Frequently Asked Questions about Registration
I have completed an Accredited degree programme, am I automatically registered as a Registered Associate Nutritionist?

No, you are not automatically registered on completion of an accredited programme.

You will need to apply to be a Registered Associate Nutritionist via the Direct Entry pathway as you will need to make a declaration regarding your fitness to practice and confirm that you will abide by the AfN Standards of Ethics, Conduct and Performance.

Details on what you need to do to apply can be found here.



I am not registered yet and am uncertain whether I should apply to be a Registered Associate Nutritionist or Registered Nutritionist?

Typically Registered Associate Nutritionist status is suitable for those who have recently graduated and do not, as yet, have sufficient professional practice (usually 3yrs+). For those applying for this level of registration (normally within three years of graduating from a nutrition science degree programme), we expect to see evidence of strong underpinning knowledge in nutrition science meeting our required competencies.  If you did not complete an accredited degree  you will need to match up the areas covered from your degree syllabus against the relevant competency-mapping form which lists all the required competencies you will need to meet.

Those applying for Registered Nutritionist status must provide evidence of solid underpinning scientific knowledge and, in addition, strong evidence to show how they have attained and developed the required specialist skills and experience through the continued and consistent professional application of this knowledge.

If you are still uncertain which level of Registration or which specialism you should apply for, please read more about the categories, the Guide to Registration and the competencies for each of these.


    • Why do you need degree module descriptors as well as transcript?

The transcript confirms the name of the module and that it was passed, but does not provide detail on what was covered within the module. Therefore we also require the module descriptor to provide the assessor with information on what was actually covered within each module being used as evidence. 



 When should I apply to transfer from Registered Associate Nutritionist to Registered Nutritionist?

We would expect Associate Registrants to apply to transfer to Registered Nutritionist Status once they have gained around three years professional postgraduate experience (depending on the opportunities you obtain during this period). In order to transfer your category of registration, you do not necessarily need any extra qualifications, however your transfer application must show that you have kept your professional knowledge up-to-date, and should concentrate on how you have developed your nutritional skills and competence through your professional experience since you graduated. The evidence you submit must therefore reflect how you have continually developed through working in the field of nutrition in order to show you now have practical experience of all the competencies required showing that you have worked independently and consistently in applying your knowledge, as well as showing that you continue to abide by our Standards of Ethics, Conduct and Performance in your practice.

You can find more guidance on preparing your portfolio of evidence to transfer your category of registration here.


 I have an overseas degree and/or experience, can I still apply to join the UKVRN?

If the programme you graduated from is recognised as being of an equivalent level to a UK honours degree or higher level qualification in nutrition, you should be able to apply to join the Register if you feel you can meet all the nutrition competencies required. You will however need to provide a ‘statement of comparability’ which should be obtained from NARIC and will state, in English, exactly what your overseas qualification equates to in the UK. 

All of the documentation in your application will also need to be translated into English if the originals are in another language (to allow our assessors to assess the information you have provided). These translations must be certified and signed by the translator to confirm that they are true and accurate. 


Do I have to be a member of the Nutrition Society to be on the Register?

No, you do not have to be a member of the Nutrition Society to apply to be a Registered Associate Nutritionist or Registered Nutritionist. The AfN and Nutrition Society are separate organisation. Therefore similarly membership with the Nutrition Society does not mean that you are a Registered Associate Nutritionist or Registered Nutritionist.


Is the term ‘Registered Nutritionist’ or 'Registered Associate Nutritionist' a statutorily regulated title?

Not at present. The nutrition profession as a whole is only voluntarily regulated (by the Association) which means the term ‘nutritionist’ is not regulated by law (unlike Dietitians who must be on a statutorily regulated register before they are allowed to practice). An individual does not have to be on the UKVRN to work in the nutrition industry, however employers are increasingly looking for registered status in posts they advertise, as registration with UKVRN is widely recognised as a bench mark of quality, science based nutritional knowledge and skills. All the individuals on the UKVRN are professional nutritionists, upholding our Standards of Ethics, Conduct and Performance at all times and have provided evidence that they have met rigorous standards through their qualifications and experience.


Can a Registered Nutritionist work with individual clients?

Yes, Registered Nutritionists are able to work with individual clients and many do so, providing support on following healthy diets, achieving goals such as weight management or in aiding sports performance etc. However, it must be noted that dietary advice should not be given in relation to a pre-existing medical condition(s). Individuals requiring dietary support for their pre-existing medical condition should normally be referred to a regulated health professional. Registered Nutritionists may work with such individuals in respect to their pre-existing medical condition only under the supervision of an appropriately qualified healthcare professional such as a GP or a dietitian. Registered Nutritionists may work independently with individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, providing the advice and support they are providing is not in respect to their medical condition and does not contraindicate with the management of their medical condition. Often this will require the Registered Nutritionist to work in collaboration with the healthcare professional managing the medical condition.

Our Standards of Ethics, Conduct and Performance (which all registrants must abide by) states that UKVRN registrants are expected to work within their scope of practice. You should also ensure you have appropriate indemnity insurance in place.


Can a Registered Associate Nutritionist work with individual clients?

Registered Associate Nutritionists can work with individual clients in the same way that Registered Nutritionist can, but you must have in place support/mentoring from an appropriately qualified nutrition professional such as a Registered Nutritionist or Registered Dietitian. 

Our Standards of Ethics, Conduct and Performance (which all registrants have agreed to abide by) states that UKVRN registrants are expected to work within his/her scope of practice. You should also ensure you have appropriate indemnity insurance in place.



I have a diploma/degree in nutritional therapy/naturopathic nutrition, is this enough for me to join the Register?

