CHAPTER 306

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 479

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 AND SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 24 AND 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS AND PROVIDING FOR THE CERTIFICATION OF DIETITIANS/NUTRITIONISTS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (three-fifths of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Title 24 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new Chapter, designated as Chapter 38, which new Chapter shall read as follows:

"CHAPTER 38. DIETITIAN/NUTRITIONIST CERTIFICATION ACT § 3801. Statement of Purpose.

The intent of this Chapter is to establish minimum standards of education, experience and examination for professional dietitians/nutritionists so that the public can readily identify those who meet these minimum standards. It is also the intent of this Chapter to provide a certification process for professional dietitians/nutritionists and to establish "Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist" as the State-recognized legal title for professional dietitians/nutritionists. It is also the intent of this Chapter to assure consumers the right to choose from whom they receive information and advice. Recognition of these goals will protect the health of the public by broadening access to nutrition services.

§ 3802. Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this Chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this Section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1) 'Committee' shall mean the State Committee of Dietetics/Nutrition.

(2) 'Dietetics/Nutrition' shall mean the integration and application of principles derived from the sciences of food, nutrition, biochemistry, physiology and management and behavioral sciences as an integral part of health care delivery to achieve and maintain a person's health throughout the life cycle. Its application to health care is both preventive and in

response to an illness, injury or condition. The application of dietetics/nutrition to health care shall be called Nutrition Services. The terms 'dietetics' and 'nutrition' are used interchangeably in this Chapter.

(3) 'Nutrition Services' shall mean the scope of services utilized in the delivery of preventive nutrition services and/or nutrition therapy.

(4) 'Preventive Nutrition Services' shall mean the use of specific nutrition interventions to promote health and prevent disease. It involves an assessment to determine the individual's/group's specific nutritional needs and the development and implementation of an intervention plan. The intervention plan can include nutrition education, counseling, and/or referrals for additional services.

(5) 'Nutrition Therapy' shall mean the use of specific nutrition interventions to treat an illness, injury or condition. It involves an

assessment of the individual's specific nutritional needs and the

development and implementation of an intervention plan. The intervention plan can include nutrition education, counseling, administration, and monitoring of specialized nutrition support, and/or referrals for additional services.

(7) 'Dietitian and/or Nutritionist' shall mean a person who engages in the provision of nutrition services. The terms 'nutritionist' and
'dietitian' are used interchangeably in this Chapter. 'Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist' shall mean a person holding a current certificate under this Chapter.

(8) 'C.D.N.' shall be the abbreviation for the title Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist.

(9) 'Certificate' shall mean any document which indicates that a person is currently certified by the Committee of Dietetics/Nutrition.

(10) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, a dietitian registered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration shall have the right to use the title Registered Dietitian and the designation R.D., and a nutritionist certified by the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists shall have the right to use the title Certified Nutrition Specialist and the designation C.N.S..

(11) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to restrict, limit or control the use of the word nutritionist or the provision of nutrition services by any persons with education and/or credentials different from those specified in this Chapter.

§ 3803. Committee of Dietetics Nutrition: &anointment• !Composition:

Qualifications• Term of Office' Suspension or Removal' Compensation.

(a) Appointment.

The Committee of Dietetics/Nutrition shall consist of five members who are residents of this State and shall be appointed by the Governor. Members of the initial Committee shall be appointed so that the terms of three members shall expire two (2) years after the initial appointment and that the terms of the remaining two members shall expire three (3) years after the initial appointment. Thereafter, appointments shall be made for a term of three (3) years. A member of the Committee shall be eligible for reappointment, but a member shall not be appointed to serve more than two consecutive terms. Each term of office shall expire on a date specified in the appointment except that each member shall serve until his or her successor is duly appointed. A member who was initially appointed to fill a vacancy may succeed himself or herself for only one addition full term.

(b) Composition and Provisions.

Three (3) members shall be certified dietitians/nutritionists,

certified in this State. The remaining two (2) members shall be from the general public, who are not certified Dietitians/Nutritionists and are not in any way, connected to the provision of nutrition services either monetarily, through business activity, through educational activity, or by their immediate family relations. No member of the Committee, while serving on the Committee, shall be a president, chair or other elected official of any State professional association for dietitians or nutritionists. The provisions set forth for "employees" in Chapter 58 of Title 29 shall apply to all members of the Committee, and to all appointed by or otherwise employed by the Committee.

