skip to content

Evolving Networks to better support dietitians

Date: August 24, 2021

Unlocking Dietetics is a new monthly series from Alexis Williams, CEO of Dietitians of Canada. It will explore issues important to dietitians and actions taking place across the association. An excerpt will be published each month in Your Weekly Update, with the full article available at


I hate to say it but the evenings are getting cooler and another school year is here. I always feel a nervous excitement as autumn brings change and new beginnings. This is something I’ve had top of mind as I caught up with some important changes taking place to improve DC Networks, led by a group of committed members and based on member feedback. 

DC Networks are a highly valued part of DC membership. They bring together members that have a common professional interest to support professional education, networking, mentorship, advocacy and the creation and uptake of best practices. They also provide a space for members to ask practice questions and gain insights and advice from their peers. In fact, one in three DC members belonged to one or more networks last year.  However, just like the changing seasons, it was time for Networks to evolve to deliver the best member value. This was a commitment made in the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan

Over the last year, a Network Evolution Advisory Committee, made up of 9 dedicated Network Chairs, has provided input and advice to develop a more consistent model for Network structure, policies, pricing, services and activities.

One issue that emerged over the last few years was the discrepancy and inequity between Networks. This issue was raised by members as well as Network leaders. As a first step, the Network Evolution Advisory Committee is updating the existing 2013 Network Policy Manual. This has included collaborating to develop a budget model that aligns with Network services and products offered. The 2021 version will be finalized shortly, and all members will be able to access it in the Resource Library. Watch for updates on the Network Community page

Here are three of the key changes: 

  1. Increased internal support to Networks: Network leaders will receive additional onboarding and consistent support from DC staff, including help with planning and budgeting.

  2. Consistent pricing, based on services offered: Networks are now priced according to the number of services they offer each year. Services may include webinars, newsletters, member spotlights, resources and more. Networks that offer 3-5 services per year will cost $35, and Networks that provide more than 5 services will cost $45 per year. Student members can access any network for $15 per year. 

  3. Increased financial equity between networks: Some Networks were holding budgets beyond the two year policy guideline and others didn’t have any significant budget to support their work. Liability issues have also emerged which pose a risk to both DC and members. As a result, Networks will now hold one year of budget. All budget reserves in excess of one year will be held for all Networks to access with the aim of building financial equity between Networks.

I want to personally thank members of the Network Evolution Advisory Committee who demonstrated thoughtful leadership and a commitment to providing best member value. This group has been instrumental in these changes and with ongoing revisions to Network processes and expectations.

Not a member of a DC Network? I’d encourage you to consider it for 2021-2022! Read about the 20+ DC Networks here. 

DC Network Evolution Advisory Committee
Lesley Andrade – Community & Public Health Network
Daniela Fierini – Oncology Network
Karen Giesbrecht – Household Food Insecurity Network
Jen House – Consulting Dietitians Network
Chloé Le Quéré – Francophone Network
Teri Morrow – Aboriginal Nutrition Network
Mireille Najm – Clinical Nutrition Managers Network
Christine Nash – Canadian Association of Nephrology Dietitians
Emily Quinn – Student Network

Back to Unlocking Dietetics

Back to top