What kind of training and education does a dietitian have in Canada?

male and female dietetic students in a group seminar

Dietitians are regulated health professionals who use expertise in food and nutrition to enhance the lives and improve the health of Canadians. Dietitians practice in a wide variety of settings to support the needs of all Canadians. Canadian dietitians are highly trained and educated.

Becoming a dietitian in Canada requires the following steps

  1. Completion of a degree in human nutrition and dietetics from an accredited university program. These programs include classes in:

  • Sciences such as chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology
  • Social sciences and communication
  • Nutrition through the lifecycle, chronic disease and food service management
  • Nutrition in the community and population health
  1. Completion of supervised practical training. This happens either during the university program or as a practicum program after graduation. Most practicums are a combination of clinical, community, and food service management experiences. 
  2. Write an exam. Once the university degree and practical training is finished, in all provinces (except Quebec), you have to write the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE). The Dietetic Regulatory Body in each province manages the exam. Like other health professionals, dietitians must be registered with the provincial regulatory body in their province. The regulatory body ensures that the dietitian is qualified to provide safe, competent and ethical practice. Dietitians must also participate in quality assurance programs to ensure continuing competency. Dietitians must continuously update their knowledge and skills.

For your safety, only people who are registered with the provincial regulatory body are regulated and able to use the title dietitian (or other titles protected for use by dietitians). Individuals who are not members of the provincial regulatory body are not allowed to use this professional designation or practice as a qualified dietitian.

For more information about becoming a dietitian

Find out the difference between a registered dietitian and a nutritionist 

How can I find a dietitian near me?

It’s easy to find a dietitian near you, visit Find a Dietitian. You can search by postal code, city, and/or health condition.

Many dietitians offer services virtually and most employee benefit plans cover dietitian services. Check your plan today. If your benefits don't cover dietitian services, share this resource with your employer.

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Last Update – November 30, 2020

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