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Overview of the role

Using advanced communication and behaviour-change skills to enable people to make lifestyle and food choices to improve their health

Dietitian (degree)

Reference Number: ST0599

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the health sector. Dietitians are predominantly employed by the NHS, working in hospitals (seeing patients both on wards and in out-patient clinics) and in the community (for example seeing patients in GP practices, care homes, schools, health centres or seeing people in their own home). Dietitians are also employed in the food industry (including clinical nutrition companies) and there maybe opportunity for employment in higher education, sport, media, and national and local government. Some dietitians will be freelance and self-employed.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to use advanced communication and behaviour-change skills to enable people to make lifestyle and food choices to improve their health. Dietitians work in partnership with individual to assess, diagnose and monitor the impact of jointly agreed treatment plans. They treat individuals from birth to older age regarding health and nutrition, gathering and analysing information from a variety of sources, like results of blood tests and diagnostic investigations, and providing a tailored practical action plan using a holistic, person-centred approach. They take an evidence-based approach to effectively support the prevention and management of a wide range of conditions including diabetes, food allergy and intolerance, bowel disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, heart disease, stroke, liver and kidney disease, disordered eating and malnutrition caused by disease.

Dietitians also tailor specific nutritional diet related advice for groups and individuals across diverse populations and communities. They design and develop information about food and nutrition for a variety of audiences, using a range of tools to work with individuals, groups, communities and other health professionals.

In their daily work, a dietitian interacts with:

  • Patient, their families and carers in clinical settings like hospitals, community clinics, care homes and general practices
  • Other health and social care professionals for example, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and care workers
  • Catering services and specialist contractors providing nutritional products
  • Administrative and clerical staff providing support to the dietetic team

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for the management of a caseload of individuals, groups and communities to whom they will provide evidence-based dietetic care. They may supervise dietetic assistants/support workers and contribute to training dietetic students in the department. They will typically be managed by a dietitian service manager. Although they will work as part of a wider healthcare team, dietitians often work remotely from the team and are autonomous practitioners, which means that they are accountable for their own actions and decisions. They are responsible for maintaining their own knowledge and skills and must partake in continuing professional development activities to maintain their statutory registration.

Typical job titles


Entry requirements

Entry requirements will be determined by the employer and the university, however, this will typically include 3 A-levels (to include biology) or equivalent qualifications

Occupation duties



Duty 1 Communicate with individuals, their family and carers and the multidisciplinary team regarding nutrition and dietetic advice and interventions

K1 K2 K3 K13 K17

S1 S2 S3 S13 S17

B1 B2 B3 B5

Duty 2 Assess the nutritional needs of individuals, groups and populations

K1 K3 K4 K5 K6 K8 K12 K22

S1 S3 S4 S5 S6 S9

B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 3 Formulate individualised dietetic treatment plans to promote optimal health and nutritional status

K6 K7 K12 K16 K21 K23 K24

S6 S7 S8 S20

B3 B4 B5

Duty 4 Monitor the progress of nutrition and dietetics interventions with individuals and alter treatment plans according to changes in clinical condition

K2 K4 K7 K9 K10 K11 K12

S2 S7 S12

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 5 Manage a designated caseload of individuals with regard to clinical priorities and use of time

K1 K13 K17 K18 K20

S1 S13 S17 S18

B1 B3 B4 B5

Duty 6 Collaborate with individuals to set dietary targets to improve patient compliance

K9 K10 K11 K12

S7 S10 S11 S12

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 7 Co-ordinate the dietetic elements of care in the safe discharge and/or referral of individuals

K1 K8 K13 K17

S1 S9 S11 S13 S17

B1 B3 B4 B5

Duty 8 Provide education and training to individuals, groups, students and other health care professionals

K2 K9 K10 K17 K19 K23 K24

S2 S10 S11 S14 S17 S19 S20

B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 9 Work effectively in a multidisciplinary team

K8 K13 K17 K18 K19

S9 S13 S17 S18 S19

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 10 Ensure that dietetic intervention is person-centred, evidence-based, timely and tailored to the individual or group needs

