English Language Proficiency
Proficiency in English at the professional level is required to ensure language does not create a barrier to the applicant to practice dietetics in Alberta. Given the nature of practice by dietitians and the emphasis on oral and written communication, being proficient in the English language for reading, writing, speaking, and listening is essential for safe practice in Alberta’s healthcare system.
To be registered as a dietitian or nutritionist in Alberta, you must be able to show proficiency in English. This means the College must be satisfied you can read, write, listen, and speak in English at a level that allows you to practice dietetics safely.
What is language proficiency?
“Language proficiency” is the ability to communicate and comprehend effectively, both orally and in writing, in the English language. The College reviews your evidence and determines whether or not you meet the language proficiency criteria to practice dietetics in Alberta.
Applicants must provide documentation demonstrating language proficiency prior to being eligible for assessment. All evidence supporting language proficiency must have been completed in the last three years for your complete application to be reviewed by the Registration Committee of the College (This timeframe may be extended by the Registration Committee; see below for details).
Meeting the language proficiency requirement
Applicants to the College must meet the language proficiency requirement through one of the following ways:
1. By completing a dietetics program from an institution in a country on the College approved list, where:
- Theory and clinical instruction were provided in English
- The primary language of the educational institution was English
- The program was not an online or distance education program
College Approved List of Countries
|United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales)
|United States of America
2. By completing a Canadian accredited dietetics program.
3. By holding current registration:
- With the College (or having held registration within the last three years) in the general, temporary, or courtesy registers
- With another dietetic regulatory body in Canada (or having held registration within the last three years), in an equivalent practicing class
4. By achieving the required benchmark scores on one of the language proficiency tests approved by the College.
Applicants who cannot demonstrate language proficiency through their dietetic program, registration status, or a recent language proficiency test must provide other evidence of language proficiency.
Language proficiency is also determined through the College Competency Assessment. If concerns with language proficiency are raised during the Competency Assessment, the Registration Committee of the College may require the applicant to complete English language upgrading. The College reserves the right to require at any time completion of an approved English language test to meet the English Language Proficiency requirement for registration.
Indicators for language proficiency
All evidence of language proficiency that applicants submit to the College must demonstrate the following:
- Currency – the evidence must be recent and show the applicant is proficient in English
- Comprehensiveness – the evidence must show the applicant can communicate and comprehend effectively in English, at the level required for dietetic practice, in reading, writing, listening, and speaking
- Application – the evidence must show the applicant can communicate in English, taking into consideration how the applicant uses their communication skills and the context in which the communication takes place.
If applicant’s primary language of instruction for their academic and internship program was in English in a country on the College approved list, they shall provide:
- Official documentation from the institution attesting to the language of instruction for the entirety of the program.
If applicant’s academic and internship instruction was in a language other than English or in a country not on the approved list, they shall provide:
- result with the required benchmark scores on one of the language proficiency tests approved by the College (see below).
Accepted language proficiency tests
Applicants can meet the language proficiency requirement by achieving the minimum scores for one of the following tests:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Test
- Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic Test
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT Test
Applicants must achieve a test score for all test components during one complete attempt of the test. The College will not accept scores from a mix of different tests or from more than one attempt at one test.
Visit the examination websites below to learn more about testing locations and times, fees, and re-takes.
The College only accepts results for the Academic Test. Click here to view the College’s profile on the IELTS website.
The College of Dietitians of Alberta accepts: 1) scores submitted electronically by the IELTS test center or, 2) paper Test Report Forms. An institutional code is NOT required. Please directly contact the test center where you took IELTS and request that your scores be submitted electronically to our account via the IELTS Results Service. All test centers worldwide can transmit your scores to our system.
You must provide the following information to your test center when requesting scores be shared with the College:
IELTS Results Service Account name: College of Dietitians of Alberta
IELTS Results Service Account address: 1320-10123 99 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 3H1, Canada
|IELTS Minimum Scores
The College only accepts results for the Academic Test.
|PTE Minimum Scores
The College only accepts results for the iBT Test. Click here to view the College’s profile on the TOEFL website. The College of Dietitians of Alberta’s DI Code is D091; use the DI code number when indicating the College as a score recipient. Scores will be sent to the College directly from ETS (TOEFL).
|TOEFL Minimum Scores