Professional attributes of the emerging academic dietetic educator workforce in Australia

Kate Morgan*, Roger Hughes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To describe the size and demographic, education, experience and practice attributes of the core academic dietetic educator (ADEd) workforce in Australia. Methods: A self-administered, cross-sectional survey was electronically distributed to ADEds at 18 Australian universities offering dietetic programs. Data from survey responses were collated and descriptively analysed. Results: From a total sample frame of 147 ADEds identified by websites, responses were received from 91 eligible ADEds (response rate = 62%), with at least one participant from each university offering a dietetics program in Australia. The sample was not representative of more senior ADEds, and therefore the core ADEd workforce. Rather, the sample was typically female aged 30–39 years with a Lecturer level, full-time appointment who cited clinical dietetics as their main area of practice specialisation. Around half of the sample had yet to complete a PhD and had five years or less of experience working as a dietetic educator or a dietetic researcher. Conclusions: The findings were limited to emerging ADEds due to the non-participation and underrepresentation of more credentialed ADEds. The sample was relatively young and inexperienced in dietetic education and research. This may reflect the rapid expansion of dietetic education programs in Australia over the past decade and limited workforce surge capacity. Nevertheless the data reflect a small workforce group with the capacity to significantly influence future dietetic practitioners. Ongoing research and workforce development strategies are required to support the dietetic educator workforce and further enhance dietetic workforce preparation in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-282
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


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