The Australian food regulations public consultation process: Teaching postgraduate dietetics student to participate
Objective: To assess a teaching strategy to develop competency, familiarity and willingness of dietetic students to participate in food regulation development. Design: Qualitative evaluation of self-perceived learning outcomes. Subjects/Setting: Two consecutive cohorts (n=39) of postgraduate dietetics students from Griffith University. Intervention: Preparation and presentation of a formal response to a call for comment by Australia's food regulatory body (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) during the period 1999-2001. Main outcome measures: Self-reported descriptions of confidence, familiarity and willingness to participate in the public consultation process. Results: Following the assignment, students generally reported being more familiar with the regulatory process and more confident to participate. Most students identified the importance of reference material on Food Standards Australia New Zealand procedures that they could use for review should the opportunity for participation arise at a later date. A major issue identified was the potential for cynicism towards the process. This issue was seen as a potential barrier to participation by students after graduation. Applications/Conclusions: This issues-based approach to teaching of a food regulation system has potential to enhance participation in regulatory development by a broader cross-section of dietitians.
Nutrition and Dietetics
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