How do I become accredited?

A variety of different levels of training and qualification can lead to an individual calling themselves a nutrition professional. Many nutrition professionals refer to themselves as either a ‘Nutritionist’ or a ‘Dietitian’, but in Australia, professional nutritional practice is not regulated by the government, and there is no legal protection over these terms.

The Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA), Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and Sports Dietitians Australia (SDA) have therefore developed credentialing systems for nutrition professionals wishing to practise in a number of areas.
 
If you are a student, or a potential student wishing to one day work in the field of nutrition or dietetics, it is important to choose a course that will qualify you to apply for accreditation or registration with one of these organisations.

The Nutrition Society of Australia

The Nutrition Society of Australia is represented by a diverse group of nutrition professionals with a common interest in the research and application of nutrition. The NSA aims to be at the hub of Australian nutrition related sciences and industries, and therefore focuses on supporting both the science of nutrition as well as the organisation’s members.

The NSA’s membership base includes human nutritionists and dietitians, medical practitioners and nurses, agricultural scientists, food scientists, teachers and students.

Voluntary Register of Nutritionists

The NSA has developed a voluntary Register of Nutritionists in Australia to help support those in the field of nutrition, and the development of the field into the future. This register acts to protect the public by highlighting appropriately qualified individuals who have received an approved level of training and experience. The Register therefore presents a source of information on suitably qualified individuals for those seeking advice on nutrition or offering employment in the field of nutrition.

Levels of registration include:
  • Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) – If you have a bachelor’s degree majoring in nutrition, or equivalent, you are eligible to apply for this.
  • Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) – If you meet the Associate Nutritionist criteria and have 3 years (full-time equivalent) of subsequent nutrition-related experience and/or formal study you are eligible to apply for this.
The NSA also offers specialist registration in animal nutrition (RAnNutr) and public health nutrition (RPHNutr) to those with appropriate expertise.

Student membership

NSA offers student membership at a discounted fee to those studying nutrition at a university level.

For more information visit www.nsa.asn.au

Dietitians Association of Australia

The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) is the national association of the dietetics profession in Australia. The DAA has developed credentialing systems for the titles ‘Accredited Practising Dietitian’ (APD) and ‘Accredited Nutritionist’ (AN) which are protected by law, and only qualified practitioners who have met certain requirements can use these titles.

Accredited Practising Dietitian

To become an APD, completion of a tertiary level course accredited by DAA is required. These courses vary depending on the university, and may include a one to two year postgraduate Diploma or Masters degree following a Bachelor of Science degree, or a four year integrated undergraduate course. A list of accredited courses is available from the DAA website.

APDs are tertiary qualified in food, nutrition and dietetics. They provide expert nutrition advice for people of all ages and prescribe dietary treatments for many nutrition and diet related conditions.
 
Accredited Practising Dietitian is the only credential recognised by the Australian Government, Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs and most private healthy funds as the quality standard for nutrition and dietetics services in Australia.

Accredited Nutritionist

The Accredited Nutritionist program provides registration for Nutritionists with suitable tertiary education and expertise in public health nutrition, community health and general nutrition education. ANs are different to APDs as they are not qualified to provide medical nutrition therapy. ANs without a dietetics qualification cannot take on the specialised role of a Dietitian.

To maintain APD and AN status, nutrition and dietetic professionals are required to undertake a specified level of continuing education and professional development to ensure currency of practice. APD and AN status is reviewed annually by DAA.

Associate Membership

Associate membership is available to those without a dietetic qualification who meet the eligibility requirements of DAA.

Student Membership

DAA offers two forms of student membership: 

  • Student Dietitian – this category is available to students undergoing an entry level dietetic qualifications in Australia. You must be enrolled in a DAA accredited course to be eligible.
  • Associate Student Membership – this category is available to other students who meet the eligibility criteria of the association.
For more information visit www.daa.asn.au

Sports Dietitians Australia

Sports Dietitians Australia (SDA) is a professional organisation of Dietitians specialising in the field of sports nutrition. SDA aims to provide up to date sports nutrition information based on sound scientific principles for both the general public and health experts.
 
A number of SDA accreditation and membership categories exist. These include:
 
  • Student member – for those interested in pursuing a career in sports nutrition, who are currently studying full time in Australia.
  • Associate member – for those with a qualification in dietetics and an interest in sports nutrition and are a member of DAA.
  • Accredited Sports Dietitian – for Accredited Practising Dietitians with 2 years experience. Additional criteria apply.
  • Advanced Sports Dietitian – for Accredited Practising Dietitians with at least 5 years of clinical experience. Additional criteria apply.
For more information visit www.sportsdietitians.com.au