This informal CPD article Why Nutrition Professionals need to earn CPD was provided by The Health Sciences Academy, the world’s largest, 100% science-based, online educational institution.
Who are nutrition professionals and why do they need CPD hours?
Science is constantly evolving and sometimes, training and knowledge can become obsolete or outdated. This is why health, wellness, nutrition and medical professionals in the UK and many parts of the world are mandated to undergo regular training to ensure that their knowledge remains updated with the most recent developments and the latest science in their fields. This regular training is called Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
To succeed as a nutrition professional, you need CPD hours to ensure you stay updated with the latest knowledge updates so you can deliver the best service to your clients and meet up with industry requirements.
Are you interested in becoming a nutrition professional and need guidance on your next steps, or are you an existing nutrition professional and need guidance on how to expand your nutrition practice and ways to earn CPD hours? Well, worry no more.
We’ll start at the beginning, and this involves understanding what it takes to become a nutrition professional, why nutrition professionals need CPD hours and the many career opportunities waiting for you to maximise!
In this article, we will help you understand:
- Who is considered a nutrition professional
- How to acquire the knowledge and expertise to grow and excel as a nutrition professional
- Ways to earn CPD hours as a nutrition professional
- Your next steps to take to get started as a nutrition professional or to expand your nutrition practice
Let’s begin, shall we?
Now, who is a nutrition professional?
UCL Doctoral Researcher and Chief Science Educator at the Health Sciences Academy, Alex Ruani, describes a nutrition professional as one who would focus on helping clients achieve desired health outcomes in a very targeted way, mainly through dietary changes and eating practices.
According to Alex Ruani, “a nutrition professional usually acts in an advisory capacity, listens to their clients, takes inventory of information, and then makes actionable, personalised recommendations to help improve their clients’ lives”.
So, when thinking about seeking the services of a nutrition professional, you think:
“What’s the most personalised way for me to get closer to my desired health outcome?” This health outcome could be fertility, weight loss, sports, sleep management, stress management, gut health, detox, child and brain nutrition, dietary supplements, food allergies and tolerances, nutritional therapy and even nutrition for longevity and cancer risk. And there are more specialisations identified each time.
That’s where a nutrition professional’s expertise comes into play. You can specialise in helping clients achieve any of these health outcomes.
For example, if you have clients that want to:
- Sleep better - you could acquire the expertise to become a Sleep Management Practitioner
- Increase fertility odds - you could complete a certification that allows you to become a Nutrition Fertility Practitioner so you can help them improve their fertility odds
- Enhance sports performance, endurance, power, strength, or gain muscle - you could help them by becoming a Sports and Exercise Nutrition Specialist
- Support their children’s learning progress or speech - you can help them when you become a Child and Brain Development Nutrition Practitioner
- Improve their gut health - you can help them by becoming a Gut Health Practitioner. You would be able to help clients suffering from digestive issues using practical nutritional advice
- Lessen symptoms and pain by mitigating nutrient deficiencies - you can become a Nutritional Therapist so you can acquire the expertise to help them
- Reduce stress levels for better mental health - you could help them when you acquire the knowledge to become a Stress Management Practitioner
- Overcome overeating and food addiction - you can acquire the expertise to become a Clinical Weight Loss Practitioner
- Support their body’s detoxification systems - you can help them when you become a Detox Specialist
- Manage food intolerances - you can help them when you become a Food Allergies and Intolerances Nutritional Advisor
You must bear in mind that these health outcomes are specific to each client, or even one client may desire numerous health outcomes, so to truly help your client, you would ideally want to personalise your recommendations. And for a nutrition professional, personalisation is the key to achieving lasting and effective outcomes.
This process of personalisation requires helping your clients make a number of dietary and lifestyle modifications so that their health and wellbeing could be significantly improved. For this to happen, you will need to discover how to personalise client diets.
Is the nutrition professional path for you? Then you are ready to proceed on your learning journey towards acquiring the expertise to excel in this field.