Phone: 780-448-0059 Toll Free: 1-866-493-4348

A Message from the Registrar on COVID-19

March 18, 2020

UPDATED 3/24/2020:

COVID-19 Pandemic Resources


We find ourselves in extraordinary and uncertain times right now and it is important for all of us to face this uncertainty with calm and to look out for each other.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic with sustained risk of further global spread. On March 17th, Premier Kenney declared a state of health emergency for Alberta. To minimize the risk of transmission and ensure the continuity of critical services, the College of Dietitians of Alberta (CDA) is taking actions in alignment with the Alberta Government’s heightened precautionary measures. This is in keeping with our mandate to regulate the profession of dietetics in the public interest, while adhering to guidelines from both health and government officials.

We know that the healthcare system is facing extraordinary demands now and that this will only increase in the coming weeks and months. We have made adjustments to various programs to account for the increased needs of our healthcare system to focus on other priorities right now. Where we can, we have put measures in place to maintain operations as much as is reasonably possible.

CDA’s office is open for business but closed to visitors.

Out of an abundance of caution, the College of Dietitians of Alberta (CDA) office is practicing ‘social distancing’ and has closed its doors and will establish a virtual office. This allows us to ‘stay open for business’ with staff available by email or by phone during regular business hours. Though the office will be closed, the College anticipates minimal disruption to services. The College staff thank everyone for their patience as workflow and logistical adjustments are made. College staff are prepared and equipped with the tools and resources to work remotely and continue to provide assistance to regulated members, applicants and the public.

College office hours are Monday-Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm. If we are unable to assist you when you call the main office number 780-448-0059, please leave a message or send an email. We will address all questions or requests as soon as we can.

Please refer to the College’s website www.collegeofdietitians.ab.ca News & Events to stay updated on further developments.

Registration Renewal 2020

The College understands that as the world faces this unprecedented crisis of enormous scale and uncertainty, there is acute stress for regulated health professionals. Dietitians may be asked to help in this crisis by being redeployed into non-traditional roles and therefore, registration is essential. In order to ensure continuity of care through this crisis, it is essential that all regulated members of the College continue to meet the requirements of registration which includes ensuring you have renewed your registration for the upcoming registration year.

The College strongly encourages all regulated members who have yet to complete their registration renewal for 2020/2021 to complete this process as soon as possible by accessing your Login for Regulated Members. The College office will continue to provide assistance to regulated members in a timely manner but to ensure any possible delays do not impact your registration, please complete the registration renewal process well in advance of the deadline.

For Continuing Competence Program submissions, the College understands that some regulated members will not have access to all of their competence documents should they be self-isolating or have restricted access to facilities where information may be stored. In order for you to complete your renewal requirements, the College advises you to submit your CCP learning plans online to the best of your abilities. Of note, reflections do not need to contain specific details (for example, dates of learning activities completed) but you can still complete the reflection by summarizing the four components of a reflection: your learning goal, learning activities completed, what you learned and how you are more competent. While completing your CCP is required, the College will waive CCP reviews and audits for this registration year.

Applications for Registration

Application and registration processes will proceed as usual. We appreciate that the registration of healthcare professionals is a priority for regulatory bodies during this time and we are focusing our efforts to minimize issues or delays in registering qualified applicants. Applicants can follow the instructions on the website regarding applying to the College. The Registration staff will strive to process applications within the usual timelines. Applicants will be notified by email when they become a regulated member, which will permit you to practice dietetics in Alberta.

The national Alliance of Canadian Dietetic Regulatory Bodies, which is the body responsible for administering the Canadian Dietetic Registration Exam (CDRE), is following the situation closely to determine next steps regarding the May 2020 exam sitting. Further information regarding the CDRE will be made available shortly.

RD Practice and Work Setting Adjustments

Governments at all levels and Canada’s public health experts are warning of the high need for physical distancing to minimize transmission of coronavirus. Dietitians are therefore encouraged to prioritize essential services, provide virtual services to clients/patients within the province when appropriate and/or to discontinue non-essential services.

If you do provide in-person services, you must adhere to all necessary infection control practices to ensure the health and safety of yourself and your clients/patients.

If you discontinue non-essential services, you must adhere to requirements for discontinuing services, including all relevant Standards of Practice and sections of the Code of Ethics. During the pandemic, some essential health care tasks may require higher manpower to complete in a timely manner than is available within current staffing allotments. These tasks may be deemed to be higher priority for overall client/patient care outcomes than other non-essential services.

The College is aware that Dietitians may be re-deployed to assist with tasks that are not typically part of the College’s Practice Statement. If you work in a hospital, continuing care, primary care, or any other health care facility, adhere to your employer requirements. The College asks that Dietitians work with their teams to help accomplish high priority tasks in a timely, competent, safe, and ethical manner. Dietitians are encouraged to contact the College’s Director of Professional Practice if guidance is required.

Dietitians are asked to use their professional judgement to prioritize essential services, work remotely where possible, assist with atypical tasks and suspend non-essential services for your patients/clients. This advice will depend on your employment setting and we encourage you to continue seeking direction from your employer and the College’s Director of Professional Practice at ppc@collegeofdietitians.ab.ca.

Reporting Symptoms and Self-Isolation

Alberta Health has asked regulatory colleges to assist them by collecting information from regulated members on who is in self-isolation, or anyone who may test positive for COVID-19. Collecting this information will help Alberta Health in planning and possible deployment of health practitioners.

We ask that any regulated members who are in self-isolation make the College office aware via email at execasst@collegeofdietitians.ab.ca.

We know that everyone is concerned about this pandemic. We also know that as dedicated professionals, you will do all you can to ease the burden for your clients, colleagues, and staff. The College will provide further information and updates as needed. In the meantime, stay safe, wash your hands, and take care of yourself, your families, friends, and neighbors.

Sincerely,

Doug Cook

Executive Director and Registrar

 

For general information about the pandemic, please access the following information:

Government of Canada:

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals.html

Alberta Health:

https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx

Alberta Health Services:

http://www.ahs.ca/covid