Welcome to 2015! We hope the year has started well for you.
The Board met in person in November, 2014 and covered a broad array of activities. Perhaps the most significant one, as foreshadowed in the last newsletter, is the work that we commenced on reviewing the definition of a dietitian, the educational standards and the commencement of work on an international recognition process. To assist the Board, we invited experts from Malaysia, Sweden, Canada and Australia to provide input and guidance. This is the first time the Board has worked in this way and we think you will be pleased with the outcomes. Watch out for discussion papers coming out this year for input from the member Associations. If you are interested at an individual level, there will be opportunity for you to comment to your association over the next year or so.
On another issue, the international global economic issues seem to be affecting our profession differently in different parts of the world. On my travels, I am hearing disappointing news of cut-backs in funding and loss of positions, although this is by no means uniform around the world. It reminds us that we all have to be innovative and forward thinking in how to create our own opportunities, as the need for dietetics services has certainly not decreased. The Board discussed this in relation to what the dietitian of the future needs to “be”, when thinking of competence and ability. We certainly think that business and marketing, new delivery platforms such as the internet and international competition will all play a role. The challenge for all of us is to change our way of thinking when times are tough.
Last year I had the opportunity to meet with many of our member associations as well as individual dietitians. It’s great to meet with you, as this is the way we get to know each other better as well as get an appreciation of how the profession works, and its challenges in different parts of the world. We get our strength from working together, especially if times are difficult.
It’s now only 18 months to the 17th ICD in Granada. The open call for individual papers will commence soon – so we hope your plans to submit and attend are in place!! This is our most important professional development activity for the ICDA, and its great fun too….a chance to network and make new friends from around the world. Don’t forget to check the ICDA website and the 2016 ICD facebook page (http://www.icdgranada2016.com/) regularly for updates.
Chair, Board of Directors, ICDA