Dietitians are Nutritionists but not all Nutritionists are Dietitians
How do I know my Dietitian or Nutritionist has the appropriate education and credentials?
In most provinces in Canada there are no regulatory standards to protect the term ‘Nutritionist’ so anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. If you are looking for nutritional advice, it is essential to check out their qualifications and/or registrations they have to ensure they are accredited, educated, experienced in the area of your need and accountable if something goes wrong.
Science degree in human nutrition and or Dietetics as well as supervised practical training from University or approved program. Many Dietitians have worked in clinical settings before working in private practice so often have a diverse background. Look for the letters R.D., P.Dt. or D.Pt in their credentials.
Sports Dietitians can have various levels of specialized training which can vary from a
1-day course to a post grad diploma from an accredited institution.
Dietitians must be registered with Provincial Regulatory Bodies and are the only professionals who can use the titles “Registered Dietitian”, “Professional Dietitian” and “Dietitian”, which are protected by law.
Dietitians are accountable to provincial regulatory bodies for their professional conduct and the care they provide. For more information, contact the regulatory body in your province. The list of Registered RD’s in BC can be found at the College of Dietitians of BC.
As Dietitians have areas of specialty, it is advised to discuss your health professionals experience based on your specific needs. Remember, there are many people who take a short nutrition course and consider themselves appropriately educated to provide sound nutritional advice as a Nutritionist…don’t hesitate to ask about their education and/or credentials to ensure you receive up to date and evidence based nutrition for your specific needs.