(c) Suspension or Removal.

A member. of the Committee shall be suspended or removed by the governor for misfeasance, nonfeasance or malfeasance. A member subject to disciplinary proceedings shall be disqualified from Committee business until the charge is adjudicated, or the matter is otherwise concluded. A Committee member may appeal any suspension or removal to the Superior Court.

(d) Compensation.

Each member of the Committee shall receive not more than $500 in any calendar year for this or her services as a member of the Committee, including not more than $50 for each meeting which such member attends during that year.

§ 3804. Officers' Meetings: Quorum.

(a) The Committee shall elect annually from its membership a chair, vice-chair, and secretary.

(b) The Committee shall hold a regularly scheduled business meeting at least once each quarter and at such other times as the Chair deems necessary or at the request of a majority of Committee members.

(c) A majority of members shall constitute a quorum; and no action shall be taken without the affirmative vote of at least three members. Any member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings, or who fails to attend at least half of all regular business meetings during any calendar year, shall automatically, upon such occurrence, be deemed to have resigned from office and a replacement shall be appointed.

(d) Minutes of all meetings shall be recorded, and copies of the minutes shall be maintained by the Division of Professional Regulation. At any hearing in which evidence is presented, a record from which a verbatim transcript can be prepared shall be made. The expense of preparing any
transcript shall be incurred by the person requesting it.

§ 3805. Powers and Duties.

The Committee of Dietetics/Nutrition shall have the authority to:

(1) Promulgate rules and regulations governing the certification of dietitians/nutritionists to carry out the intent of this Chapter.

(2) Grant or deny certification to an applicant in accordance with the qualifications criteria set forth in this Chapter.

(3) Refer all complaints from practitioners and from the public concerning practitioners to the Division of Professional Regulation for investigation pursuant to § 8810 of Title 29.

(4) Hold hearings and take such actions as are permitted under the provisions of Chapter 101 of Title 29.

(5) Where it has been determined after a disciplinary hearing, that disciplinary action should be imposed, to designate and impose appropriate disciplinary action after time for appeal has lapsed.

(1) Prepare and maintain a registry of certified dietitians/nutritionists.

§ 3806. Qualifications of Applicants

(a) An applicant who is applying for certification under this Chapter shall have the following qualifications:

(1) Have satisfactorily completed academic requirements for the field of dietetics/nutrition as established by the American Dietetic Association or completed a major in human nutrition, food and nutrition, dietetics, or an equivalent course of study approved by the Committee and have received a Baccalaureate or higher degree from a college or university. The qualifying academic requirements and
degree must be from a college or university accredited through a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants who have obtained their education outside the U.S. and its territories must have their academic degree(s) validated by an agency authorized to validate foreign academic degree(s) as equivalent to the Baccalaureate or Master's Degree conferred by a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S.; and

(2) Have satisfactorily completed the registration examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association or another national examination
acceptable to the Committee and approved by the Director of Professional Regulation; and

(3) Shall submit proof to the Committee of completion of a professional practice experience of: Not less than 900 hours supervised by a registered dietitian, licensed dietitian, certified dietitian/nutritionist or certified nutrition specialist in this State or any other State who meet minimal standards of education, experience and
examination as outlined in this Chapter. The 900 hours may also be supervised by an individual who qualifies for certification as defined by this Chapter or by a licensed physician who has expertise in human nutrition as demonstrated by academic, clinical, or professional credentials; or

(A) Not less than three (3) years of documented work experience in the past ten (10) years in the provision of nutrition services as defined by this Chapter and approved by the Committee.

(b) Persons who provide evidence of current registration as a Registered Dietitian by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association shall be considered to have met the qualifications for certification under this Chapter in lieu of subsection (a) of this Section.

(a) Persons who provide evidence of certification by the American Board of Nutrition or the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists shall be considered to have met the qualifications for certification under this Chapter in lieu of subsection (a) of this Section.

(a) Persons who provide evidence of a Masters or Doctorate Degree from a college or university accredited through a regional accrediting agency, recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, with a major in nutrition, nutrition education, nutrition science, or a major closely related to human nutrition approved by the Committee shall be considered to have met the qualifications for certification under this Chapter in lieu of subsection (a) of this Section.

(a) Each applicant shall provide such information as may be required on an application form designed and furnished by the Committee. No
application form shall require a picture of the applicant, require information relating to citizenship, place of birth, or length of State residency, nor shall it require personal references.

