beck health & nutrition
Studying Nutrition in Australia
How do I become a professionally accredited or registered nutritionist?
Last Updated: January 2013
NOTE: A number of correspondence and online courses currently promise qualifications such as "nutritional advisor", "food coach", "nutritional counsellor", "diet therapist", "nutrition expert", "professional nutritionist" and "weight loss consultant" or similar - please note that, to the best of our professional and industry knowledge, these qualifications are not widely recognised in Australia (even if the courses are very expensive) and are unlikely to assist you in achieving nutrition-related employment or professional opportunities. In order to practice or work in nutrition at a professional level you will require an Advanced Diploma as an absolute minimum qualification, or ideally a degree in nutrition science and / or dietetics.
Who can call themselves a nutritionist?
To date in Australia there has been no control or regulation of who can call themselves a nutritionist (therefore it is always wise to check that nutritionists hold relevant tertiary qualifications in the science of nutrition) which makes selecting an appropriate professional training course difficult. This is however changing, with both the Nutrition Society of Australia (www.nsa.asn.au) and the Dietitians Association of Australia (www.dsa.asn.au) establishing guidelines for registration of nutritionists. Professional training in nutrition routinely involves a comprehensive program of tertiary studies and takes a number of years to complete. Upon graduation students must then apply for acceptance into a recognised governing body and take out professional indemnity insurance. You will also be required to show proof of ongoing education each year in order to continue your registration.
Accreditation and registration guidelines for nutritionists and dietitians in Australia
Professional accreditation and regulation of nutrition professionals in Australia is increasingly reliant upon industry bodies such as the Nutrition Society of Australia and the Dietitians Association of Australia. This industry accreditation requires a degree qualification in nutrition (or a related health science plus postgraduate study in nutrition) as a minimum and does not recognise diploma and advanced diploma level courses. Registration and accreditation of nutrition professionals is a very complex area which is constantly changing and evolving. If you have particular questions or concerns regarding this matter please feel free to contact us.
Nutrition Society of Australia - Register of Nutritionists "Registered Nutritionist"
The Nutrition Society of Australia has established a professional registration program that promotes and encourages high standards of training. Inclusion on this register requires a undergraduate degree in human nutrition or a related health or nutritional science combined with at least three years of advanced postgraduate study or professional experience in nutrition. Nutritionists registered by the Nutrition Society of Australia may work in a range of health and nutrition roles including designing, coordinating, implementing and evaluating a range of population health interventions. Registered and Public Health Nutritionists may work in a number of other roles, including research, nutrition consultants and advisors, public health and health promotion coordinators, community development officers, quality and nutrition coordinators, food technologists, media spokespeople and more.
The primary goal of the NSA Register of Nutritionists is to best inform distinguish individuals who have received an appropriate level of training and experience from those who have not. Qualifications required to register as a Nutritionist with the NSA include a Bachelor level degree with majors in nutrition or a postgraduate degree such as a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Masters degree or PhD specialising in nutrition. There is no course that will guarantee registration.
To view the NSA Register of Nutritionists or find out more about registration requirements go to: http://www.nsa.asn.au/accreditation.php
Nutrition Society of Australia
PO Box 949
Kent Town SA, 5071 Australia
Telephone: 08 8363 1307
Dietitians Association of Australia - "Accredited Practicing Dietitian" and "Accredited Nutritionist"
The Dietitians Association of Australia has developed an accreditation scheme for dietitians and other nutrition professionals. To find out more go to www.daa.asn.au
Dietitians Association of Australia
1/8 Phipps Close
Deakin ACT 2600
Telephone: 02 6163 5200
Nutrition Australia, a peak nutrition body has also developed a fact sheet outlining nutrition training and qualification, registration options and desired study outcomes in Australia. To view a copy of Nutrition Australia's fact sheet, please click here.
Nutrition Training - University or Private College?
When deciding where to study in order to become a 'nutritionist' it is important to consider many factors. The following information has been developed to some study-path options and questions to ask if you are wanting to train as a nutritionist or dietitian.
Generally most professional nutrition courses will take a minimum of three/four -years full time study to complete (unless you have already completed an undergraduate degree in a related health science).
What to look for when comparing and selecting professional training courses
Current Australian training requirements for accreditation or registration as a nutritionist:
Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine: This is the absolute minimum level of qualification you will require in order to practice as a nutritionist in Australia. This qualification is not recognised by the Nutrition Society of Australia or the Dietitians Association of Australia. Accreditation arrangements require the following study load for this qualification: Anatomy and Physiology (135hrs), Biochemistry and Chemistry (100 hours), Diagnosis, Pathology and Pharmacology (300hrs), Nutrition (400hrs), Professional practice studies (160hrs), Communication (30hrs), Supervised Clinical training (100hrs), Safe Practice (15hrs), First Aid Certificate. Accreditation options for advanced diploma level nutrition courses include the Australian Traditional Medicine Society and the Australian Natural Therapists Association. Please note that some accrediting bodies do not recognise qualifications that are delivered completely via correspondence. You will require professional accreditation in order to gain professional indemnity insurance and be able to legally practice as a nutritionist upon graduation from your studies. The Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine is not directly recognised by the Nutrition Society of Australia or the Dietitians Association of Australia nutritionist registration programs. Our professional advice if wishing to become an appropriately qualified nutritionist and / or dietitian is to ideally choose an degree in nutrition and / or dietetics at a reputable Australian University. If you do choose to undertake the Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine, be sure to choose a college or institution that has a degree upgrade qualification option, as it is our experience and opinion that you will require a degree in order to really progress in the nutrition industry (as well as apply for registration as an accredited or registered nutritionist) in the near future. We do not recommend any particular provider of this qualification but would encourage you to choose a provider that suits your planned study mode (e.g classroom or correspondence - based) as well as one that offers a direct degree upgrade qualification to a degree that is suitably recognised by the Nutrition Society of Australia or the Dietitians Association of Australia.
In terms of accreditation/registration
associated with the Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine, please also note
that registering bodies such as the Australian Natural Therapists Association do
not recognise qualifications delivered completely via correspondence/distance.
Degree qualifications: In order to gain recognition and registration as a professional nutritionist by peak bodies such as the Nutrition Society of Australia or the Dietitians Association of Australia you will require a Bachelor of Science or other suitable degree qualification with a major strand of study in health or nutrition science with honours plus a minimum of three years professional experience or ongoing postgraduate level study. A list of Australian University nutrition courses is listed below.
Beck Health & Nutrition courses
Australian University Nutrition Degrees (undergraduate and postgraduate)
Currently in Australia the best professional nutrition education is via university. For individuals wishing to study nutrition at a professional level, we have compiled a list of courses and study paths available Australian Universities. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and includes both undergraduate and postgraduate study options. For further information on any of these courses please contact the university or institution directly.
Courses listed here include both nutrition and dietetics degrees. Information regarding accredited dietetic degrees is sourced from the Dietitians Association of Australia. For details regarding programs accredited by the Dietitians Association of Australia please go to www.daa.asn.au or for details regarding the Nutrition Society of Australia's nutritionist registration program go to: www.nsa.asn.au
Please contact us if you have further questions.
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