The International Confederation of Dietetic Associations develops international standards in consultation with its Member associations. The international standards are meant to express those important matters to which we can all agree. ICDA’s international standards represent the common ground of dietetics around the world.

Dietitian-Nutritionist (2014)

A Dietitian-Nutritionist is a professional who applies the science of food and nutrition to promote health, prevent and treat disease to optimise the health of individuals, groups, communities and populations.

International Standard for Education of Dietitians-Nutritionists (2014)

The minimum level of education of a dietitian-nutritionist is a bachelor degree and a period of supervised professional practice of at least 500 hours and meets the international competency standards for dietitians-nutritionists.

International Competence Standards for Dietitians-Nutritionists (2016)

Those minimum competences that any dietetics practitioner should demonstrate at the point of entry to the profession, and will act as a framework for their continued professional development throughout their professional life. 

International Code of Ethics and Code of Good Practice for Dietitians-Nutritionists

The International Code of Ethics and Code of Good Practice for Dietitians-Nutritionists developed by consensus with Member association Representatives 2008 and expanded by consensus of a working group of Member associations on evidence-based dietetics practice and approved by the Board of Directors 2010/published by the International Confederation of Dietetic Associations.

International standards are not meant to replace any national standards that exist, but are meant to put on paper those important matters to which we can all agree. They represent the common ground of dietetics around the world.

International Code of Ethics

Dietitians practice in a just and equitable manner to improve the nutrition of the world by:

  • Being competent, objective and honest in our actions
  • Respecting all people and their needs
  • Collaborating with others
  • Striving for positive nutrition outcomes for people
  • Doing no harm
  • Adhering to the standards of good practice in nutrition and dietetics

International Code of Good Practice

Provision of Service and application of knowledge

  • Provide high quality, cost efficient services in nutrition and dietetics
  • Provide services based on the expectation and needs of the community or client
  • Competently apply the knowledge of nutrition and dietetics and integrate this knowledge with other disciplines in health and social sciences
  • Work co‐operatively with others to integrate nutrition and dietetics into overall care/service regardless of context
  • Work in partnership with clients and users of the service

Developing practice and application of research

  • Interpret, apply, participate in or generate research to enhance practice
  • Develop a unique body of knowledge
  • Have an in‐depth scientific knowledge of food and human nutrition


Adopting an evidence-based approach to dietetic practice

  • Ask questions, systematically find research evidence, and assess the validity, applicability and importance of that evidence
  • Combine the evidence with the dietitian’s expertise and judgment and the client’s or community’s unique values and circumstances to guide decision-making in dietetics
  • Apply an evidence-based approach to all areas of dietetic practice to improve health outcomes in individual clients, communities and populations
  • State the source of evidence underpinning practice recommendations and integrate knowledge of other disciplines
  • Reflect on how a dietitian’s own perspectives or biases may influence the interpretation of evidence


  • Communicate effectively through nutrition education, education and training, development of policy and programs
  • Advocate for nutrition and dietetics, the alleviation of hunger and the value of services
  • Advance and promote the dietetics profession

Quality in practice

  • Systematically evaluate the quality of practice and revise practice on the basis of this feedback
  • Strive to improve services and practice at all times
  • Maintain continued competence to practice

Continued competence and professional accountability

  • Ensure accountability to the public
  • Accept responsibility for ensuring practice meets legislative requirements
  • Maintain continued competence by being responsible for lifelong learning and engaging in self development

ICDA Reports

The International Confederation of Dietetic Associations undertakes studies and produces reports on the education and work of Dietitians-Nutritionists around the world as needed to describe the profession and inform international standards.

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