Nutritional Advice and Meal Plans – Australian Fitness Professionals and Personal Trainers
As a qualified Personal Trainer, Group Exercise or Fitness Instructor, the extent to which you can offer nutrition and dietary advice can be a very confusing area. Your Australian fitness qualification (either Certificate III, Certificate IV or Diploma in Fitness) contained basic nutritional knowledge which allows you to provide healthy eating information to clients in accordance with recommended Dietary Guidelines. A sound understanding of nutrition is vital for effective work in fitness (Beck Health & Nutrition courses develop and enhance your nutritional knowledge and practical skills and are far more comprehensive than the components covered in your fitness qualifications) however the extent of nutritional advice that you are able to provide to clients within your Scope of Registration must remain conservative and follow the stipulations of your registering body (e.g. Fitness Australia) and associated professional indemnity insurer.
Currently, some competitor course providers are advertising that their nutrition course will accredit Fitness Australia-registered Personal Trainers to “provide basic dietary advice and provide meal plans for healthy eating” and be covered under their existing professional indemnity insurance. Unfortunately, this advice may not be relevant to most Fitness Australia-insured fitness professionals as Fitness Australia now offers their professional insurance through Guild Insurance. Fitness Australia’s Professional Indemnity current insurance provider (Guild Insurance) has advised Beck Health & Nutrition that, while fitness professionals are covered to provide general healthy eating advice, specific dietary advice, as well as providing specific meal plans for people is NOT covered, as this specific advice falls within the occupation of a nutritionist or dietitian (or even General Practitioner).
If you have further questions or concerns regarding this matter we would encourage you to contact either Fitness Australia, Guild Insurance, or your current professional indemnity insurance provider for further advice.
Students who successfully complete Beck Health & Nutrition’s Certificate of Nutrition and Diet or Nutrition and Diet for Exercise Professionals course are automatically eligible for accreditation from the International Institute for Complementary Therapists and will be eligible for professional indemnity and business insurance relating to future work in nutrition and health coaching, including providing nutrition coaching, health coaching, providing individual meal plans for clients and providing nutritional counselling and dietary analysis based on weight loss, sports and body composition goals. It is really important to note that this insurance is likely to be separate from your existing fitness accrediation and insurance arrangements.