Research Competencies in Nutrition & Dietetics

Expected by the ADA

Excerpts from:

Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education. CADE Accreditation Handbook. Chicago, IL: American Dietetic Association, 2002.

I. Overview

Role and Value of Accreditation

ADA Values

Overview of Dietetics Education Today

Schematic for Dietetics Education

Foundation Knowledge and Skills

Practitioner Competencies

III. Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies for Entry-Level Dietitian Education Programs

Foundation Knowledge and Skills for Didactic Component

Competency Statements for the Supervised Practice Component

Core Competencies for Dietitians (CD)

Community (CO) Emphasis Competencies

IV. Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies for Entry-Level Dietetic Technician Education Programs

Foundation Knowledge and Skills for Didactic Component

Competency Statements for the Supervised Practice Component

Core Competencies for Dietetic Technicians (DT)


I. Overview

Role and Value of Accreditation

ADA VALUES

  • Excellence—acts ethically and with integrity in the identification, development, and delivery of quality services, research, products, and programs for all customers
  • Open Communication—promotes open dialogue and the sharing of information and knowledge
(1-2)

Overview of Dietetics Education Today

SCHEMATIC FOR DIETETICS EDUCATION

Foundation Knowledge and Skills

Foundation knowledge and skills achieved in didactic education encompass the broad-based studies that

  • enhance quality of life,
  • enable individuals to function more effectively in society as dietetics professionals,
  • provide an educational base from which practitioner competencies can evolve.

To successfully achieve the foundation knowledge and skills, graduates must have demonstrated the ability to communicate and collaborate, solve problems, and apply critical thinking skills.

(10)

Practitioner Competencies

Practitioner competencies build on the foundation knowledge and skills necessary for a dietetics professional. Competency statements specify what every practitioner should be able to do at the beginning of his or her career.

  • For dietitian education, it is expected that the competencies be attained by completion of the Dietetic Internship or the supervised practice component of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics. The core competency statements build on appropriate knowledge and skills necessary for entry-level dietitians to perform reliably at the level indicated. This core ensures that everyone enrolled in a Dietetic Internship or Coordinated Program has learning experiences reflecting the breadth of dietetics practice. The core provides the broad base of diverse experiences necessary for future career mobility, as illustrated in the Model for Dietetics Practice (Fig 3).

In addition to the core, emphasis areas are (1) nutrition therapy, (2) community, (3) foodservice systems management, (4) business/entrepreneur, (5) general, and (6) program designed or unique. Competencies for the first four areas have been defined based on national research data and professional expertise. Competencies for each emphasis area build on the core competencies and are designed to begin development of the entry-level depth necessary for future proficiency in that particular area of dietetics practice. More experience in at least one area provides a model for learning throughout one’s professional life (Fig 4). Competencies selected for the general emphasis from each of the four defined emphasis areas build on the core competencies. General emphasis does not mean achievement of all competencies from all emphasis areas. A program-designed (unique) emphasis is developed on the basis of environmental resources and identified needs. Competencies for this emphasis build on the core competencies and are designed to provide entry-level depth in a unique area of dietetics practice.

  • For dietetic technician education, it is expected that the competencies be attained by completion of the supervised practice component of the Dietetic Technician Program. The competency statements build on appropriate knowledge and skills necessary for entry-level dietetic technicians to perform reliably and without assistance at the level indicated.
(11)

III. Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies for Entry-Level Dietitian Education Programs

Foundation Knowledge and Skills for Didactic Component

The entry-level dietitian is knowledgeable in the eight areas listed below. The foundation knowledge and skills precede achievement of the core and emphasis area(s) competencies, which identify the performance level expected upon completion of the supervised practice program.

Foundation learning has two parts: (1) knowledge of a topic as it applies to the profession of dietetics and (2) ability to demonstrate the skill at a level that can be developed further. To successfully achieve the foundation knowledge and skills, graduates must have demonstrated the ability to communicate and collaborate, solve problems, and apply critical thinking skills.

1. COMMUNICATIONS

Graduates will have knowledge of:

  • Negotiation techniques
  • Lay and technical writing
  • Media presentations
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Counseling theory and methods
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Educational theory and techniques
  • Concepts of human and group dynamics
  • Public speaking
  • Educational materials development

Graduates will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Use oral and written communications in presenting an educational session for a group
  • Counsel individuals on nutrition
  • Document appropriately a variety of activities
  • Explain a public policy position regarding dietetics
  • Use current information technologies
  • Work effectively as a team member
(29)

4. RESEARCH

Graduates will have knowledge of:

  • Research methodologies
  • Needs assessments
  • Outcomes-based research
  • Scientific method
  • Quality improvement methods

Graduates will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Interpret current research
  • Interpret basic statistics
(30)

Competency Statements for the Supervised Practice Component

CORE COMPETENCIES FOR DIETITIANS (CD)

Upon completion of the supervised practice component of dietitian education, all graduates will be able to do the following:

CD6. Use current technologies for information and communication activities (perform)

CD11. Develop and review educational materials for target populations (perform)

(32-33)

COMMUNITY (CO) EMPHASIS COMPETENCIES

CO5. Participate in community-based research

(35)

IV. Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies for Entry-Level Dietetic Technician Education Programs

Foundation Knowledge and Skills for Didactic Component

The entry-level dietetic technician is knowledgeable in the eight areas listed below. The foundation knowledge and skills may be integrated with achievement of the competencies, which identify the performance level expected upon completion of the supervised practice component of the program.

Foundation learning is divided as follows: knowledge of a topic as it applies to the profession of dietetics and ability to demonstrate the skill at a level that can be developed further. To successfully achieve the foundation knowledge and skills, graduates must have demonstrated the ability to communicate and collaborate, solve problems, and apply critical thinking skills.

1. COMMUNICATIONS

Graduates will have knowledge of:

  • Counseling theory and methods
  • Methods of teaching
  • Concepts of human and group dynamics
  • Educational materials development
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Basic mathematics
  • Written communication

Graduates will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Use oral and written communications in presenting an educational session for target groups
  • Document appropriately a variety of activities
(37)

4. RESEARCH

Graduates will have knowledge of:

  • Interpretation of current research
  • Needs assessment
  • Basic statistics
  • Quality improvement
(38)

Competency Statements for the Supervised Practice Component

CORE COMPETENCIES FOR DIETETIC TECHNICIANS (DT)

Upon completion of the supervised practice component of a dietetic technician education program, the graduate will be able to do the following:

DT6. Use current technologies for information and communication activities (perform)

(40)


Last modified January 25, 2007
by Boris Teske, Prescott Memorial Library,
Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272