Dieticians Association of Australia (DAA)

If you intend to apply for migration to Australia under one of the General Skilled Migration categories, you must have a nominated occupation which is on the Skilled Occupations List at the time you apply. In order to make a valid application, you must have obtained a skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation.

DAA is the body responsible for assessing the following:

  • Dietetics qualifications

Dieticians in Australia contribute to the promotion of health and the prevention and treatment of illness by optimising the nutrition of communities and individuals. Dietetics uses scientific principles and methods in the study of nutrition and applies these to influencing the wider environment affecting food intakes and eating behaviours.

Dieticians must understand the:

  • Biochemical, physiological and psychological factors that relate to human nutrition in health and disease;
  • Principles of education and communication; and
  • Principles of organisation and management.

Dieticians in Australia are employed, or self employed, in a wide variety of work areas including patient care, clinical dietetics, community nutrition, education, consultancy/private practice, government, private sector, research and industry.

In Australia there is a distinction made between dieticians and other occupations in the nutrition and food science field, including that of nutritionist. The key difference between a dietician and a nutritionist is that, in addition to or as part of their qualification in human nutrition, a dietician has undertaken a course of study that included substantial theory and supervised and assessed professional practice in clinical nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and food service management. Therefore, in Australia, all dieticians are considered to be nutritionists, however, not all nutritionists can be considered to be dieticians.

Recognition Procedures in Australia

To be eligible for membership of the Dieticians Association of Australia (DAA), and to be recognised as an Accredited Practising Dietician (APD), dieticians trained in Australia must complete:

  • An approved Bachelor of Science degree course (or equivalent), majoring in appropriate subjects at a university or other tertiary institution; and
  • A graduate diploma or post-graduate degree course in dietetics of 1 or 2 years; or
  • An approved 4 year undergraduate degree majoring in nutrition and dietetics.

Although there are no legal requirements for registration of dieticians in Australia, for most employment and professional situations you will be expected to have qualifications that meet the eligibility requirements for membership of the DAA and accreditation as an Accredited Practising Dietician (APD). The APD programme is conducted by the DAA as a means of self-regulation by the profession to obtain and maintain high levels of professional practice.

If you hold overseas qualifications, employers will normally require you to have completed the assessment procedures that enable you to apply for membership of the DAA and participation in the APD programme.

The assessment procedure has 2 stages:

  • Stage One

    Assessment of eligibility to sit the DAA Examination in Dietetics for Overseas-Trained Dieticians.

  • Stage Two

    Completion of the DAA Examination in Dietetics for Overseas-Trained Dieticians.

You can take the DAA examination in dietetics if you:

  • Are registered, licensed or otherwise officially recognised as a dietician in the country where you trained or practised, or can demonstrate your eligibility for registration in that country;
  • Have completed a tertiary training programme of at least 4 years equivalent leading to a degree or post-graduate diploma in nutrition, dietetics or related field acceptable to DAA. This course should include a minimum of 65 days of relevant practical placement in clinical, food service management and community settings;
  • Speak English as your first language; or
  • Completed your tertiary training in English and have worked in an English-speaking country for at least 2 years; or
  • Have achieved a pass on an appropriate English language test: either an overall pass on the academic Occupational English Test (OET) or an overall band score of 7 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS); and
  • Can demonstrate currency of practice through adequate work experience OR education in the profession within the last 5 years.

You must apply to the DAA for assessment against these criteria and receive notification from the DAA of your eligibility before you can apply to sit the dietetics examination. Candidates who do not successfully complete the examination requirements within 2 years of assessment of their eligibility may need to have their currency of practice reassessed.

DAA Examination in Dietetics for Overseas-Trained Dieticians

In the dietetics examination you will be assessed against the level expected of Australian-trained dieticians at entry to the profession. The examination in dietetics includes a 3-hour written case studies examination and a 45-minute oral examination. You must pass both components of the examination within the same 3 years.

The written case studies component is designed to allow you to demonstrate your skills in dietetic needs assessment, goal and priority setting, and implementation and evaluation planning. The case studies address clinical, food service and community-based problems.

The oral examination is designed to assess your verbal counselling skills, response to cues, critical thinking, insight and reflection in a dietetic counselling situation.

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