Strategic Plan 2024-2034


The previous BDA strategic plan (2021 – 2024) supported the establishment of an excellent platform from which to develop our membership and support the profession to thrive.

The past few years have seen further development in the governance of the organisation, with the bedding in of the new Board structure including lay members, the introduction of the inaugural Trade Union National Executive Committee (TUNEC), the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDI Committee) and the new Professional Committee.

Significant work has been done in the education space to ensure the standard of qualification is fit for purpose for today’s profession, and to support changes and growth in roles and practice scopes.

In early 2024, members of the BDA took industrial action for the first time in Northern Ireland. The journey to better pay and conditions for our members continues to be a significant focus for activities supported by our network of elected trade union (TU) representatives.

We have developed our services behind the scenes to deliver a greater presence in the online world, to deliver more member value through online education, events and services. Recent investment in technology platforms will enable us to progress at pace.

The Sports and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENR) has grown with registrants now numbering well over 500. We anticipate further growth in the register and associated services over the period of this strategy.

We have seen growth of BDA specialist groups, sub-groups and branches and the quality and volume of our members’ voluntary contribution to developments in the profession, the evidence base, tools and resources and ultimately patient care. Our membership currently stands at over 11,200 members.

The 2024-2034 Strategic Plan

Download the full Strategic Plan

View the plan section-by-section using these webpages, or download the full PDF version.


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This BDA Strategic Plan 2024-2034 presents the long-term (10-year) strategic direction for the BDA and provides a detailed picture of how we are going to get there starting with the next three years (2024–2027). This builds on the achievements made in the delivery of the previous strategic plan, and continues the themes of: workforce support and development, growing our community of members, ensuring we are visible and using our member expertise to have a positive influence, and continuously improving our services behind the scenes.

This Strategic Plan reflects our vision, values, core purpose and commitment.

What is presented here is our ten-year direction and a set of high-level three-year activities towards achieving this. The Strategic Plan is presented as five strategic objectives with four golden threads:

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The initial draft of this strategic plan was released to members and stakeholders in September 2023.

Following a three-month period of engagement over 40 presentations were given to members, specialist groups, branches and country boards. The BDA received survey responses from 241 members and detailed input from over 20 groups, branches, country boards and individual members. All of this feedback has been considered in the production of this final strategy.

Our Audacious Goal

We have developed an audacious and ambitious goal to guide and stretch us in our delivery.

‘20,000 Satisfied Members by 2034’

20,000 is a big number and reflects the significant growth needed in the dietetic workforce to meet the needs of the population. This echoes our ambition in all areas of membership across each of the four nations including registered dietitians, the support workforce, students, and sport and exercise nutrition registrants.

This reflects the required growth in the variety of roles and new career pathways, the ambitions of our existing members and the promotion of dietetics as a career choice to future members. It also reflects the growing need for services in the communities our members are working in.

There are many challenges and constraints to overcome to see the required growth in the profession. Whilst we have seen a welcome growth in dietetic education providers and the number of dietitians in training, we need to ensure that practice-based learning (placement) opportunities are available and supported appropriately. We need to be extending the options for entry into the profession through apprenticeships and in the support workforce in each of the four nations, through return to practice and also through retaining current members and encouraging those dietitians who are not members to join or rejoin the association.

The words ‘satisfied members’ refer not only to the stated satisfaction levels in our regular member surveys, but demonstrates our need to be actively responding to what our members are asking for.  This includes: increasing the diversity of the profession and supporting our members to deliver in a variety of settings to a diverse population, ensuring we are responding to global issues such as climate change and being a socially responsible organisation, effectively supporting our members individually and collectively, delivering services that are of value and creating a sense of community where all are welcome.

A satisfied membership community will demonstrate a BDA that values our volunteers and supports a sustainable network of groups and branches, acknowledges the expertise of our members and supports their active participation. We also want to ensure members feel connected to their profession locally as well as at a national and at a UK-wide level.

Delivering this by 2034 is a big ask. It will require investment in the BDA office team and in our activities to further support our volunteers. However, we are an ambitious membership association, and we are blessed with members who have the energy, enthusiasm, passion and expertise to achieve this.

BDA Vision, Values and Core Purpose

The BDA’s vision and values have not changed.

Our vision is to:

‘Improve the health of the UK population by: protecting and improving health and care services, developing health and social care nutrition policy, improving the impact of dietetics and promoting positive discussion on food, nutrition, wellbeing and health.’

Our stated values are:

  • We are a credible and trusted organisation
  • We are dynamic, professional and innovative
  • We are agile, responsive, transparent and accessible in delivery
  • We take a four nations approach

The BDA’s core purpose is:

‘To be the trusted, collective voice of dietetics, dedicated to protecting, serving and advancing the interests of the BDA community, through our expert leadership in food and nutrition.’

View the sections of the plan below

Developing a sustainable workforce

This area of the strategy focuses on developing a workforce that is fit for purpose and able to deliver on the needs of the population in each of the four nations of the UK.

Education and research

This area of the strategy concentrates on the availability of key resources to guide career development and offer continual professional development opportunities at all levels which reflect the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion.

Supporting our members individually and collectively

Our areas of focus include taking a leading position across health trade union structures in the UK. We will be fully engaged in all of the relevant collective bargaining structures along with regional and national social partnership forums.

Increasing our voice and visibility

Working with BDA Specialist Groups, allied health profession colleagues, national bodies, trade unions, the media, charities and commercial partners, the BDA can be a driving force for policy change in areas relating to the BDA’s vision.

Growing our membership community

By understanding what is important to and for members we can grow the membership base in a way that increases value to all.

A diverse and inclusive profession

Achieving our goal of ‘20,000 satisfied members by 2034’ reflects not only growth in actual numbers but also growth in the diversity and make up of our membership.

Having a positive impact on human and planetary health

The UK Government has committed to achieving net zero by 2050. The interim step is a reduction of CO2 emissions of 45% by 2030. The BDA is committed to playing its part in achieving this.

Excellence behind the scenes

We aspire to provide outstanding business services that make good and effective use of our members’ financial investment in the association, and be responsive to members.

Delivering in each nation

The BDA is a UK wide organisation that has to date been inclusive of all four nations in our work. There has been some success in this and now is the time to develop our approach further.