Credit points


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NUTR600 Individual Case Management Theory and Placement

Unit rationale, description and aim

Building on earlier theoretical and practice placement units, this unit provides students with the opportunity to further develop their skills to practice as a dietitian. They will be expected to develop expert knowledge in disease pathophysiology and the dietetic management of food and nutrition related problems including renal disease, metabolic disorders, cystic fibrosis, cancer, parenteral feeding, and dietetics in intensive care for application in advanced individual case management. Students will complete a practice placement where they can extend their individual case management experience in acute care, apply their understanding of food and nutrition science, and public health in a community-focused placement or develop their food service experience in a placement that focuses on the provision of food to individual clients. This unit aims to support students to develop further nutrition management planning skills and opportunity to demonstrate their progression in development of competence to practice as a dietitian.

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 - Critically examine dietary change counselling for building self-efficacy to make positive food, nutrition, and health changes, and apply to practice (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO2 - Effectively apply the nutrition management process and document appropriate data to inform nutrition diagnoses for individuals for specified conditions using best-practice dietetic interventions (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO3 - Demonstrate client-centred solutions to food and nutrition problems through development of mutually agreed goals and actions (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO4 - Critically reflect on professional attributes, abilities, and skills to inform professional development (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

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

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 

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 privilege and power, at the individual and systems level, and their influence on practice
  • scope of practice and standards of care, codes of conduct
  • continuing professional development
  • attributes (empathy, flexibility, adaptability, resilience, ethical, respectful, demonstrates integrity, honesty, fairness, critical thinker)
  • workload and time management, prioritising workload
  • excellence of practice
  • feedback cycles
  • client-centred approach to practice
  • digital literacy/technological proficiency
  • culturally safe and responsive practice (requiring emotional, spiritual and cultural intelligence)
  • active listening, interpersonal and interviewing skills
  • collaboration and communication skills with stakeholders
  • systematically acquires, evaluates and applies findings into practice
  • appropriate decision-making
  • critical, proactive problem-solving approach to practice
  • reflection of own personal health and wellbeing
  • communication skills for conflict resolution
  • taking responsibility for own actions
  • documenting in accordance with accepted industry standards
  • resource, team worker, leader
  • different roles of the dietitian in practice
  • mentor-mentee relationships
  • learning contracts

This unit requires the completion of 22 days of placement. Content delivery is arranged as required to support these placements and the underpinning theoretical components.

This content includes:

Food and nutrition assessment in practice environments

  • consolidation of data collection, collation, interpretation, recording of data

Nutrition management in practice environments

  • consolidating food and nutrition issue assessment (nutrition diagnoses in ICM) and collaborative, client-centred and tailored goal formation, implementation, and review, including discharge planning and/or referral to other services where appropriate
  • advanced dietary change counselling to build self-efficacy for making sustainable, positive food, nutrition and health changes in individuals including motivational interviewing, mindfulness and non-dieting approaches
  • advocating and capacity building for food and nutrition change in practice
  • continued translation of current food and nutrition science and dietetic best practice into practical advice
  • record keeping in keeping with placement standards

Disease pathophysiology and management, and individual nutrition care in practice environments with a focus on the following conditions:

  • renal disease,
  • metabolic disorders,
  • cystic fibrosis,
  • cancer,
  • parenteral feeding, and
  • dietetics in intensive care
  • and including the role of the dietitian in advanced care planning

Preparation for placement

Both professional practice and performance will be directed by the university and the appointed placement supervisor at the host organisation, through a pre-defined and monitored set of criteria which encompass:

  • ability to perform elements of individual case management of clients, completion of defined project or project element/s, or other, defined placement activity
  • professional practices/attributes to be demonstrated whilst undertaking the experience
  • ability to seek, respond to and provide feedback from clients (carers etc.) the healthcare team, the community, other stakeholders, and supervisors
  • overall student performance throughout the placement

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit will be delivered over 12 weeks with a staggered arrangement of theory and practice, with a concentration of theory in the early weeks and placement in the latter 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 further consolidation of specialist knowledge and application for individual case management in dietetic practice, the assessment of nutritional status, nutrition management planning, dietary counselling for less common food and nutrition-related conditions. 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 case studies and role play and then practice placement. 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 assessment tasks are sequenced to progressively support students learning in alignment with the learning and teaching strategy. A range of assessment strategies are used in ways that support the developmental sequence of the learning and teaching strategy. The first assessment task involves a written assessment task submitted within the first four weeks, with feedback provided within the first two weeks of placement. This task provides students with the opportunity to build on earlier understanding and application of dietary counselling to develop extended theoretical knowledge, understanding and practical skills. the second assessment task will take the form of a series of nutrition management case studies related to common food and nutrition-related conditions in individuals. These case studies will be submitted and returned within semester, with the first in week two, allowing students to progress from advanced beginner to competence in some areas of practice. The final assessment is an extension of their professional practice portfolio where in addition to continuing to collect evidence of their developing competence to practice, they will reflect on their supervisor's final assessment of their placement and articulate a plan for their continued development of competence according to Dietitians Australia. There is one ungradedhurdle requirement for this unit, completion of 22 days of placement. 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 critically review dietary change counselling to shape ongoing food and nutrition interventions.


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10

Assessment 2

Graded hurdle - Case Studies

Enables students to demonstrate their ability to interpret and apply evidence related to the nutrition management in different settings.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment 3

Multi-media assessment task

Enables students to synthesise their professional practice portfolio evidence, their ability to reflect on their placement, their supervisor's assessment of placement, and to develop a learning contract for their following placement. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA9, GA10

Ungraded hurdle

Completion of 22 days of placement.



LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, 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. (2016, 2020). Nutrition Counselling and Education Skill Development. 3rd and 4th Ed. Cengage Learning.

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 Ed. Wiley.

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

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

Whitney, E.N., Crowe, T., S., Cameron-Smith, D., Walsh, A., and Rady Rolfes, S. (2014). Understanding Nutrition: Australian and New Zealand Edit9ion (2nd Ed.). Cengage Learning Australia.

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