Knowledge and Competency Assessment Tool (KCAT) for Internationally Educated Dietitians
Touchstone Institute administers the Knowledge and Competency Assessment Tool (KCAT) on behalf of the College of Dietitians of Ontario (CDO), the regulatory body for dietitians in Ontario. The purpose of the KCAT is to assess the foundational knowledge and competency of internationally educated dietitians (IEDs) who are applying for registration with CDO, as compared to the national standards for newly graduating dietitians. CDO will utilize KCAT results to help direct IEDs to one of two pathways:
For an overview of the full competency assessment process for IEDs, visit the CDO website.
- A performance-based assessment (PBA) pathway: A practical assessment that will include oral and written components to assess competency compared to standards for dietetic practice in Canada
- Additional education and/or training recommended by the College of Dietitians of Ontario
Registration for the KCAT is available only to candidates who have received the following:
- Referral from the CDO
- Email confirmation and temporary password from Touchstone Institute
Registration for the November 29, 2016, exam is now open. If you are eligible and ready for the KCAT, begin registration here.
The fee for the KCAT is CAD 400, payable by Visa or MasterCard at the time of registration. KCAT registration will not be considered complete without immediate payment.
Cancellation and Refunds
- Candidates who wish to withdraw from the KCAT or change their registration to another date will be entitled to a refund, less a CAD 55 administration fee. Candidates must they notify Touchstone Institute by email two weeks prior to the exam date.
- The exam fee, less the administration fee, will be refunded to the original credit card account used for registration. Refund cheques cannot be issued.
- Candidates who wish to withdraw from the KCAT less than two weeks prior to the exam, or candidates who fail to show up on exam day, will forfeit their registration fee.
- Candidates who withdraw within the two weeks prior to the KCAT, may be eligible for a refund at the discretion of the CDO. The refund may be subject to an administrative fee.
The KCAT is administered on tablet computers and consists of approximately 200 multiple choice questions (MCQs).
There are two components to the KCAT:
- The knowledge-based component of the exam consists of 92 multiple-choice questions. All knowledge-based questions are independent questions.
- The competency-based component of the exam consists of 17 case scenarios and a series of 5 to 6 MCQs per case, for a total of 98 MCQs.
The knowledge component of the exam is written in the morning and the competency component is written in the afternoon. You will have about 2 hours and 30 minutes to write the each component of the exam, with a one-hour break in between.
The KCAT assesses dietetic foundational knowledge and competency as outlined in the Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice (ICDEP)
. The ICDEP are the national competency standards used for the accreditation of Canadian dietetic education programs and are used by all provincial regulatory bodies to assess the qualifications of applicants.
Preparing for the KCAT
CDO has prepared a KCAT Preparation Guide,
which provides details on the blueprint of the exam and the breakdown of foundational knowledge and competencies tested on the KCAT. Candidates are encouraged to review this guide
Items not allowed in the exam
Candidates should leave personal belongings at home, if possible, as many items are not permitted during the exam and storage space is limited. The following items are not allowed during the exam:
Results from the KCAT require up to eight weeks to process, and will be forwarded to CDO. CDO will contact candidates to communicate the results of the KCAT and explain the next steps in the application process. Please note: Touchstone Institute does not distribute results directly to candidates.