1. WHAT IS A REGISTERED DIETITIAN?
Registered Dietitians are health professionals trained to translate scientific research into practical dietary advice for individuals and populations.
In the UK, the profession is regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council to ensure that practices are ethical and of the highest standard. Because of this, the title ‘Dietitian’ is protected and can only be used by those who have undertaken appropriate training and are eligible to register with the HCPC.
You can read more about the UK standards of registration for dietitians and requirements for their ongoing education on the HCPC website, here.
Bottom Line on Professional Registration:
Professional regulation means we have a duty of care to practice in line with rigorous professional standards of conduct, performance and ethics to maintain our ‘RD’ credentials. It means we are accountable for our advice and actions, so you can trust us to know where it’s at and provide advice with your best interests (and not our bank accounts) at heart.
2. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DIETITIAN AND A NUTRITIONIST?
The title ‘Nutritionist’ is not protected and therefore can be used by anyone, no matter what standard their qualifications in nutrition are (which is rubbish for the well qualified, excellent nutritionists out there). Many Nutritionists with formal training from credible academic institutions undertake important work in research, education and industry. In the UK, their training is not recognized as including ‘clinical nutrition’. That is, they are not recognized as having the training required to advise ill people about therapeutic diets. Because of this they are not permitted to work in hospitals. If you are seeing a nutritional professional for personal dietary advice, the person best qualified to advise you is a Dietitian.
3. HOW DO I BECOME A DIETITIAN?
If you’re in the UK, full details can be found on the British Dietetic Association’s website here.
The links for overseas candidates in Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand are below:
• New Zealand
4. WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR QUALIFICATIONS IN SPORTS NUTRITION?
I completed the International Olympic Committees’ Diploma in Sports Nutrition in 2012. The course runs for two years on a part time basis and is really flexible as it is completely online. It is run by some of the world’s leading experts in sports nutrition and is recognized globally. You can find more information about the course content and entry requirements on their website here.