If you're a dietitian with overseas qualifications who wants to work in Australia, you can apply for Dietetic Skills Recognition (DSR).

DSR assesses your skills against our National Competency Standards. You can't become an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) without DSR.

Here we explain how to apply for DSR.

Dietetic Skills Recognition

If you're an overseas-qualified dietitian, most Australian employers will want you to have DSR and be an APD before hiring you.

DSR is how your skills are assessed to practise as a dietitian in Australia.

The APD credential recognises you as an expert in dietetics. As an APD, you'll be one of Australia's most trusted dietetic professionals.

Because dietetics isn't a registered profession in Australia, dietitians with overseas qualifications can practise in Australia without credentials. However, there are many benefits to getting your dietetic skills recognised by us.

When you have DSR, you can become a member of Dietitians Australia and join the APD Program.

APDs are the only dietitians who can get a provider number from Medicare and the Department of Veterans' Affairs. APDs can also get provider status with many private health insurers and, with provider numbers, can offer fee rebates to their clients.

If you're an overseas-qualified dietitian, you can't become an APD without first getting DSR.

Skills assessment for migrating to Australia

We're Australia's official skills assessing authority for dietitians. This means we can give dietetic skills assessments for migration purposes.

You might be eligible for the skills migration assessment if:

  • you have an accredited Australian qualification
  • you have an overseas qualification and have passed stage 2 of our Dietetic Skills Assessment (DSR)

Getting your DSR doesn't mean you have a skills migration assessment. You need to apply for your skills migration assessment with us as a separate process.

Learn more about getting a skills migration assessment for an Australian visa.

Mutual recognition of dietetic skills

Your DSR process might be different if your qualification comes from a region where we have a mutual recognition agreement.

Check to see if you're eligible for mutual recognition of dietetic skills.

DSR governance

Our DSR assessment processes and standards are governed by the Australian Dietetics Council (ADC).

For detailed information on DSR, read the DSR By-law.

Steps for overseas dietitians to apply for DSR

DSR is a 3-stage process:

  1. a DSR assessment
  2. a multiple-choice exam
  3. an oral exam

If you have an overseas dietetics qualification, you can't join Dietitians Australia or become an APD until you pass all 3 stages of DSR.

Follow these steps to apply for your DSR.
Step 1: Check you're eligible

Before you apply for a DSR assessment, check to see if you meet our DSR criteria.

Step 2: Gather your documents

Prepare all the documents you need to send with your DSR assessment application.

Documents you need to send are listed under the 'Documents' tab above. 

Step 3: Apply for a DSR assessment

Apply for a DSR assessment to make sure you're eligible to sit our DSR exams. Discover more in the 'DSR assessment' tab, above. 

Step 4: Sit the multiple-choice question exam

Sit our online multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam to assess your dietetic skills against our National Competency Standards. Discover more in the MCQ exam tab, above. 

Step 5: Take the oral exam

Take our oral exam to assess your skills in a role-play setting. Discover more in the oral exam tab, above. 

Step 6: Pass DSR or try again

Once you pass all 3 stages, you'll have your DSR in Australia. If you don't pass any stage, you might have options to appeal or resit.

Step 7: Apply for the APD Program

Once you've passed the DSR process, you are eligible to become a member of Dietitians Australia and apply to become an APD.

You must join the APD Program within 3 years of getting your DSR.

Australian-qualified dietitians who need DSR

In some situations, we might ask an Australian-qualified dietitian to get DSR before they can join or resume the APD Program. If this applies to you, you won't need a DSR assessment, but you'll need to pass our DSR exams.

Before you apply to sit the DSR exams, you must submit an initial application for an alternate pathway to the APD Program.

You can't apply to sit our DSR exams unless we've given you approval.

Fees

There are separate fees for each of the 3 stages of DSR:

DSR assessment fee MCQ exam fee oral exam fee

 

DSR fees are non-refundable.

See our fees and payment options.

You must pay the fee for each stage, as well as any costs to prepare your DSR application.

Agents

Unless you permit us, we can't discuss your DSR application with anyone else.

If you want someone, such as a family member, to speak with us on your behalf, you need to send us a letter signed by you. Your letter must name the person and permit them to act as your agent.

