Touchstone Institute administers the Knowledge and Competency Assessment Tool (KCAT) to assess the foundational knowledge and competency of applicants who are applying for registration in Ontario. The KCAT was developed by Touchstone Institute in collaboration with the College of Dietitians of Ontario (CDO).
Exam registration is currently suspended. Referrals will be contacted directly when registration resumes.
Touchstone Institute will refer to all individuals challenging an exam as examinees. In some virtual experiences, the term candidate may be used interchangeably with examinee.
Registration for the KCAT is available only to examinees who have received the following:
- Referral from the CDO
- Email confirmation and registration details from Touchstone Institute
For more information on KCAT eligibility, please contact the College of Dietitians of Ontario.
Before you register for a Touchstone Institute Exam please ensure you understand how the exam results contribute in your pathway towards licensure. If unsure, please contact your profession’s regulatory authority.
Request for Letter of Participation
Examinees may request a Letter of Participation to support visa travel requirements only after they have registered for an exam date. Letters cannot be issued without an exam date listed on them. Contact us here to request a letter. Please include your full name and CDO number.
Fees & Payment
The fee for the KCAT is CAN$ 425, payable by Visa or MasterCard only at the time of registration. KCAT registration will not be considered complete without immediate payment.
Cancellation and Refunds
Touchstone Institute accommodates a high volume of examinees and enforces a strict cancellation policy to ensure fairness. Please refer to our exam cancellation policy here.
Exam cancellation fee: CAN$ 55
Deadline for refund (minus cancellation fee): 15 days before the examination
How to cancel or change exam: please contact us
What To Expect
What to bring to the exam:
Items now allowed in the exam:
Examinees 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:
On the exam day, before you start the exam
If you choose to start the examination and request to leave before completing the entire examination, a staff member will document your reason for non-completion. This information will be forwarded along to the College.
Breach of Examination Content and Process
On exam day, examinees will be required to sign a document attesting that they will not disseminate or reveal to others any content of the KCAT exam. Breaches include comparing responses with your colleagues, sharing exam content with future exam candidates and posting exam information or exam questions online.
Any breach in confidentiality of exam materials may lead to disciplinary and legal measures, including invalidating your results.
Results from the KCAT require up to eight weeks to process, and will be forwarded to CDO. The CDO will contact examinees to communicate the results of the KCAT and explain the next steps in the application process. Please note: Touchstone Institute does not distribute results to examinees.
Please note: All of our assessments are designed to standardize as many exam elements as possible. Depending on examinee registration numbers and facility parameters, exam format may vary from the information provided on our website. Information regarding your specific exam will be provided with your invitation. We are committed to ensuring that all examinees are given a fair and valid assessment experience.
The KCAT consists of approximately 200 multiple-choice questions (MCQs).
There are two components to the KCAT:
- The knowledge-based component of the exam consists of up to 100 multiple-choice questions. All knowledge-based questions are independent questions.
- The competency-based component of the exam consists of up to 18 case scenarios and a series of 5 to 6 MCQs per case.
The knowledge component of the exam is written in the morning and the competency component is written in the afternoon. Examinees will have approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes to write each component of the exam, with a one-hour break in between.
The Blueprint for the KCAT is consistent with 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.
Technical Requirements for the Virtual Exam
- Access to a computer (desktop or laptop). This exam cannot be taken on a tablet or mobile device
- Dual monitor configurations are not permitted.
- Minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768 is required; however, a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 or higher is recommended.
- External or built-in webcam
- You must be able to move your webcam in order to show your surroundings.
- Strong and reliable high speed internet connection of at least 1 Mbps upload and 10 Mbps download (please click here to conduct a speed test to confirm your connection speed).
- Hard wired Ethernet connection is strongly recommended to ensure the best exam experience and to reduce the risk of interruption to your internet connection (click here for more informationon connecting to internet via Ethernet).
- Windows 8.1+ (*see below for how to check your operating system)
- The latest version of Google Chrome.
- The latest version of Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Comfort with taking a virtual assessment
- A quiet, private space with a table and chair to ensure confidentiality of exam
- Area must be clear of writing utensils, electronics, notes, etc. No additional people can be in the room
*How to Check Your Operating System Specifications:
Windows 10: Click the Start or Windows button (usually in the lower left corner of your computer screen). Click Settings. Click About (usually in the lower left of the screen). The resulting screen shows the Windows version.
Windows 8: Right click the Start button and select System. (If you don't have a Start button, press Windows Key+X, then select System.) You'll see your edition of Windows 8 and your version number (such as 8.1).
Note: This exam is available on Windows Operating System computers and laptops only. Computers or laptops supported by Apple / Mac Operating Systems cannot be used.
Touchstone Institute reserves the right to make any necessary changes at any time without advance notice.