Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

A cornerstone of dietetic practice is the nutrition management process, from assessment to counselling and evaluation. Through examination of current practice, and application of the nutrition management process, students will be supported to develop skills in conducting one-one consultations with a diverse range of clients. They will be expected to apply their knowledge of the pathophysiology and management of common conditions including overweight and obesity, and be able to collect, interpret and record relevant anthropometrical, biochemical, clinical, dietary, and environmental data across a range of platforms to inform decisions about nutrition care. Students will be expected to apply behaviour change theory to perform basic dietary change counselling with individuals and communicate with other health professionals the outcomes of their client consultations. Further, through analysis of the provision of food to support/improve the nutrient status of individuals, students will be expected to propose appropriate solutions to food-provisioning problems to support meeting nutrition goals in a range of settings. This unit aims to assist students to develop skills in nutrition management to enter their first individual case management placement with confidence, competence. Students will demonstrate their abilities through a skills examination.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Systematically apply the elements of the nutrition care process with individuals across a range of cultural backgrounds, e.g. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Culturally and linguistically diverse groups (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO2 - Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability to new technologies and processes for engaging in the nutrition care process (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10)

LO3 - Propose solutions to problems related to healthy food provision for individuals in a range of settings (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO4 - Communicate professionally and effectively with clients, health professionals and other key stakeholders on issues related to individual food and nutrition management (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


This unit includes topics related to the development and demonstration of professional dietetic practice and competence according to the Accreditation Standards of Dietitians Australia. These are described under the heading ‘Building professional dietetic practice’ in each unit outline and build on topics delivered synchronously and progressively throughout the degree. Those in bold reflect ‘new’ topics addressed in this unit. Students will have opportunities for collecting evidence of competence in these, and in other areas (italics).

Building professional dietetic practice

  • reflection and evaluation of practice, peer support and assessment
  • acknowledges, reflects and understands own values, beliefs, attitudes, biases and assumptions and their influence on practice
  • scope of practice and standards of care, codes of conduct
  • culturally safe and responsive practice (requiring emotional, spiritual, and cultural intelligence)
  • continuing professional development,
  • attributes (empathy, flexibility, adaptability, resilience, ethical, respectful, demonstrates integrity, honesty, fairness, critical thinker)
  • understanding and advocating for the role of the dietitian in individual nutrition management

Building relationships with individual clients and the food, nutrition, and health care team to improve and food and nutrition management

  • active listening, interpersonal and interviewing skills
  • collaboration and communication skills with individuals (clients, client-advocates/helpers/carers, food and health care workers, managers, supervisors)
  • feedback cycles
  • mentor-mentee relationships
  • teamwork and responsibilities in food and health care teams
  • conflict resolution
  • negotiation
  • trust and rapport
  • facilitating priority of food and nutrition management

Behaviour change theories (continued in later unit)

  • self-efficacy
  • models to facilitate behaviour change

Stages of change model

Food and nutrition assessment, traditional and contemporary (encompassing broad health and nutritional status determinants, and barriers to making dietary change)

  • data collection 
  • collation 
  • interpretation 
  • recording 

Individualising nutrition care

  • culturally and audience specific, sensitive and safe, e.g. in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Culturally and linguistically diverse groups, people with disabilities
  • using interpreters and translation of food and nutrition information
  • translation of current food and nutrition science and dietetic best practice into sustainable, practical advice
  • disease pathophysiology and management, nutrition diagnoses and collaborative, client-centred and tailored goal formation implementation and review,
  • dietary change counselling to build self-efficacy for making positive food, nutrition and health changes in individuals
  • Health at Every Size (HAES) principles 
  • providing and improving access to healthy food for individuals in health care and home settings for the following common conditions
  • undernutrition
  • overnutrition including overweight and obesity

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit content will be delivered over 12 weeks.