Preparing for DSR

To prepare for DSR, you should study to refresh your dietetic knowledge and learn about how dietitians practise in Australia.

We have many study resources you can use to help you prepare for your exam.

Appeals and resitting exams

Appealing your results

In some situations, you might have the right to appeal your DSR assessment or exam results.

Learn about our appeals process.

Resitting your exams

You can sit each exam up to 3 times each. You must pass both the MCQ exam and oral exam within the same 3-year period.

Your DSR assessment must be valid when you resit an exam.

Your recency of practice and English language results must also be current when you sit or resit either dietetics exam.

Before you apply for a DSR assessment, you need to gather your assessment documents.

You need to show us:

  • evidence of your current dietetic credentials
  • evidence of your professional experience
  • curriculum vitae
  • 2 professional references
  • evidence of your dietetic qualifications
  • academic transcripts
  • evidence of your internships or professional placements
  • 2 passport-size photographs of you
  • cultural awareness assessment result

Some people also have to submit:

  • English language test results
  • evidence of name change

You must send these documents with your application for a DSR assessment. We can't process your application until we have all your documents.

Please send certified copies of your documents. Don't send us any original documents.

This section describes the documents you need to submit with your DSR assessment application.

Current dietetic credentials

Certified copies of your current dietetic registration, recognition or licence to practise.

If you don't have a current credential, we need evidence that you're eligible for dietetic registration, credentialing or licensing.

This could be:

  • a statement or web page from your university that says graduates from your degree program can practise as dietitians
  • a letter from your dietetics registering authority that says you are eligible to join their organisation

Recency of practice

Evidence of your professional dietetic experience over the past 3 years.

This should be a letter from your employers and should include:

  • name and location of your employer
  • your job title and position description
  • dates of each period of employment
  • the nature of your work, including important tasks and projects

If you're self-employed, send 2 references from professional colleagues and 2 references from clients.

Your client references should include:

  • an outline of your consultations
  • consultation dates
  • client contact details

Your references must be from people who can verify your professional abilities.

You don't need to submit this evidence if you finished your dietetic qualification in the past 3 years.

Curriculum vitae

A copy of your current curriculum vitae (CV).

You don't need to submit your CV if you finished your dietetic qualification in the past 3 years.

Qualifications

Certified copies of your dietetic qualifications, including any:

  • degrees
  • diplomas
  • certificates

Transcripts

Certified copies of your dietetic academic transcripts.

Your subjects should include physiology, biochemistry and practical placements.

Practical placements

Evidence of 100 days of practical placement you did as part of your dietetic education.

This could include certified copies of letters or certificates from your education institution. Or documents from the organisation where you did your placement.

Photographs

You must include 2 recent and certified passport-size photographs of yourself.

Your photos must meet the Australian passport photo guidelines.

If you're in Australia, you can get passport-size photographs at an Australia Post office.

Cultural awareness assessment result

You must provide a copy of the results from your Australian Cultural Awareness Assessment.

English language results

If required, you need to submit evidence you've passed an approved English language test.

Find out if you need to submit English language results.

Name change

If the name on your documents is different to your current name, we need evidence of your name change. For example, a marriage certificate.

Certified documents

You must send certified copies of all original documents.

This includes your:

  • evidence of current credentials
  • degree or other qualifications
  • transcripts
  • evidence of professional placements
  • photographs
  • English language test results
  • name change identity documents

A certified copy is a document with a certification stating it's a true copy of the original.

Certified documents must have:

  • the words 'certified true copy of the original' (for documents)
  • the words 'this is a true photo of <your full name>' (for photographs)
  • the signature of the certifying officer
  • the name and address or registration number of the certifying officer

Who to ask

Any professional that the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) lists on Who can verify documents?

If you're in Australia, check the list for who can certify documents in Australia.

If you're overseas, check the list for who can certify documents outside Australia.

You'll need to bring your original documents and the copies when you get your documents certified.

English translations

If any documents are in a language other than English, we'll need an English translation of the entire document.

You must submit a certified copy of the document in its original language, as well as a certified copy of an English translation.

