You want the best care for you and your family, so that means opting for services from qualified, trained and regulated practitioners. Here are five reasons why regulation makes all the difference.

1. High Standards for academic and practical training. Dietitians are a regulated health profession in Ontario. The College of Dietitians of Ontario is their regulatory body. This means the college establishes and enforces standards for entry to practice, professional practice, ethics, professional conduct and for continuing competence. A high standard for academic and practical training must be achieved in order to practice as a registered dietitian in the province. So when you visit a registered dietitian for nutrition advice, you can expect to receive high quality care.

2. Respectful relationships. Dietitians are trained to maintain respectful and professional relationships with their clients. As a client, you have a right to clear, complete information. You also have the right to be involved in all decisions about your treatment, including consenting to or refusing treatment. The dietitian-client relationship is based on mutual trust and a philosophy of client-centred care. Dietitians put clients first.

3. Accountability. While anyone can legally provide nutrition advice in Ontario, what sets registered dietitians apart is that by law they are accountable to the College of Dietitians of Ontario to provide safe advice. Each dietitian must participate in the college’s quality assurance program to ensure that they continue to practice safely and competently for their whole career.

4. A formal complaints process is available for the public. The College of Dietitians of Ontario has a formal complaints process in place for anyone who has a concern or complaint about the services they have received from a dietitian. It has the responsibility and power to investigate all complaints. As a client and a member of the public, you may call the college any time for information about how to launch a complaint.

5. The dietitian is a protected professional title. In Ontario, only members of the College of Dietitians of Ontario are authorized to call themselves a “dietitian,” “registered dietitian” or “RD.” Anyone who is not a member of the college is prohibited from using these titles.

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