Developing National Conceptual Understanding to Describe Entry-to-Practice Dietetics Competence

Andrea Begley, Anna Bird, Claire Palermo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Develop consensus on entrustable professional activities (EPAs) and milestones for students, practice educators, and academics that need shared understanding to assess entry-level competence in dietetics. Design: An iterative, pragmatic, 3 key-phase approach involving workshops, a consensus survey with job description and consultation. Setting: Australia. Participants: A total of 58 academics and 43 practitioners with expertise in competency-based assessment in dietetics were purposefully selected to participate in 4 national workshops. Of those selected, 36 completed a survey that sought consensus on the EPAs and milestones drafted at the workshops (36% response rate). Phenomenon of Interest: Support for competency-based assessment. Analysis: Level of agreement on the survey was set at ≥70%. These comments were triangulated with content analysis from 98 entry-level job descriptions. Results: Consensus on 4 key tasks of the profession with associated descriptions of the level of performance were included to implement a nutrition intervention; facilitate a food, nutrition, and/or lifestyle conversation; perform professional activities and projects; and work as part of a team. Conclusions and Implications: Identification of the key minimum tasks of a dietitian upon entry-to-practice, together with developmental descriptors of performance, provides clarity in the expected progression and end point of assessment. This resource will support competency-based assessment decisions. The international transferability of this warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-358
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • competence
  • dietetics
  • education
  • milestone

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