Why a dietitian?

Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be regulated by law, and are governed by an ethical code to ensure that they always work to the highest standard.  By seeking support from a registered dietitian you are guaranteed quality and excellent standards of care.

Uniquely, dietitians use the most up-to-date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.

Is the title ‘dietitian’ protected by law?

YES.  Only those registered with the statutory regulator, the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) can use the title of ‘dietitian’.

What qualifications do dietitians have?

The minimum requirement is a BSc Hons in Dietetics, or a related science degree with a postgraduate diploma or higher degree in Dietetics.

Dietetic courses are structured to include biochemistry, physiology, applied sciences and research methods which underpin nutrition and dietetics. These are complemented by social and behavioural sciences and the theories of communication to support the development of skills required for professional dietetic practice.

All courses require a period of supervised practice including NHS settings, where an individual must demonstrate clinical and professional competence before being eligible to apply for registration.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) is the professional body and Trade Union for dietitians and is also responsible for designing the curriculum for the profession.

Courses must be approved by the HCPC and demonstrate that graduates meet the Standards of Proficiency for Dietetics.

Who are dietitians regulated and quality assured by?

The HCPC’s role is to protect the public. It is an independent, UK-wide health regulator. It currently sets standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 14 professions. The HCPC keeps a current register of health professionals who meet its standards and takes action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. Registered professionals must keep up-to-date through compulsory Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

If an individual is not happy with treatment they are given, or if they are worried about the behaviour or health of a dietitian, they can approach the HCPC who will investigate and take action.

 

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