Research Article| Volume 52, ISSUE 4, P351-358, April 2020

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

Published:September 17, 2019DOI:



      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.


      An iterative, pragmatic, 3 key-phase approach involving workshops, a consensus survey with job description and consultation.




      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.


      Level of agreement on the survey was set at ≥70%. These comments were triangulated with content analysis from 98 entry-level job descriptions.


      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.

      Key Words

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