K7 K15 K16

S7 S8 S14 S15

B1 B2

Duty 11 Maintain accurate and up to date clinical records in line with local policy and professional standards

K1 K13

S1 S13

B2 B3 B5

Duty 12 Participate in appraisal and professional development activities

K1 K14

S1 S14

B1 B2

Duty 13 Participate in quality improvement activities including service evaluation, audit and research

K1 K15 K16 K19

S1 S15 S16 S17 S19

B1 B2 B4




K1: The HCPC Standards of Proficiency for a Dietitian, the British Dietetic Association Code of Professional Conduct, legislation, Care Quality Commission/equivalent requirements, ethical boundaries, national and local policies and procedures

K2: How to adapt communication appropriately in relation to the social and cultural needs of individuals, groups and communities using dietetic services, including for example the use of interpreters and technology

K3: The principles of and process for obtaining informed consent

K4: The principles of biochemistry, physiology, clinical medicine, clinical dietetics, public health nutrition, epidemiology, genetics,genomics, immunology, microbiology, nutritional sciences, pathophysiology and pharmacology in the context of nutrition and dietetic practice

K5: The range of assessment tools and techniques used in dietetic practice

K6: The principles behind the use of nutritional analysis to analyse food intake records, menu planning, and recipes and interpret the results

K7: How to gather and critically evaluate research and other sources of complex information to inform professional judgement in dietetic practice

K8: How to assess and manage risks in dietetic practice

K9: How to translate technical nutritional requirements into practical advice and care planning for individuals, groups and populations and how to evaluate its effectiveness

K10: The range of educational strategies, models of empowerment, behaviour change and health improvement methods used in the context of nutrition and dietetic practice

K11: The impact of dietary modifications across a diverse range of dietetic interventions

K12: The structure and function of the human body, together with knowledge of health, disease, disorder and dysfunction to optimise nutritional status

K13: How to manage and maintain records and information including the concept of confidentiality and the principles of information governance

K14: The principles and models used in clinical reflection and how it can be used along with mentoring and training opportunities to develop own and others’ dietetic practice

K15: The principles and value of continuous improvement as applied to dietetic practice and the methods used for audit, evaluation and review

K16: The principles of evidence-based practice

K17: The context of dietetic services in the wider health and social care system and the importance of team working and maintaining own health by changing or stopping practice if physical or mental health may affect performance

K18: How to manage own workload and resources, the limits of own practice and when to seek advice in accordance with appropriate knowledge, skills and  experience; the appropriate use of delegation, referrals, signposting and discharge, to ensure safe and effective practice

K19: The principles of leadership and how they can be applied in dietetic practice

K20: The principles of safeguarding and responsibilities in relation to a duty of care

K21: The principles of food hygiene, food science, food skills, management of food systems and factors influencing food choice and how they can be applied to dietetic practice

K22: The principles of sociology, social policy, management of health and social care and public health as applied to the dietetic management of individuals, groups or communities

K23: The principles of food labelling legislation and health claims and how it applies to dietetic practice


S1 Practice safely and effectively as an autonomous professional in line with HCPC requirements, the British Dietetic Association Code of Professional Conduct legislation, Care Quality Commission/equivalent requirements, ethical boundaries, national and local policies and procedures

S2 Select and use a range of communication strategies, skills, techniques and technologies, including non-verbal communication skills, appropriate to the diverse range of individuals, groups and communities using dietetic services e.g. presentation to groups, 1-to-1 consultations

S3 Obtain informed consent as appropriate

S4 Appraise, select and use a range of techniques, technologies and resources to assess the nutritional needs of individuals groups and populations

S5 Gather and evaluate complex information to assess the physical, psychological, socio-economic and nutritional status of individuals and groups to support dietetic interventions

S6 Analyse and critically evaluate the information collected in order to identify nutritional needs and develop a dietetic diagnosis

S7 Use evidence, reasoning, professional judgement and a logical and systematic approach to problem solving to determine appropriate actions; recognise personal responsibility for clinical decision making and be able to justify their actions in line with professional code of conduct

