Dietitians' Views on the Current Competency Standards for Entry Level Dietitians



Publication Details

Phillips, S., Ash, S. & Tapsell, L. C. (2000). Dietitians' Views on the Current Competency Standards for Entry Level Dietitians. Australian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics., 57 (4), 190-207.


A modified Delphi survey was forwarded to members of the dietetic profession to ascertain the current use and acceptance of the competency standards for entry level dietitians. Members of the profession identified as stakeholders were those involved in A teaching and training dietitians, dietitians in tertiary hospitals, members of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) committees, members involved in the competency standards development project and members of DAA special interest groups. The competency standards were considered to be a valuable professional document with varied uses including a reference standard for the accreditation of university courses, development of course curricula, student assessment and professional development. The importance of regularly reviewing the competency standards to ensure their ongoing validity was acknowledged. Stakeholders identified dietetic management skills as a potential gap in the existing standards. These included strategic planning, marketing, and performing quality assurance activities. Communication skills and conduct of outcome evaluations also were identified as requiring further attention. The survey also revealed a lack of stakeholder familiarity with the structure, function and terminology of the competency standards and a limited access to the standards. In general, stakeholders also indicated they would like to see further development of competency standards for dietitians to reflect advanced levels of practice and specialist areas.