Dietitian Workforce

 

Background

Employers in all areas of Canada, especially rural and remote areas, are finding it difficult to recruit dietitians. There are just not enough dietitians trained in Canada to meet the demand. It is also important to make sure that the dietitians that are employed in Canada’s health system are satisfied with their work environment. This includes fair pay, good benefits and opportunities for career growth and development.

Position

It is essential to train enough dietitians to meet the health needs of Canadians. This requires the establishment of education and training programs that are accessible to more students.

Actions

Ensuring we have enough dietitians to meet the needs of Canadians requires a study of our workforce and planning for the future. Dietitians of Canada is working with partners, including dietetic educators and regulators, to study the dietetic workforce provincially and nationally. The results of these studies have been used to provide proof to provincial decision makers that more education and training programs are needed.

Some provinces have also studied workplace satisfaction of dietitians and concluded that fair pay, better working conditions and more support for career growth and advancement would help dietitians stay working in the profession longer.

Resources

  • Federal pre-budget recommendations for Budget 2017

    (August 2016) DC's recommendations to the federal government for Budget 2017 address issues including access to dietitians through home care and community-based care, telehealth and the federal government employee health care plan; food insecurity; excise tax on SSB; national workforce data base; and nutrient database of Canadian foods.

  • The Dietetic Workforce in British Columbia: Survey Report

    (May 2016) The 2015 Dietitians of Canada survey in British Columbia revealed that the BC dietetic workforce is at capacity, making it difficult to maintain existing services and leaving no opportunity to meet the increased demand for nutrition services related to government priorities and population growth. At the same time, unregulated nutrition practitioners are increasingly entering the nutrition practice landscape in BC, raising concerns regarding quality of care and risk to patients and clients. An Executive Summary is also available.

  • Registered Dietitians In Canada - A Compilation of Provincial Workforce Data

    (January 2016) – In 2015, DC undertook a national collection of data elements that could form the basis for a more comprehensive examination of dietetic workforce needs. Provincial dietetic regulators were invited to participate by contributing provincial data for inclusion in a simplified workforce model.

  • Primary Health Care Workforce Survey Report 2015

    (2015) – Ontario dietitians working in PHC settings including Family Health Teams, Community Health Centres, and Nurse Practitioner-led Clinics, were surveyed to track changes in the PHC dietitian workforce and roles, and job satisfaction. The 2015 survey measured changes in job satisfaction from 2012 results, and captured additional information on the leadership roles of dietitians in PHC.

  • THE CANADIAN WAY: Accelerating Innovation and Improving Health System Performance - A Consensus Statement by the Health Action Lobby (HEAL)

    (December 2014) – How could the federal government take a leadership role in improving the health and health care of Canadians? HEAL, a coalition of 39 national health organizations, including Dietitians of Canada, speaks out.

  • Gaps and barriers in the training and practice of dietitians: Report to the federal HESA Committee

    (November 2014) – This DC report to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health (HESA) addresses gaps and barriers (including Aboriginal students).

  • Fixing the Skills Gap: Dietitian Workforce Shortage in Canada

    (May 2012) This brief was submitted to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) as a backgrounder to our witness presentation on May 7, 2012. It outlines a pending dietitian shortage due to retirements in the next decade; discusses the need for more practicum placements, opportunities for Aboriginal placements, and internationally-educated dietitian bridging programs; and makes recommendations for better dietitian workforce surveillance data.

  • Strengthening the Canadian Health System:A Call to Action from Dietitians

    (November 2011) The Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology was accepting submissions in preparation for the Health Accord 2014. Dietitians of Canada called for action in three areas: increased investment in health promotion and non-communicable disease prevention including access to healthy food, coordinated interprofessional health services, and sufficient labour supply and access to dietitians.

  • Pan-Territorial Dietetic Internship - An Environmental Scan

    (July 2011)- Training opportunities in the Territories that provide learning experiences focused on the health and nutrition needs of northern and Aboriginal people in rural and remote community settings are limited to the Yukon First Nations Dietetic Internship Program. This report examines the opportunities to increase the number of trained dietitians who are familiar with working in northern and Aboriginal communities by assessing the feasibility of increasing dietetic internship opportunities in Canada’s North.

  • Ontario Task Force on Dietetic Education and Practical Training Report

    (August 2011)- A Task Force has completed their recommendations for a new dietetic education and practical training model for Ontario which better meets the demands and evolving needs of the province’s healthcare system, while ensuring all qualified students can complete the required practicum education requirements. The Ministry has not endorsed nor responded to the report as yet.

  • The Dietitian Workforce in Canada: Meta-Analysis Report

    (March 2011)– a meta-analysis report of the dietitian workforce in Canada was developed, based on the surveys conducted by provinces from 2007 to 2011. The report provides a “snapshot” of the dietetic workforce and identifies workforce issues affecting the profession.

  • Health Action Lobby letter to Standing Committee on Health

    (November 2010) - HEAL, a coalition of 38 organizations including Dietitians of Canada, outlined our response to the Standing Committee's report Promoting Innovative Solutions to Health Human Resource Challenges.

  • Member Resources A-Z: Health Human Resources
  • Ontario Dietetic Workforce Survey

    (2009) – the results of a study conducted by Dietitians of Canada and the College of Dietitians of Ontario on the demographics and employment issues of the dietitian workforce in Ontario in order provide data for health human resource planning into the future.

  • Workforce Analysis of Dietitians in Alberta

    (2008) – a summary of the results of the Dietetic Workforce Analysis Survey of members of Dietitians of Canada in Alberta; results present a view of the dietitian workforce in Alberta during the spring of 2008.

  • Workforce Analysis of Dietitians in BC

    (2008) – a summary of the findings of an electronic survey distributed by the College of Dietitians in BC providing a snapshot of the dietitian workforce in BC.

  • Workforce Analysis of Dietitians in Manitoba

    (2007) – a summary of the findings of a survey conducted by Dietitians of Canada in cooperation with the College of Dietitians of Manitoba providing a snapshot of the dietitian workforce in Manitoba in 2007.

  • Workforce Analysis of Dietitians in Northern Ontario

    (2006) – a summary of the findings of an electronic survey of dietitians and employers in Northern Ontario.

  • Workforce Analysis of Dietitians in Saskatchewan

    (2007) – a summary of the findings of a survey of Saskatchewan dietitians conducted by Dietitians of Canada in cooperation with the Saskatchewan Dietitian Association in 2007

  • Workforce Analysis of Dietitians in Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut

    (2009) – a summary of the findings of a survey of Dietitians of Canada members in Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut in 2008.

  • Workforce Analysis of Dietitians - Atlantic Region

    (2007) - a summary of the results of the Dietetic Workforce Analysis Survey; results present a view of the dietitian workforce

  • Workforce Analysis of Newfoundland and Labrador Dietitians

    (2007) – a summary of the findings for Newfoundland and Labrador, based on data from an electronic survey of dietitians in the Atlantic provinces.

Updated August 22, 2016

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