The BDA is leading the way to offer dietitians accreditation, new resources and a support network to work in the field of workplace wellbeing. The health of the workforce is at the heart of a raft of government policies and guidelines. The need for a cohesive approach to wellness initiatives is supported by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD, the professional body for human resource professionals).
Up to 25% of the UK’s working age population suffer from a long-term condition which can be weight related1 and employers are looking to support the productivity of their workforce through improved resilience and mental wellbeing. Employers who are seeking providers for nutrition services have limited choice and may not be able to identify a quality partner who will measure and report change effectively.
What the BDA is doing
In 2015, the BDA published a review of the evidence on wellness initiatives in a workplace setting which encourage better nutritional practices. A further evidence review has been completed to capture new publications from 2015-2018.
The BDA Work Ready steering group is upskilling dietitians in the delivery of corporate wellbeing services via a training programme which more than 100 members have undertaken so far. We have also developed a suite of materials to support to the delivery of a programme tailored to the work setting.
We are seeking to influence policies by making responses to consultations by NICE, the Department of Health and the Department for Work & Pensions. As part of our visibility in the space we have also been invited to work with the vending industry on guidelines to steer them towards better choices and by manufacturers keen to align to the former CQUIN standards.
We believe that our paper makes the business case for including nutrition interventions in a wellness programme. We are committed to developing the BDA Work Ready programme into a sustainable model to ensure that we maximise the potential to build capacity for dietitians in this important field.
What we need members to do to help
We want members with the appropriate skills to consider becoming accredited BDA Work Ready dietitians through the training course. We have trained dietitians working independently as freelancers, those delivering NHS initiatives and those working in food service.
There is now a national network of dietitians licensed to deliver the programme so if you want to recommend us to a local organisation please signpost them to the BDA Work Ready website or send them one of the industry-specific leaflets available to download in the ‘Employers' section of the site.
I would definitely recommend the programme to anyone to anyone interested in the area. It provides you with the skills and tools to provide evidence-baed interventions.
- Elaine Anderson, Work Ready dietitian
We have mapped the programme to the awards for workplaces in all four home countries including Investors in People, Workplace Wellbeing Charter, Healthy Working Lives Award, Corporate Health Standard, Making Life Better. If you are working on a nutrition intervention which supports one of these, get in touch for a copy of our document to find out more.
BDA Work Ready presentations at Food Matters Live 2018
NHS England blog post about BDA Work Ready by Suzanne Rastrick
Publication in Occupational Health at Work 2016; 13 (2): 30-36 (published September 2016)
Long Term Conditions Compendium of Information: Third Edition, Department of Health 2012