Development of nutrition science competency standards for undergraduate nutrition science degrees: a joint NSA and ANT initiative

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstract


The need for updated competency standards for nutrition scientists was identified at a co-badged Australian Nutrition Trust/Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA) workshop on Curriculum for Nutrition Science degrees, at the NSA Annual Scientific Meeting, in November 2014. An iterative multiple methods approach comprising three stages was undertaken: 1. scoping study of existing competencies; 2. exploratory survey; and, 3. a modified Delphi process (completed in 2 rounds) involving 128 nutrition experts from industry, community, government and academia. A ≥70% consensus rule was applied to findings in Rounds 1 and 2 of the Delphi process in order to arrive at a final list of competency standards. Overall, there was a high level of consensus on the proposed competency standards. The revised competency standards comprise five core competency areas and three specialist competency areas. The five core competency standards are underpinned by fundamental knowledge, skills, attitudes and values and include the following areas required for practice: Nutrition Science; Food and the Food System; Nutrition Governance; Sociocultural and Behavioural Factors; Nutrition Research and Critical Analysis; and Communication and Professional Conduct. The three specialist competency areas are: Food Science; Public Health Nutrition; and Animal Nutrition. The new nutrition science competency structure provides a framework against which to benchmark current and future nutrition science degrees in Australia and are expected to lead to improved employability skills of nutrition science graduates. These revised competencies for the contemporary role of nutritionists and nutrition scientists will further build professional identity in the changing landscape of nutrition.


Conference10th Asia Pacific Conference on Clinical Nutrition incorporating the Nutrition Society of Australia and New Zealand Nutrition Society Scientific Meetings, Adelaide 26-29 November 2017
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