The learning and teaching strategy adopted aligns with the sequencing of the learning outcomes and consists of three phases that are designed to provide students with a developmental learning experience. The unit begins with approaches designed to support acquisition of specialist knowledge needed to understand the cornerstone of individual case management in dietetic practice, the assessment of nutritional status and nutrition management planning, dietary counselling, and provision of food in institutional settings. The approaches used to facilitate students’ learning include online learning modules and readings. The unit then builds on this theoretical knowledge and assists students to develop understanding and then application through practical skills development first through applied tutorials and then case studies and role play. Overall, the approaches used in this unit have a constructively aligned developmental sequence designed to progressively, and logically, support students learning in ways that maximise the perceived (and actual) relevance and value of each stage. As an overarching strategy, this is expected to engender high levels of engagement, efficiency, and effectiveness in students’ study behaviours, and to maximise their learning achievements. This strategy and approaches will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit. Learning and teaching approaches will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively in learning activities.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In this unit, three core assessment tasks are sequenced to progressively support students learning in alignment with the learning and teaching strategy. The fourth assessment task provides students with the opportunity to develop their professional practice portfolio, that they will continue to build throughout their study. A range of assessment strategies are used in ways that support the developmental sequence of the learning and teaching strategy.

The first assessment task will take the form of a series of nutrition management case studies related to individualising nutrition care. These case studies will be submitted and returned within semester, allowing students to progress from incompetent to novice. These case studies replace an exam which would be the traditional way to assess students’ developing knowledge, understanding and then application to a practice setting. It is important that students demonstrate competence through these case studies to progress to the next stage of their learning.

The second task involves a written assessment task submitted within the first four weeks, with feedback provided prior to submission of the following assessment task. This task provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of theoretical dietetic practice with individuals to solve a food and nutrition problem in individual client care.

The third assessment task extends this introductory application of theory to practice by requiring students to consider how they will practice with cultural safety.

Students will also start to gather evidence of competence to practice according to Dietitians Australian as their final assessment task.

There are two ungraded hurdle tasks associated with this unit. Students will be expected to pass a skills examination to progress to the first individual case management placement in the following semester. This will be held at the end of semester during the exam period. Additional preparation requirements for placement including full documentation makes up the second hurdle requirement.

Combined, these assessment tasks will allow unit coordinators to assess students’ demonstration of the learning outcomes and attainment of graduate attributes.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1

Case studies - enables students to demonstrate their ability to interpret and apply evidence related to the nutrition management process with individuals.

Graded Hurdle


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA6, GA9

Assessment 2

Written assessment task

Enables students to demonstrate their ability to solve a food-provision-to-individuals related problem.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10

Assessment 3

Multimedia assessment task

Enables students to demonstrate their ability to creatively communicate individualised nutrition management with diverse audiences.


LO1, LO2, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment 4

Professional practice portfolio

Enables students to gather evidence to demonstrate competence to practice .


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA9, GA10

Ungraded hurdles

Skills exam

Enables students to demonstrate the practical nutrition assessment skills required for their first practice placement.


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Completion of ACU-specific and discipline-specific requirements for work placement, including but not limited to:

  • Online unit modules;
  • ACU online Child-Safe Organisations module;
  • Faculty of Health Sciences Pre-placement Verification process through InPlace; and
  • First Aid certification.



GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4

Representative texts and references

Australian Government Department of Health. (2015). Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Australian Government Department of Health. (2015). Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand.

Bauer, K. D., Liou, D. & Sokolik, C.A. (2020). Nutrition Counselling and Education Skill Development. 4th Ed. Cengage Learning, Wadsworth, USA.

Croxford, S, Itsiopoulos, C, Forsyth, A. et al. Ed. (2015). Food and Nutrition Throughout Life. Allen & Unwin, Australia.

Gandy, J. Ed. (2019). Manual of Dietetic Practice. 6th Edition. Wiley, UK.

Stewart. R. (2020). Handbook of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. 6th Ed. Nutrition Care Professionals Pty. Ltd. Australia.

Stewart, R., Vivanti, A. & Myers, E. (2016). Nutrition Care and Process Terminology. Nutrition Care Professionals Pty. Ltd. Australia.

Universities Australia. (2011). What is Cultural Competence? A Discussion of the Literature. In Universities Australia National Best Practice Framework for Indigenous Cultural Competency in Australian Universities. (pp. 37-41)

Whitney, E.N., Crowe, T., S., Cameron-Smith, D., Walsh, A., and Rady Rolfes, S. (2014). Understanding Nutrition: Australian and New Zealand Edition (2nd Ed.). South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning Australia.

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