S8 Formulate dietetic treatment plans based on dietetic diagnosis, including setting of goals and timescales tailored to the needs of individuals and groups

S9 Assess and manage risks appropriately using relevant professionals and agencies

S10 Develop, formulate and  evaluate the effectiveness of appropriate and practical dietary advice for individuals, groups and populations, for example on safe procedures for food preparation and handling, the effect of food processing on nutritional quality, menu planning and nutritional information including food labels

S11 Empower individuals to meet the aims of the treatment plan, by negotiating and agreeing a range of activities, including signposting to other agencies

S12 Monitor and evaluate the progress of nutrition and dietetic interventions using appropriate information, techniques and measures

S13 Manage, maintain and audit individual healthcare records

S14 Critically reflect on practice and take ownership of own, and contribute to other’s professional development

S15 Undertake research, audit and evaluation in order to improve the quality of the dietetic services provided

S16 Use statistical, epidemiological, and research skills to gather and interpret evidence to make reasoned conclusions to develop dietetic practice

S17 Work collaboratively and in partnership with the wider health and social care team to ensure the best treatment and care is provided

S18 Manage own workload, time and resources, including delegating, referring, signposting and discharging where appropriate

S19 Use leadership skills

S20 Appraise and use food labelling and health claims appropriately in the practical advice delivered to individuals, groups and populations


B1: Demonstrate courage to challenge areas of concern

B2: Demonstrate an enquiring attitude and willingness to share knowledge with others

B3: Demonstrate empathy, commitment, compassion and respect

B4: Be adaptable, flexible and resilient

B5: Act in a non-discriminatory manner, respect and uphold the rights, dignity, values, and autonomy of others


English and Maths qualifications

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL. 

Other qualifications

Mandatory qualification 1: BSc in Dietetics or, where the apprentice already holds a level 6 degree, a pre-registration MSc Dietetics, approved by the Health and Care Professions Council

Level of qualification: 6 (integrated degree)

Basis for mandatory qualification: Regulatory requirement

Type of qualification

Type 1 qualification that accredits occupational competence


University 1
The name of all the Universities delivering the integrated degree

University of Coventry

University 2
The name of all the Universities delivering the integrated degree

University of Surrey

University 3
The name of all the Universities delivering the integrated degree

University of Chester

Regulatory or professional body

Regulatory or professional body 1

Body name

Health and Care Professions Council



Brendon Edmonds


Evidence for mandating the qualification: please cite the relevant regulation and/or upload a letter from the Regulator

All employers require dietitians to be registered with the HCPC. The standard is mapped to the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Dietitians and all apprentices will be eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC on successful completion of the apprenticeship.


Professional recognition

British Dietetic Association / Full member

Additional details

Occupational Level: 6
Duration (months): 48


This standard will be reviewed after three years.

Regulated Standard

This is a Regulated occupation.

Regulator Body:

Health and Care Professions Council            

Training provider must be approved by regulator body

EPAO must be approved by regulator body

Crown copyright © 2019. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 6
Degree: integrated degree
Reference: ST0599
Version: 1
Date updated: 09/08/2019
Approved for delivery: 3 July 2019
Route: Health and science
Typical duration: 48 months
Maximum funding: £24000
Regulated Standard
Regulated Body

Health and Care Professions Council            

Training provider must be approved by regulator body

EPAO must be approved by regulator body

Employers involved in creating the standard: Barts Health NHS Trust, Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Nestle UK, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, University of Chester, University of Surrey, Coventry University
EQA Provider: Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) (TBC)
This EQA provider is currently going through the approval process with the Institute for Apprenticeships so is unable to help with any queries relating to this standard at the present time. If you need support in relation to any of the content on this page please contact the Institute for Apprenticeships.

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Version log

Version Date updated Change Previous version
1 09/08/2019 Update to EPAO responsibility where this is also the Training Provider – page 15 of assessment plan. Previous version
1 03/07/2019 Funding band first published

Not available

1 14/06/2019 Assessment plan published

Not available

1 14/02/2019 Standard first published

Not available