(a) The Committee may refuse or reject an applicant if, after hearing, the Committee finds that the applicant meets any of the conditions or actions as specified in § 3811(a) of this Chapter.

(a) Where the Committee has found to its satisfaction that an application has been intentionally fraudulent, or that false information has been intentionally supplied, it shall report its findings to the Attorney General for further action.

(a) Where the application of a person has been refused or rejected and such applicant feels that the Committee has acted without justification, has imposed higher or different standards for him or her than for other applicants, or has in some other manner contributed to or caused the failure of such application, the applicant may appeal to the Superior Court.

§ 3807. Reciprocity.

Reciprocity will be provided for registered, certified or licensed dietitians or registered, certified or licensed nutritionists from other states provided that the standards for registration, certification and/or licensure in that state are reasonably equivalent to those set forth in § 3806 of this Chapter. Reciprocity applicants must follow the rules and regulations for application established under § 3809 of this Chapter.

§ 3808. Continuing Education.

In order to maintain eligibility for certification, renewal applicants must submit proof of continuing education. Thirty (30) hours of continuing education is required during the two (2) year certification period. Continuing education hours must meet the requirements of the American Dietetic Association to be valid.

§ 3809. Certification

(a) Application.

A person who desires to be certified as a dietitian/nutritionist shall apply to the Committee in writing on a form furnished by the Committee, accompanied by payment of a fee reasonably necessary to defray costs as determined by the Division of Professional Regulation.

(b) Renewal/Reinstatement.

(1) Certificates shall be renewed every two (2) years in such manner as determined by the Division of Professional Regulation upon completion of the renewal form and payment of the required fee established by the Division pursuant to 29 Del. L. § 8810(d), provided the renewal applicant completes the requirements for continuing education set forth in § 3808 of this Chapter.

(2) Certificates which have lapsed shall be reinstated if the applicant meets the requirements of paragraph (1) of this Section and pays the late renewal fee, established by the Division pursuant to 29 Del.C. § 8810(d). An applicant for reinstatement shall not be
required to pay renewal fees for years during which the certification has lapsed.

§ 3810. Certification Required.

No person shall represent himself or herself as a certified dietitian/nutritionist in this State or use the title certified dietitian, certified nutritionist or certified dietitian/nutritionist or use the letters C.D.N. unless such a person is certified under this Chapter.

§ 3811. Violations: Discipline.

(a) The following conditions and actions of an applicant or C.D.N. may result in disciplinary action as set forth in § 3811(b) of this Chapter if, after a hearing, the Committee finds that an applicant or C.D.N.:

(1) Has employed or knowingly cooperated in fraud or material deception in order to be certified; or

(2) Has engaged in illegal, incompetent or negligent conduct in the provision of nutrition services; or

(3) Has as a dietitian/nutritionist or otherwise, in the practice of his or her profession, knowingly engaged in an act of consumer fraud or deception, or engaged in the restraint of competition, or participated in price-fixing activities; or

(4) Has, violated the Code of Ethics as established by the Committee; or

(5) Has violated a lawful provision of this Chapter or any lawful rule or regulation established hereunder; or

(6) Has been convicted of a felony within the last five (5) years; or

(7) Has had any other registration, license or related to the practice of nutrition services revoked.

(b) Persons regulated under this Chapter who have been be in violation of this Chapter shall be subject to disciplinary actions:

(1) Issuance of a letter of reprimand.

(2) Censorship.

(3) Placement on probationary status.

Denial of Certification. Certification determined to the following

(5) Suspension of Certification.

(6) Revocation of Certification.

(c) As a condition to reinstatement of a suspended certificate or removal from probationary status, the Committee may impose such disciplinary or corrective measures as are authorized under this Chapter.

§ 3812. Administrative Procedures

All procedures under this Chapter shall be governed by the Delaware Administrative Procedures Act, Chapter 101, Title 29 of the Delaware Code."

Section 2. Amend § 8810(a), Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding a new paragraph and by redesignating the subsequent existing paragraphs, which new paragraph shall read as follows:

"(28) Committee of Dietetics/Nutrition as set forth in Chapter 38 of Title 24;".

Section 3. Amend § 10161(a), Chapter 101, Title 29 of the Delaware Code, by adding a new paragraph and by redesignating the subsequent existing paragraph, which new paragraph shall read as follows:

"(42) Committee of Dietetics/Nutrition,".

Approved July 8, 1994.