PoliciesFewer than 500 hours
of Practice

The Purpose of the College’s monitoring of members practising fewer than 500 hours in 3 years

  • To meet statutory obligations under the College’s Registration Regulation (O. Reg. 593/94)
  • To assure the public and stakeholders that Registered Dietitians (RDs) practice safely, competently and ethically.
Policy statement

All eligible members of the College of Dietitians of Ontario annually declare whether they have practiced dietetics for 500 hours or more in the previous three-year period.

Any general member declares having practiced fewer than 500 hours in the last three consecutive years is referred by the Registrar to the QA Program to assess their competency to practice safely.

Notification
  • Prior to September 1, each year, the College will notify members of the renewal process and the due date of October 31 for their renewal.
  • The member’s renewal must be received by the College electronically, no later than October 31 each year.
  • Members after the first three* years of practice are required to declare their practice hours every year as part of the renewal process.
  • For members who declare practicing fewer than 500 hours in the last three* years, on behalf of the Committe, QA Staff will send a notification letter in Mid-November stipulating the options available as per Policy 5-40.
Compliance

Any member who receives a letter must respond to the College by the deadline indicated in the letter. Any member who does not fully participate in the process may be referred to the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) by the QA Committee.

*except those who have signed a voluntary undertaking

Members of the College may be granted an exemption or extension in the submission date of their learning diary due to circumstances such as current hospitalization, illness, disability, bereavement or personal hardship.  The Committee has delegated the authority to staff to consider requests and grant extensions and exemptions within the established criteria. No request is refused by staff without first being considered by the Committee.

Procedure

1. Filing a Request

A member of the College who wishes to request an exemption or extension1 in submitting their learning diary should do so in writing.

Requests for exemption or extension should be received on or before the due date of January 15.

Details of the Request for Exemption or Extension

The written request should include the following:

1.1 The member’s name and College registrant number

1.2 A request for the exemption or extension

1.3 Current work status

1.4 Any information that may be pertinent and supportive of the request (e.g. amount of time being requested, doctor's note or letter).

2. Committee/Staff Decisions Regarding a Request for Exemption or Extension

2.1 All requests for exemptions or extensions will be reviewed by the QA Staff on behalf of the Committee.

2.2 If a request for a specific time frame for an exemption or extension is made, the request will be considered but an alternative time frame may be approved.

2.3 If, after review, QA Staff are of the view that the request should be denied, the request will be referred to Committee for consideration and decision.

2.4 The member will be notified, in writing, of the decision.  This notification will be sent in writing to the member within five business days of the decision.

2.5 When an extension is granted, if the member requires an additional extension extending beyond April 15, they are required to submit a subsequent written request.

3. Maternity/Parental Leave

Exemptions will not be granted for maternity/parental leave.  Extensions will be considered.

4. Repeated Requests for Extensions Due to Long-Term Disability

Members who request an extension longer than six months will be referred to the QA Committee for consideration.

The Committee may grant an exemption for the current year or:

4.1 Suggest that the member sign a voluntary undertaking (Category 1).

4.2 Require the member to undergo an assessment within three months of their return to work.

 

1. An Extension refers to an extended due date in order for a member to complete their learning diary.  Members will be granted extensions until April 15 in a given membership year.  After this point Exemptions may be considered.

Exemption: If exempted, member is not required to submit their learning diary for the current year.  A new Learning Diary due date will be indicated in the notification letter.

Policy

Background:

Annually at renewal, members must self-declare whether they have practised at least 500 hours in the past three years.  The Registrar refers members who have practised fewer than 500 hours to the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC)for assessment.  QA Staff will notify these members by November 15 of their options. By January 15, members must select their option online via their member dashboard. Options include:

Category 1 (Non- practicing) must either sign a voluntary undertaking,submit their learning diary or undergo an assessment if required.

Category 2 (Practising) must submit their learning diary. Further assessment or remediation could be required.

The objectives of the learning diary review are to assess professional development activities and practice hours (if any), and to determine if there is sufficient professional development and practice to remain competent.

Procedure for Reviewing Learning Diaries

  • Once the members submit their learning diaries, assessors appointed by the QA staff will review these diaries to determine whether the member has maintained competency to practice dietetics.
  • Each learning diary is assigned to two assessors for validity and reliability. And where possible, assessors review the diaries of the people they reviewed in the previous year for continuity.
  • The assessors will conduct the assessment and prepare a written report to the QAC/Panel based on their evaluation.
  • The QA Committee will review the two independent Assessor's reports of the Learning Diary. Then, based on the assessment reports, the member's submission, and any other relevant information, the QA Committee will decide whether the member's knowledge, skill, and judgment are adequate.
  • The QA Committee will consider hours practiced and the professional development activities assessed in the diary.
  • The QA Committee will provide feedback on the assessment of the Learning Diary.
  • QA staff will notify the member by email, advising them of the outcome of the QAC review and feedback.

QA Committee Review and Outcome

  • The QAC will determine the most appropriate action depending on the outcome of the review in the two categories, as follows:
  •  
    Adequate Learning Diary Submission: Category 1 (Non-Practicing):
    • At the direction of the Committee, staff will send a letter to the member to indicate that the QQ Committee reviewed their learning diary and that their professional development was deemed adequate, and they have met the competency requirement for currency hours. Members must continue to submit a yearly diary to remain in the non-practising category.
    • If/when the member returns to practise, a mandatory Peer and Practice Assessment (PPA) is conducted within the first year.
    Inadequate Learning Diary Submission: Category 1 (Non-Practicing members):
    • At the direction of the Committee, staff will send a letter to the member to indicate that their diary was reviewed by the QA Committee/ Panel, and that their professional development was deemed inadequate. The member will be required to undergo a practice assessment (oral and/or written).
      • If the practice assessment is completed successfully, the member will be deemed competent to practice for 3 years;
        • Once 3 years have elapsed, if the member declares practising fewer than 500 hours in that period, QA staff will contact them about the options available. i.e. Submission of a Learning Diary, signing a Voluntary Undertaking (VUT), undergoing a Competency Assessment or resigning.
      • If not completed successfully, the QA Committee could direct remediation.
        • If the remediation is successful, the member would be deemed competent to practise for 3 years.
        • If the remediation is not completed successfully, the QA Committee will direct the Registrar to impose Terms, Conditions and Limitations on the member’s certificate to practice.
    • If/when the member returns to practise, a mandatory PPA is conducted within the first year of returning to practise.
      Adequate Submission: Category 2
      • At the direction of the Committee, staff will send a letter to the member to indicate that their learning diary was reviewed by the QA Panel and the member was found to be competent to practise. The letter will also state that the member will be part of a smaller pool of members from which 10% will be randomly selected to undergo a Peer and Practice Assessment. Once a member successfully completes a Practice Assessment, they are removed from the pool for 5 years.
       
      Inadequate Submission: Category 2

      The QAC committee may:

      • Direct the member to undergo a specific remediation program.
      • Once the prescribed remediation is completed, the member will provide proof of successful completion, and the member will be part of a smaller pool of members from which 10% will be randomly selected to undergo a Peer and Practice Assessment.
      • If the PPA is completed successfully, the member will be deemed competent to practise for 5 years.
      • If the remediation is not completed successfully, the QA Committee will direct the Registrar to impose Terms, Conditions and Limitations on the member’s certificate to practise. 
      Category 1 Flow Chart Category 2 Flow Chart