Where can I study part-time to become a registered dietitian or nutritionist?
Currently only contact institutions offer qualifications that will allow you to register as a dietitian or nutritionist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). A list of the institutions offering these four-year full-time qualifications are available here.
I graduated with a *BSc Consumer Science/BSc Food Science* degree. I would like to know if I can register as a nutritionist and if yes what is the procedure. (*Any degree other than that required by the HPCSA)
In South Africa, we have legislations and regulations on health practices which are co-ordinated by the Health Professions Council of South Africa. You will note that the HPCSA states that:
“The HPCSA, in conjunction with its 12 Professional Boards, is committed to promoting the health of the population, determining standards of professional education and training, and setting and maintaining excellent standards of ethical and professional practice. In order to safeguard the public and indirectly the professions, registration in terms of the Act is a prerequisite for practicing any of the health professions with which Council is concerned.”
Therefore, to legally practice dietetics and nutrition in South Africa, you have to be registered with the HPCSA under the Dietetics and Nutrition Board. You can read more about the scope of practice and registration on their website.
You can also read the Health Professions Act 56 of 1974 here.
Thus your options are to either obtain the necessary training prescribed by the HPCSA to be a registered practitioner and work in the indicated scope of practice; or to find a niche related to nutrition where you can still use your knowledge, but work outside of the above indicated scope of practice.
I am interested in learning more about child nutrition. Are there any courses you can refer me to?
We can make the following suggestions to you in terms of learning more on child nutrition, however we have not affiliation with the mentioned institutions. Kindly note that completion of the suggested online courses will enhance your knowledge on the topic, however, it does not qualify you to consult with clients or patients individually (which are in the scope of practice of dietitians registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa). Kindly see earlier questions.
Course you can complete online:
Does membership with the NSSA allow me to practice as a nutritionist?
Membership to the Nutrition Society of South Africa (NSSA) is open to individuals who would like to support the advancement of the scientific study of nutrition, which you are welcome to apply for. However, the NSSA is a scientific society and membership would not render you with registration as a nutritionist. Registered nutritionists are governed by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (Board for Dietetics & Nutrition). Should you wish to be considered for registration as a Nutritionist, then you will have to apply to the HPCSA, who will assess your qualifications against the requirements and minimum competencies for a Nutritionist. The relevant information can be obtained from their website.
What is the difference between a nutritionist and dietitian in South Africa?
At the moment, there are two registerable nutrition professions in South Africa, namely a Nutritionist and a Dietitian with different scopes of practice. As per section 61(1) of the Medical, Dental and Supplementary Health Services Professions Act, 1974 (Act no 56 of 1974), draft legislation R635 dated 20 July 2007, a nutritionist is a person responsible for the promotion of nutritional health and well-being and prevention of nutrition-related disorders/ill-health of groups, communities or populations via sustainable and equitable improvements in the food and nutrition system. Nutritionists will not be involved in illness management i.e. therapeutic interventions in individual clients/patients/communities. The latter is part of the scope of practice of a dietitian.
For a list of registered dietitians in your area, please search the following website www.adsa.org.za.
Where can I train as a nutritionist?
Does the NSSA offer bursaries to students studying nutrition?
The society does not currently offer bursaries to study nutrition. However, there is a Nutrition Safari grant that is made available to one student at each of the universities offering Dietetics and Nutritionist qualifications in South Africa. During your second year of study at any of the eleven universities offering these programmes, you can apply for the Nutrition Safari grant. One student is selected annually (per university) as a beneficiary for the bursary. Please contact your Head of Department for an application form.