Have you ever wondered who ADSA is or why you should become a member? Read on to find out more about what ADSA does and how you can get involved.
The Association for Dietetics in South Africa, or ADSA, is the professional organisation for registered dietitians, and has been committed to serving the interests of dietitians in South Africa for the past 29 years. The Association is made up of a variety of members, from registered dietitians and nutritionists, to community service and student dietitians, international, retired and honorary members.
ADSA’s VISION: To represent and develop the dietetic profession to contribute towards achieving optimal nutrition for all South Africans.
ADSA’s MISSION: As the registered professionals in the field of dietetics and nutrition we support and promote the continued growth of the profession of dietetics in South Africa.
ADSA is a registered not-for-profit organisation (NPO) and unlike counterparts abroad, it is mainly driven by passionate and dedicated volunteers, most of whom are not remunerated for their time and services. The Executive (national) and Branch (provincial) Committee members serve for a 2-year term. Here are some of the many functions and activities the various portfolios are responsible for.
- President: directs, manages and guides the Association, oversees all its activities on a strategic level and builds strategic partnerships
- Communications: coordinates all internal communication with members, via the weekly bulletin and quarterly newsletters, managing ADSA’s website, and ADSA’s inputs into other scientific journals or newsletters, as well as co-ordinating a mentorship programme and bursary fund and being a member of the biannual national nutrition congress organising committee
- Public Relations: handles all aspects related to public relations, including planning and implementing nutrition and health-related awareness days, formulating and publicising statements based on evidence, acting as the official contact person for input into media content, monitoring of nutrition information communicated to the public and creating content to promote the profession in the public space, assisted by a team of spokespeople
- Sponsorship: recruits and manages suitable sponsors in line with ADSA’s updated rigorous sponsorship policy
- Representation: coordinates ADSA representatives on eight different official scientific or government groups or committees, as well as other interest groups, and manages the submission of comments to government on nutrition-related draft legislation
- Private Practicing Dietitians (PPDs): manages all professional issues relating PPDs, including the PPD database, addressing billing practices and providing assistance to PPDs on issues they may experience in private practice
- Continuous Professional Development (CPD): manages the accreditation of CPD events and online activities to create opportunities for continued education and upskilling of dietitians. Each year the 10 ADSA branches across the country are encouraged to host one CPD event per quarter and there has been on average 3 to 4 CPD-accredited events per branch per year. This portfolio also provides dietitians with access to latest scientific evidence, guidelines and resources through PEN.
- Membership: manages membership applications and coordinates member benefits. Liaises with members and non-members to establish needs to enhance membership benefits.
- Public Sector: establishes a support network and line of communication between dietitians in the public sector and ADSA, and communicates relevant developments, such as employer/labour negotiations to ADSA members
- Branch Liaison: acts as the communication link between ADSA branch chairpersons and the national Executive Committee to ensure consistency in operations
- Secretary: assists with organisational tasks for the Executive Committee, such as taking meeting minutes and record keeping
- Chief Operating Officer: part-time employed dietitian to assist with public relations, attend meetings on behalf of ADSA, and assist with other executive portfolios as and when required
The ADSA Executive and Branch Committee portfolio holders strive to meet the needs of the members they serve, by being in constant communication with members. This means that ADSA policy and strategic direction is continuously evolving to meet the changing needs of nutrition professionals in South Africa. Recent significant changes include an updated sponsorship policy, that includes a stricter process of selection and is based on international standards, as well as a review of membership benefits to determine the most appropriate fee structure. ADSA’s Constitution was also recently reviewed and updated to reflect the growth of the nutrition profession.
If you are a registered dietitian, nutritionist with a recognised nutrition degree, community service or student dietitian, we invite you to join us today. As your professional organisation, the more members we have, the stronger our collective voice, and the more we can do to achieve our vision and mission to grow the profession and to promote the nutritional well-being of our country.
To find out more about the benefits of joining ADSA or to find a registered dietitian in your area, visit http://www.adsa.org.za.