By itself no, a diploma or degree in nutritional therapy or naturopathic nutrition will not be enough to enable you to meet the required standards to join the UKVRN as you have to show how you have developed professional competency, ethics and values to practice within our statement of professional conduct.

A diploma is not equivalent to a science-based bachelors degree with honours or a masters in nutrition. You might be able to meet the criteria if you can show you learnt ‘on the job’ over a long period (usually about a minimum of seven years) and this knowledge and experience is science-based and at the level equivalent of a university graduate. Alternatively, you could study at a university, preferably on an accredited programme.
Possibly - if you have been working professionally in the field of nutrition science at or above the level equivalent of a university graduate for 7+ years, you should work through the requirements on the relevant competency mapping form to check that you can meet all our required competencies.

If you can demonstrate at least degree level knowledge and understanding of all the standards you can apply for Registered Associate Nutritionist registration.

If you 
are able to demonstrate
knowledge and understanding of nutrition science at
 at least degree level plus evidence of your consistent, independent evidence-based application of all the competencies and continual professional development, you can apply for Registered Nutritionist registration.


You will also need to show that you uphold our professional ethics, work within the statement of professional conduct and share our values, as set out in our Standards of Ethics, Conduct and Performance. You will need to provide a portfolio of evidence to support your application and provide the names of two referees (one of whom should ideally be a Registered Nutritionist or Dietitian).


I have a foundation degree in nutrition and health, is this enough for me to join the Register?

By itself no, a foundation degree is not enough to enable you to meet the required standards. You need at least a bachelors with honours degree level qualification in nutrition science that meets our standards of education. You have to show how you developed professional competency, ethics and values to practice within our statement of professional conduct.

A foundation degree is not equivalent to a science-based bachelors degree with honours or a masters in nutrition.
You might be able to meet the criteria if you can show you learnt ‘on the job’ over a long period (usually about a minimum of seven years) and this knowledge and experience is at least at the level equivalent of a university graduate. Alternatively, you could study at a university, preferably on an accredited programme.


I am about to take maternity leave, do I still need to pay my Registration fees?

Providing you have not lapsed your registration, if you inform the Registration Office (registration@associationfornutrition.org) of the date your maternity leave will begin, you are entitled to 'voluntarily suspend' your Registration for a period of up to 24 months. During this time you will not need to pay any Registration fees that would be due, but will continue to receive communications, and can simply re-instate your active Registration by contacting us again when you return to work. Please note, however, if you leave it longer than 24 months your registration will lapse and you will then be required to apply for reinstatement. 


What do I do if my registration has lapsed? 

If your registration has lapsed, and you did not voluntary suspend your registration in advance for maternity leave or ill health reasons, you will be required to apply for reinstatement. Please contact the Registration Office for more information.

What is a foolscap wallet? 

There are many variations from different suppliers, and a quick online search will find you a number of examples and places to get them. An example of what they look like is below:




Why can I not use individual plastic pockets/wallets within portfolio folder or bind my portfolio?


We appreciate that you may wish to use plastic pockets to separate your documents or bind your portfolio into one complete document, however this makes it extremely time consuming if the portfolio needs to be copied or transferred into a new folder for any reason. Therefore we request that you do not use plastic pockets/wallets and if required use dividers to separate sections instead. We similarly request you do not bind your portfolio into one document as this cannot be copied via an auto-feeder and copying is therefore also extremely time consuming if presented in this format.  


Why do I need two application portfolios and will one be returned to me?

We require two applications as one is sent to the assessor and one is retained in the office for your permanent record and if needed by a second assessor. We do not routinely return portfolio applications and one copy remains on file as a permanent record of your registration application. If you would like one copy of your portfolio to be returned, please indicate this to the registration officer and this can be arranged. Please note, we do however have to charge for postage and packaging when returning a portfolio. 



How much postage should I attach when sending in my application?

Application are different sizes and therefore have different weights and postal costs associated with this. The best advice is to take this to a Post Office counter where it can be weighed and the appropriate postal charge paid. Alternatively the online Post Office price finder can be used to determine the cost based on the weight and size of your document. Please note that any envelope larger than A5 is not covered by a standard 1st or 2nd class stamp. Any post that is underpaid results in a charge from Royal Mail for both the amount underpaid and a handling fee.

Please Note: AfN is not able to accept Royal Mail requests for additional payment and therefore post that has been underpaid will be rejected.  



How long does it take for an application to be assessed?

Applications for ANutr via the Direct Entry route take on average 10 working days, providing the pass list has been submitted by the university.

Applications via portfolio for ANutr, RNutr (incl. transfer) take on average 14-18 weeks to assess after references have been received, although please note this may be longer during particularly busy times. 


What does my application fee cover?

Application fees cover the cost of assessment, administration and the first year's registration fee. If you are unsuccessful in your application, the registration proportion (£80 ANutr/£130 RNutr) will be refunded. There are no refunds for unsuccessful transfer portfolios, as no portion of the fee contributes to the annual registration fee.   



How does the AfN use the application and registration fees?

There are a number of variations that affect the cost to AfN of processing an application and running the UKVRN. The application and registration fees covers the cost of the first year's registration for new applicants (refundable if unsuccessful), administration of applications, requesting and receiving references, obtaining and checking university pass lists, allocating portfolios to assessors and processing the responses - requesting further evidence or a second assessment if required, maintaining and updating the UKVRN database, undertaking fitness to practice investigations, preparing and sending correspondence, postage, staff costs, promoting the role that Registrants have in improving the health of the nation and raising awareness of Registrant's expertise. 

 
     
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