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. ‘Dietitian’ is a protected job title. Only those registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) can use the title of Registered Dietitian (RD).
The HCPC’s role is to protect the public. 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). Check the HCPC website to see if your professional is registered.
The minimum requirement to work as a Dietitian is a BSc Honours in Dietetics or a related science degree with a postgraduate diploma or higher degree in Dietetics. Our training includes 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.
We also undertake a period of supervised practice within NHS settings, where we 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.