Future Dietitian 2025

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Plymouth University was commissioned to carry out research to inform the development of a workforce strategy for Dietetics for 2020-2030.

There are three key objectives for the project:

  1. To understand the drivers for future national, international and cultural influences on the development of the profession
  2. To identify and interview relevant stakeholders and elicit their view on the future direction of the dietetic profession
  3. To identify and prioritise the most important skills, knowledge and behaviours required by dietitians to prepare them for registration and future professional practice

Report Now Available

Prof Mary Hickson speaking about her workThe report describing the current context in which dietitians work and understanding future possibilities they face through an analysis of the factors in the environment driving the profession is now available:

Dietetics: the current context in which we are working and the expected future.

You can also watch Mary discussing this work at the BDA Research Symposium 2016 on the BDA YouTube channel.

Introduction

The profession of dietetics practices within a changing healthcare environment, including new medical and other technologies, the growing evidence base for nutrition and dietetics, with changing demographics and expectations of service users.

Dietetics has moved from a profession that required a medical referral before acting, where the curriculum and standards for entry to the profession were poorly described and the impact of the profession was poorly understood, to a fully autonomous profession with rights to prescribe prescription only drugs.  This current profession is well respected and enjoys a high profile within health and the wider community including the media. The impact of nutrition interventions on health outcomes are growing in recognition.  The profession has built new roles for registered dietitians, and importantly support workers and nutritionists. Dietitians work in multi-professional teams, in advanced and extended roles and in new areas of practice.

The practice of dietetics has changed in parallel with our professional profile and has made many advances. Much of this is organic change arising from the profession itself or the BDA Boards and Council response to the changing health and policy environment. 

The BDA is undertaking a programme of work, Future Dietitian 2025, to ensure the profession remains relevant in a rapidly changing world and that dietitians and the wider dietetic and nutrition workforce are fit for the future.

There will be many opportunities for members to contribute to the programme.  Once the programme is established there will be opportunities to join a project group, comment on a draft,  contribute to a survey or join a focus group.  This is an important programme what will set the direction for career development for the dietetic workforce for at least the next decade so it is important that dietitians and others have the opportunity to contribute a wide variety of views. 

The programme Steering Group will use these pages and the other BDA communication channels to keep BDA members and other stakeholders up to date with the project. 

What's next?

The next milestone date is 30 March 2017 when Prof. Mary Hickson from Plymouth University will present the findings of the research: How can dietitians strengthen their future role, influence and impact? at BDA Vision. Hold the date now.