What is a Registered Nutritionist?

DSCN1133 As this is the title I use, I thought it would be a good idea to write a quick post on what it means. The title, Registered Nutritionist refers to a nutritionist who has registered with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN), and who use the letters RNutr after their name to indicate registration. Registered Nutritionists are qualified to provide good, evidence-based nutrition information and are usually qualified in nutrition science with either a Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Masters of Science (MSc) degree with 3 years professional experience. Any applicant without a nutrition degree who can demonstrate  scientific knowledge acquired through 7 years peer-recognised professional experience in nutrition can also become registered as a nutritionist.

What are Registered Nutritionists qualified to do?

  • Provide advice, based on scientific evidence, on general and specific aspects of nutrition in relation to life and health in individuals and populations.
  • Practise independently in relation to nutrition and health both for individual clients and for groups of people or populations.
  • Practise as part of a team under the supervision of a suitably qualified doctor contributing to the management of people with medical conditions.

They are not permitted to use their title to make claims unsubstantiated by peer-reviewed and published scientific evidence to directly endorse or validate a specific food or supplement. They can give information about food and healthy eating but not special diets for medical conditions.

The title “nutritionist” is  not protected by law so anyone can use it, irrespective of qualification. However, only registrants with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists can call themselves a Registered Nutritionist (RNutr). This means that if you’re getting nutrition advice from someone, at the very least you need to know what qualification(s) they hold and also find out whether they are on the UKRVN register.

For more information on the differences between Dieticians, Registered Nutritionists and  Nutrition Therapists go to British Dietetics Association website. In the interests of balance, the Nutritional Therapy Council  also outlines the differences.


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