Internationally Educated Applicants

To practice dietetics in Canada, all Dietitians must be registered with a regulatory college, such as the College of Dietitians of British Columbia (CDBC).

The primary duty of the CDBC is to protect the public of British Columbia by regulating Dietitians. The term “Dietitian” is a reserved title protected by law.  Only individuals registered with a dietetic regulatory college, such as the CBDC, may use this title. The reserved title means that Dietitians have met strict registration requirements, and have a high level of expertise for providing safe, ethical, evidence-based nutrition services.  In British Columbia, Dietitians are regulated under the Health Professions Act, Dietitians Regulation and the CDBC Bylaws.

Any candidates educated outside of Canada, who wish to register with the CDBC, must undergo an “Assessment for Substantial Equivalence”, as part of the registration process (see Figure 1). As per section 41 (3) of the CDBC Bylaws, an applicant’s education, practical training and work experience are assessed for “substantial equivalence” to current Canadian dietetic education and practical training.

Figure 1: Steps to Registration - Internationally Educated Applicants.

IED Assessment Steps



If you are interested in applying for an assessment for substantial equivalence, please review the Assessment for Substantial Equivalence Application Information Guide. Then, start your Assessment for Substantial Equivalence application by opening a CDBC online account.

Please note - the College is not able to provide guidance regarding assessment of qualifications or upgrading to those who have not completed dietetics programs.


Assessment for Substantial Equivalence

Methods for assessing substantial equivalence at entry-to-practice levels are developed by the CDBC Registration Committee and approved by the CDBC's Board of Directors. These methods assess applicants relative to Canadian Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice (ICDEP), and determine if there are any gaps in dietetic education or practical skills.

There are various parts to assessing substantial equivalence for entry-to-practice in Canada:

  • Canadian Dietetic Practice, Orientation and Self-Assessment Tool (OSAT);
  • Competence Self-Verification (CSV) Case Studies;
  • Practical Assessment Interview;
  • Self-Directed Learning (SDL) Plan


Canadian Dietetic Practice, Orientation and Self-Assessment Tool

The  Canadian Dietetic Practice, Orientation and Self-Assessment Tool (OSAT) provides detailed information on how dietetics is practiced, and the expectations of Dietitians, in Canada.  The OSAT allows applicants to self-rate their dietetic knowledge, skills, abilities and judgement relative to the Canadian ICDEP.

Competence Self-Verification (CSV) Case Studies

The CSV case studies test competence relative to the ICDEP. The ICDEP represent entry-level practice performance expectations. The CSV results are verified by the CDBC through a rigorous process that is based on principles of fairness, consistency and transparency. Updated criteria for the CSV case studies were approved by the CDBC Board of Directors on March 14, 2014.


Practical Assessment Interview (PAI)

The Practical Assessment Interview is used to help identify gaps in practical knowledge, skills, abilities and judgement in entry-to-practice dietetics. Candidates are evaluated by Registered Dietitian interviewers, using case-based scenario questions. Requirements for practical upgrading is determined, in part, based on PAI results .

Self-Directed Learning Plan


Credential Evaluation

Orientation to Dietetic Practice in BC