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NUTR601 Entrepreneurial Dietetic Practice

Unit rationale, description and aim

Sustainable change in food and health systems requires strong leadership and management. Building on the entrepreneurial skills and experience gained in NUTR601 Entrepreneurial dietetic practice, this unit provides students with the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of leadership and management in dietetic practice. Through critical examination of leadership and management theories, models of service delivery, and application to food and nutrition-related situations, students will be supported to develop leadership and management skills in human resource development and management, budgeting and finance related to projects and services, service delivery and standards of practice, measuring and improving productivity and quality of service, and assessing sustainability and environmental impact of services. Students will be expected to create a plan for a virtual food service and undertake a practice placement to conduct an aspect of a quality management activity. This unit aims to support students to equip themselves with transferable skills in leadership and management that they can apply to a range of settings in dietetic practice.

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 theories and articulate own approach to leadership and management (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO2 - Critically examine the attributes required to become a good leader, and a manager of people and systems (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO3 - Demonstrate advanced understanding of general and project management processes (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO4 - Apply the principles of quality improvement in dietetic practice (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
  • understanding and advocating for the role of the dietitian in management, food and nutrition program and service management

This unit requires the completion of 5 days of placement. Content delivery is arranged as required to support these placements and the underpinning theoretical components. This content includes:

Leadership and management in dietetic practice

  • theories in leadership and management
  • application of theories to program and service development
  • service delivery models
  • human resource management in diverse environments
  • assessing feasibility of programs and services
  • risk, incidents and errors, and safety assessment and management for program and service delivery
  • technologies and information in program and service planning and delivery
  • financial management and budgeting for programs and services
  • payment systems and processes
  • client services and satisfaction
  • quality improvement cycles and audit
  • sustainability issues related to programs and services

Project management

  • project planning
  • writing project proposals
  • project management skills

Leadership and management in nutrition management through food services

  • menu planning and assessment
  • nutritionally sound menus that meet client needs/demands
  • safe food that meets client needs/demands
  • sustainability in food services

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:

  • 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 supervisors
  • overall student performance throughout the placement

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

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 consolidation of specialist knowledge and application of business skills through extended examination of theoretical underpinnings of good leadership and management. 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 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 reflect on their entrepreneurial approach to practice and their placement. 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 three weeks, with feedback provided prior to submission of the second assessment task. This task provides students with the opportunity to apply theories of learning and management to dietetic practice.

The second assessment task will take the form of a multimedia assessment where students will demonstrate communication as well as understanding and application of dietetic practice management principles to a virtual service. The third assessment task relates to reporting on the quality activity the complete during their placement. The final assessment is a professional practice portfolio where students will collect evidence of their practice, and reflection on their supervisor's final assessment of their placement. There is one ungraded hurdle requirement for this unit, completion of 5 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 demonstrate critical evaluation of leadership and management theories and their application to dietetic practice 


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Assessment 2

Multimedia assessment task

Enables students to demonstrate their ability to apply knowledge and understanding of leadership and management, including project management to design a virtual food and nutrition service 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment 3

Written assessment task

Enables students to demonstrate application of management and reporting of quality improvement activities


LO1, LO3, LO4

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8

Assessment 4

Professional practice portfolio

Enables students to gather evidence of their practice, and critically reflect on supervisor’s report of placement  


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Ungraded hurdle

Completion of 5 days of placement




GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

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

Frederick, H., Kuratko, D. & O’Connor, A. (2018). Entrepreneurship. Cengage Learning, Wadsworth, USA.

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

Hudson, N. R. & Booth, P. (2017). Management Practice in Dietetics. Cognella Academic Publishing, USA.

Winterfeldt, E. A. (2018). Nutrition and Dietetics: Practice and Future Trends. Jones & Bartlett Learning, USA.

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