PEN: Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition® from Canada
  • PEN: Practice-Based Evidence in Nutrition® can help to keep you on the leading edge of dietetic practice.  Designed in a question and answer format, each topic area includes a collection of questions, evidence-based answers synthesized from the best international literature, references, tools, resources and background information.  As an online database, the PEN system is fully searchable, providing easy access to over 180 topics reflecting all areas of dietetic practice.  More topics are being added as practice questions and as new evidence emerges. Lead by Dietitians of Canada (DC) and managed by a global partnership of national dietetic associations including the British Dietetic Association and Dietitians Association of Australia, the PEN system helps establish dietitians around the world as THE evidence-based nutrition practitioners.  This is in keeping with the ICDA International standard of good practice for the dietetic profession.
    The PEN® Global team celebrated important achievements in 2013!
    The first 40 PEN Evidence Toolkits were launched early in the year.  Toolkits provide a quick summary of evidence-based practice guidance organized according to steps in a standardized Nutrition Care Process (NCP) as described by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For those groups adopting the International Dietetics and Nutrition Terminology – IDNT, you’ll find practical examples to assist with implementation.  More toolkits are coming in 2014.
    The PEN system was profiled at two international conferences in September 2013.  Annette Byron (Dietitians Association of Australia) presented a poster “PEN® - The Global Resource for Nutrition Practice” on behalf of the PEN Global partnership at the International Union of Nutritional Science (IUNS) in Granada, Spain.  Beth Armour (Dietitians of Canada) presented a similar poster at the Cochrane meeting in Quebec City, Canada. 
    In December, the PEN global partnership welcomed a new national dietetic association to the international collaboration.  All members of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetics Institute (INDI) now enjoy full online access to the PEN system’s evidence-based dietetic practice guidance, client tools, toolkits and more.
    December also brought news that the PEN® system had earned HON certification. HON refers to Health on the Net, which is a non-profit, non-government organization established in 1995 and dedicated to promoting credible health information on the Internet.
    To receive HON certification, a website undergoes scrutiny by HON officials and must comply with criteria established by HON. There is ongoing surveillance of the website and a systematic biennial review. We proudly saw The PEN: Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition® system included with other websites such as, and as a source of trustworthy online health and nutrition information. 
    Jayne Thirsk RD, PhD, FDC
    Dietitians of Canada PEN Director