Supporting those volunteering or working in non-nutritionist roles

A wide range of individuals with different skills and professional backgrounds provide nutrition advice to the public. This wider nutrition workforce has a key role to play in improving public health.

Whilst individuals in these roles are not registered nutritionists or dietitians, and therefore do not require the same depth and breadth of knowledge and competency in nutrition science of these nutrition professionals; we believe that everyone at all levels engaged in nutrition should be competent and confident in their ability to deliver evidence-based nutrition information that is relevant to their role.

The wider workforce includes anyone who offers nutrition advice as part of a job/volunteer role they hold:

  • Roles at Levels 1  & 2 of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) e.g. catering assistants, waiting staff, walk leaders, dance leader, exercise instructors, sous chefs.
  • Roles at Levels 3  & 4 of the Public Health Skills and Careers Framework or  Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) e.g. community food workers, healthcare assistants, health trainers, nursery nurses, personal trainers, head chefs, gym managers and hoteliers.
  • Roles at Level 5+ on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) e.g. GPs, anesthetists, dermatologists, opticians, midwives, podiatrists, practice nurses and pharmacists.

High quality training is crucial to raising standards of nutrition delivery for the safety of the public.  So, AfN has drawn on its established expertise and benchmark standards of the Workforce Competence Model in Nutrition (AfN 2012) to develop AfN Course Certification and in 2016 expanded this to training targeted towards those in fitness, leisure or catering.

Important Note:

AfN Certification is awarded to the course content and not to the individual completing these.

The level refers to the level of the position held by those the course is targeted at, it is not a qualification level awarded to the course.

Certification is awarded to courses that meet the competency requirements for their specified sector/level as a quality mark to enable students/employers to identify reputable, evidence-based courses.

On completion of an AfN Certified Course students will be able to offer support in line with official recommended advice to those who are generally healthy in order to help them make healthy food and lifestyle choices. Students should however be aware of their limits and that completion of an AfN Certified Course does not make them an AfN/UKVRN certified nutritionist/nutrition assistant/diet advisor etc. nor eligible for UKVRN registration as either a Registered Associate Nutritionist or Registered Nutritionist.

Please click here for details of AfN Accredited Degree Programmes from which graduates are eligible for direct entry to the UKVRN as a Registered Associate Nutritionist.

Please note: Completion of an AfN Certified Course does not result in an individual being eligible to enter onto a nutrition science degree – please see each universities entry requirements for what A-Levels (or equivalent) are required.