimately, maintaining at least 500 hours of dietetic practice over three years ensures that dietitians can practise dietetics safely, ethically, and competently. This policy assists dietitians in completing their annual renewal declaration regarding dietetic currency practice hour requirements.

The policy includes:

  • What counts as dietetic practice; and

  • Categories and considerations when determining whether certain activities help dietitians meet the College's minimum 500 hours/3 years dietetic practice hour requirement.

Categories to Determine What Counts as a Practice Hour


Consider these categories when deciding whether a task counts as dietetic practice hours and apply the following categories to determine practice hours.

1. Does the activity or task fall within the updated College definition of practising dietetics? This definition assists dietitians in determining which tasks count as practice hours.

  • Dietitians should exercise reasonable professional judgement to determine their practice hour determinations based on the individual circumstances related to their specific role and practice setting.

  • The definition is broad and includes various practice areas and workplace settings. Practising dietetics does not only include dietitians who work directly with patients/clients. The description provides examples of activities for guidance but is not exhaustive.

  • This definition is not intended to apply to other contexts (e.g., whether liability insurance is required for the activity, what cannot be done while one is suspended, or one’s practice is restricted).

  • Out-of-province dietetic practice counts towards practice hours, provided members practise dietetics according to the definition of practising dietetics (dietitians must also follow jurisdictional requirements as applicable).

2. Does the activity or task fall within the performance of a delegated controlled act? Refer to the Standard for Dietitians Practising Through Delegation of Controlled Acts. Consider dietetic competencies as a foundation for performing the controlled act when practising the act as a dietitian.

3. Is the activity or task considered outside the dietetic scope of practice? If so, does it have transferability to dietetic practice, and does it reflect the knowledge and skills outlined in the Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice (ICDEP)? Does it require being an active regulated health professional?

If you have been redeployed during the pandemic

During the pandemic, many dietitians were asked by their employers to perform temporary redeployment duties[2]. These activities may include competencies dietitians are expected to hold and maintain throughout their dietetic careers (e.g., communication and collaboration, management and leadership, professionalism[3], and ethics).

How many redeployment practice hours can I count?
As per the policy, starting at renewal 2022, dietitians who are redeployed will be able to count to 166 currency hours per year of redeployed work until we are out of the pandemic. In addition, any time spent practising dietetics will be counted as usual.


[1] A ‘currency requirement’ refers to recent practice hours experience within a specific period, demonstrating that a member’s skills or related work experience are up to date.

[2] For this policy, temporary redeployment is defined as employment (either new or continuing) within the health system to perform activities that are non-traditional for dietitians in support of the public health response to prevent or alleviate the effects of COVID-19. These activities include but are not limited to contact tracing, health screening, assisting clients/patients with activities of daily living, supporting immunization clinics, or other related healthcare functions.

[3] For this policy, being a professional means practicing while considering the following abilities:

  1. Being reflective and committed to safe, competent, ethical practice
  2. Practising integrity, humility, honesty, diligence, respect and treating others fairly and equitably
  3. Valuing dignity and worth of all persons regardless of age, race, culture, creed, sexual identity, gender, body weight, ableness and/or health status
  4. Complying with legal requirements and professional obligations
  5. Applying the principles of sensitive practice and functioning in a client-centred manner
  6. Working within areas of personal knowledge and skills
  7. Maintaining a safe work environment
  8. Maintaining personal wellness consistent with the needs of the practice
  9. Using an evidence-informed approach to your work
  10. Act in an ethical manner, respecting autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and respect for justice