Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Dietetic practice with groups involves being a member of a team, participating in, and leading group discussions and processes, and developing, implementing, and evaluating group nutrition education and dietary counselling sessions, and food, nutrition and health promotion and intervention and prevention programs. Through examination of the theories of education and social marketing students will be supported to design nutrition education and dietary counselling programs, based on current food and nutrition science, to facilitate dietary change. Students will be provided opportunity to develop a deep understanding of group types, settings, and group processes, including with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Culturally and linguistically diverse and other diverse groups. They will be expected to be able to conduct an effective group nutrition education or dietary counselling session, reflecting on their own performance and providing peer review of other students' work. The aim of this unit is to assist students to develop the key skills to be able to conduct and participate in groups to build effective teams, and nutrition education and dietary counselling sessions and programs that promote food literacy, healthy eating, and positive dietary change.

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 - Apply understanding of group processes through conducting a focus, nominal, or other group process (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA9, GA10)

LO2 - Apply educational and marketing theory to the development of nutrition education and dietary counselling programs (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9)

LO3 - Develop a creative nutrition education or dietary counselling session to address a food literacy gap for a defined audience (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA10)

LO4 - Demonstrate cultural competence required for dietetic practice with diverse groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Culturally and linguistically diverse , people with disabilities, older people, young people (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, 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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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
  • 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 working with diverse groups
  • collaboration and communication skills with stakeholders

Group types and settings in dietetic practice

  • research
  • clients from diverse backgrounds including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Culturally and linguistically diverse
  • health professionals (single and interdisciplinary)
  • healthcare teams
  • small groups, large groups
  • groups from different age ranges

Group processes

  • consultation processes e.g. focus groups
  • decision-making processes e.g. nominal group/consensus processes

Working with groups

  • facilitate effective groups in different settings (rapport, trust, cohesion, participation, negotiation, conflict resolution)
  • consumer engagement and participation in group processes
  • active learning principles
  • nutrition education in group settings – knowledge building
  • dietary counselling in group settings – dietary change
  • co-facilitating groups

Improving nutrition education and food literacy

  • educational theories and application to nutrition education
  • defining food (and health) literacy and building food literacy in groups
  • applying marketing principles to facilitate sustainable, positive food, nutrition, and health changes
  • creative approaches to promoting healthy eating, nutrition education and dietary counselling
  • successful interventions in different groups, including Aboriginal and/or Torrest Strait Islander and Culturally and linquistically diverse groups
  • Nutrition education/dietary counselling
  • develop, implement, and evaluate effective and culturally-sensitive and safe education/counselling sessions and programs for groups
  • documenting group programs
  • peer review and support

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 explore the theoretical underpinnings for successful group membership, and group work, and for facilitating dietary change through nutrition education and dietary counselling in these 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. What follows are examples that have the requisite purpose:

The first and third assessment tasks are linked and extend theoretical understanding of successful groups through reporting on the planning and delivery of a group session. Students will work in teams as group members. The first assessment task will relate to the process of delivering a group session, while the third task will relate to the findings of the group session and critical reflection of application of the process in diverse groups. Prior to completing the third task, students will complete the second task. The first assessment task will be submitted within four weeks of commencement of the unit and feedback provided before submitting additional tasks. 

The second assessment task involves a written and oral assessment task. This task provides students with the opportunity to examine the structure of successful groups and programs and use this to plan a suitable education session for a diverse group. The process of examining delivery of groups education sessions to diverse groups will help to inform the third assessment task.

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

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

Written assessment task

Enables students to develop experience in planning and working with groups.



GA1, GA5, GA7, GA9, GA10

Assessment 2

Written and oral assessment task

Enables students to demonstrate ability to plan and deliver group education sessions for diverse audiences e.g. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders, Culturally and linguistically diverse groups.


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9

Assessment 3

Multimedia assessment task

Enables students to report on findings, learnings from group task and applications for group work with different cultural groups.


LO1, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA10

Assessment 4 

Professional practice portfolio

Enables students to gather evidence to demonstrate competence to practice.


LO1, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA9, GA10

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.

Contento, I. & Koch, P. A. (2020). Nutrition Education: Linking Research, Theory and Practice. (4th Ed.). Jones and Bartlett.

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

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

US Department of Agriculture. (2020). Dietary Guidelines from Around the World.

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.s Cameron-Smith, D., Walsh, A., and Rady Rolfes, S. (2014) Understanding Nutrition: Australian and New Zealand Editition (2nd E). Cengage Learning.

Worsley, T. (2008). Nutrition Promotion: Theories and methods, systems and settings. Allen & Unwin.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs