Regulation, Codes & Practice Guidance

Statutory regulation is essential to practicing as a dietitian in the UK, and as such all dietitians are registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). The HCPC sets standards of professional training, performance and conduct for the thirteen professions, and investigates complaints made against registrants. The HCPC works in partnership with the public and other groups, including professional bodies.

The HCPC’s primary function is to protect the public, while The British Dietetic Association (BDA), as the professional body, is responsible for supporting the profession in maintaining the highest possible standards in dietetics. The Association aims to inform, protect, represent, and support its members. It is also the Trade Union for dietitians and full membership provides Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Check whether your dietitian/nutritionist is registered to practice with the HCPC

BDA Code of Professional Conduct

In the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of diet and nutrition problems, dietitians have a responsibility to act in a professional and ethical manner. The Code of Professional Conduct provides a governance framework to ensure the accountability of dietitians who work in the interest of public safety at all times.

In addition to this, the code provides a set of professional principles that apply to the wider dietetic workforce, which will provide support and help to make informed choices when faced with ethical and professional dilemmas.

Alongside the Code of Professional Conduct the BDA produces guidance on topics which affects their day to day practice.

Good Practice in Consent

The purpose of this document is to act as a prompt to dietitians when they are seeking consent. The document is not intended to provide definitive guidance on all issues surrounding consent. The document is designed to raise awareness about the ethical and legal principles that apply, to dispel some common misconceptions surrounding consent and to help dietitians to obtain valid consent from their patients.

Records and Record Keeping   

Record keeping is a fundamental part of professional practice. Whatever the type of work you do you need to keep records. The purpose of this document is to provide record keeping guidance for the individual dietitian and other members of the dietetic team. It replaces the Joint BDA/Dietitians Board Guidance on Standards for Records and Record Keeping (2001).

The principles are applicable to all areas of practice. The guidance does not define a rigid framework, nor is it designed as an auditable standard; it aims to inform you of key record keeping issues. The ultimate responsibility for record keeping lies with you, as an autonomous and accountable practitioner using