Missing or false documents

Your DSR assessment will fail if you:

  • don't include all your assessment documents
  • take more than 6 months to submit all your assessment documents
  • submit forged or falsified documents

If your DSR assessment fails, you won't get a refund on your assessment fee.

We will notify Home Affairs if any fraudulent documents are found.

If you can't get all the assessment documents you need, contact us for advice at dsr@dietitiansaustralia.org.au

When your documents are ready

Once you have all your assessment documents ready, you can apply for a DSR assessment.

Before you apply to sit our dietetic exams, we need to assess your eligibility for DSR. The DSR assessment makes sure you have the right qualifications and experience to practise in Australia.

We'll assess your:

  • recognition as a dietitian in the country where you qualified or are currently practising
  • recency of dietetic practice
  • tertiary qualification details
  • English language proficiency

You won't pass the DSR assessment stage if you don't meet our DSR criteria.

Skills assessment for a visa

Our DSR assessment isn't a skills assessment for visa or migration purposes. If you need a skills assessment for a visa, see skills migration assessments.

Qualification recognition

Our DSR assessment isn't a general overseas qualification assessment. If you want a qualification recognition assessment, contact the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

A qualification recognition assessment doesn't allow you to join Dietitians Australia or practise as an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). If you want to become an APD, you must pass our DSR process.

DSR assessment fee

You must pay a fee when you apply for your DSR assessment.

You won't get a refund if you withdraw from DSR or fail the assessment.

See our DSR assessment fees.

Apply for your DSR assessment

Before you apply for your DSR assessment, you should:

  • check to see if you meet our DSR criteria
  • gather your assessment documents (listed under the 'Documents' tab)
  • read all the DSR information on this website
  • check when you need to apply for assessment to make our next exam dates

Apply online

To apply for your DSR assessment:

  • create a user account on the Dietitians Australia login page (or log in if you already have an account)
  • select DSR Application
  • fill out the DSR assessment application form
  • pay the DSR assessment fee

When you apply for your DSR assessment, make sure you answer all questions in English.

Apply for a DSR assessment

Send your documents

When you apply for your DSR assessment, you need to post your assessment documents. We can't process your application until we have all your documents.

Please send certified copies of your documents. Don't send the original versions.

Send your assessment documents to:

DSR Administrator
Dietitians Australia
PO Box 2087
Woden ACT 2606
AUSTRALIA

Your DSR assessment results

It can take up to 6 weeks to assess your application from the time we get it and all documents. You don't need to call to check on the progress of your assessment.

We'll email your DSR assessment result as soon as we've assessed your application.

Once you have your DSR assessment

Your DSR assessment is the first stage in our DSR process.

Passing your DSR assessment means you're eligible to sit our dietetic exams for overseas dietitians.

Once we approve your assessment, you can apply to sit our multiple-choice question exam.

Pass your exams within 3 years

You must pass your exams and join the APD Program within 3 years of receiving your DSR assessment.

If you don't, you'll have to restart the DSR process. This includes resitting both exams even if you've already passed them.

You can only sit and resit each exam 3 times. If you sit an exam 3 times and you don't pass, you can't reapply for DSR.

The multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam is the first of 2 exams you need to pass to get your DSR.

You must pay a fee when you apply to sit your MCQ exam.

We charge a cancellation fee if you withdraw from your exam.

See our fees.

Apply to sit the exam

We must approve your DSR assessment before you can apply to sit the MCQ exam.

We will send instructions on how to apply for the MCQ exam with your approval letter. You will need to fill out an application form and pay the MCQ exam fee.

About the MCQ exam

The MCQ exam is an online 150-minute written exam with 120 questions.

The exam assesses your competency across a range of practice settings. Exam questions can cover any area of dietetic practice and the National Competency Standards.

To sit the MCQ exam, you'll need your own computer, laptop, device or tablet. It must have a camera and internet access.

You can't use any reference materials during the exam. You'll need to install our software to secure your browser, and a remote supervisor will watch your exam via webcam.

We use an external provider, Excel Psychological & Educational Consultancy (EPEC), to manage the MCQ exam. A team of expert dietitians develop and review our exam questions.

Learn more about what to expect in the MCQ exam.

