If you are looking for a nutritionist, make sure they have the right level of qualification and are competent in nutritional science. To make your search easier, you can just check if they have the quality mark post-nominal letters RNutr, ANutr or RD after their name, for instance like me: Patrycja Tobolska RNutr. I am really proud to be able to use this title now but you probably wonder, what do these letters mean?
In the UK, the Association for Nutrition (AfN) is the independent regulator for registered nutritionists. Their role is to protect and benefit the public. If you are a nutrition professional and want to be on their register, you need to meet their rigorously applied standards for scientifically sound evidence-based nutrition and its use in practice.
There are two categories, Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) and Registered Nutritionist (RNutr).
Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) has a minimum of an honours-degree level knowledge and can prove underpinning scientific knowledge in evidence-based nutrition. A Registered Associate Nutritionist will normally be supervised and/or mentored. An ANutr can transfer to an RNutr status after gaining at least 3 years experience of post-degree professional practice.
Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) is a qualified nutrition professional with demonstrable experience of degree-level, evidence-based practice in a specialist area of nutrition competency. In my case, it is public health. Other competencies include animal nutrition, food, nutrition science and/or sport & exercise. RNutr may practise independently.
All Nutritionists that are registered with the AfN are fully committed to the strict standards of ethics, conduct and performance with the AfN, and also actively seek and complete Continuous Professional Development (and that means we keep our skills and knowledge up to date).
If you want to check whether your nutritionist is registered or you wish to find one in your local area, you can visit the AfN website.
What about RD? These post nominal letters refer to someone who is a registered dietitian. Registered dietitians are regulated by the British Dietetic Association (BDA) in the UK.
Registered Dietitian (RD) has a minimum of a BSc Hons in Dietetics or a related science degree with a postgraduate diploma or higher degree in Dietetics. This title is protected by law and only those registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) can use this title. To apply for registration, an individual must demonstrate clinical and professional competence.
If you want to check if your dietitian is registered, please check the HCPC website. If you are looking for a dietitian in your area, you can visit the BDA website or you can contact your local hospital, or GP surgery.