Exam dates and details

The MCQ exam is usually held twice a year, in March and September.

You must apply to sit your exam before the closing date.

You can sit the MCQ exam remotely using an internet-connected device. This means you don't have to be in Australia to sit this exam.

For more information, see our MCQ exam dates and details.

Preparing for your exam

Before your exam, you should study to refresh your dietetic knowledge and learn about how dietitians practise in Australia.

We have many study resources you can use to help you prepare for your exam.

Special consideration

If you experience severe or sudden circumstances that might affect your performance in the exam, you may be eligible for special consideration.

Learn about applying for special consideration.

Your exam results

Once we've assessed your exam, we'll send you an email and letter to let you know if you passed.

It can take up to 6 weeks to process MCQ exam results. We can't give your results over the phone.

Resitting the exam

You can sit the MCQ exam up to 3 times. You must pass both the MCQ exam and oral exam within the same 3-year period. Your DSR assessment must be valid when you resit an exam.

If you want to resit the MCQ exam, you have to reapply and pay the fee again.

Once you pass the MCQ exam

Your MCQ exam is the 2nd stage in our DSR process.

Passing the MCQ exam means you're eligible to sit the oral exam.

The oral exam is the final exam you need to pass to get your DSR.

You must pay a fee when you apply to sit the oral exam.

We charge a cancellation fee if you withdraw from your exam. See our fees.

Apply to sit the exam

You must pass the MCQ exam before you can apply to sit the oral exam.

We will send instructions on how to apply for the oral exam once you have passed the MCQ exam. You will need to fill out an application form and pay the oral exam fee.

About the oral exam

The oral exam is a 90-minute interview online via Zoom.

There are 3 separate stages to the exam. Each stage will have a separate task involving a client role-play situation.

The oral exam assesses your communication skills in:

  • Nutrition assessment
  • Education and counselling
  • Interprofessional practice

Learn more about what to expect in the oral exam.

Exam dates and details

We usually hold the oral exam twice a year, around April and October.

Oral exam sittings are online via Zoom.

You must apply to sit your exam before the closing date.

See oral exam dates and details.

Preparing for your exam

Before your exam, you should study to refresh your dietetic knowledge and learn about how dietitians practise in Australia.

We have many study resources you can use to help you prepare for your exam.

Special consideration

If you experience severe or sudden circumstances that might affect your performance in the exam, you may be eligible for special consideration.

Learn about applying for special consideration.

Your exam results

Once we've assessed your exam, we'll send you an email and letter to let you know if you passed.

We take up to 4 weeks to process oral exam results. We will not give your results over the phone.

Resitting your exam

You can sit the oral exam up to 3 times. You must pass both the MCQ exam and oral exam within the same 3-year period. Your DSR assessment must be valid when you resit an exam.

If you want to resit the oral exam, you have to reapply and pay the fee again.

Once you pass your oral exam

Your oral exam is the final stage in our DSR process.

When you pass the oral exam, we'll send you a letter to say you have Dietetic Skills Recognition in Australia.

Once you've passed all 3 stages of DSR, you can take the next steps to become an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD).

After you pass the final stage of DSR, we'll send you a letter to say you have Dietetic Skills Recognition in Australia.

When you have your letter, you can:

  • join Dietitians Australia as a member
  • apply to join the Accredited Practising Dietitian Program (APD Program)
  • let potential employers know we recognise your dietetic skills

Join the APD Program within 3 years

After you pass the final stage of DSR, you have up to 3 years to join the APD Program.

If you don't become an APD within 3 years, you'll have to restart the DSR process. This includes resitting both exams, even though you've already passed them. (Remember that you can only sit each exam up to 3 times.)

Become an APD

When you're ready, you can apply to become an APD by joining our APD Program.

Become an APD

Get in touch

If you have questions about Dietetic Skills Recognition, contact us at dsr@dietitiansaustralia.org.au

As a dietitian, you'll be a healthcare professional and expert in nutrition and dietetics.
We're Australia's official skills assessing authority for dietitians. If you want to work in Australia, you can apply to us for a skills migration assessment.
A mutual recognition agreement recognises your training and experience as eligible to work in the country. Find out who we have a mutual recognition agreement with.