Pre-Registration Curriculum Framework

Introduction and Background

The role of the BDA in education is to safeguard the role and identity of the dietitian. This includes articulating curriculum standards for education and training of dietitians, producing guidance for education providers and monitoring these standards. As part of this role the BDA launched the updated Curriculum Framework for the Pre-Registration Education and Training of Dietitians in August 2013.

Ownership of the curriculum, quality assuring its implementation and the on-going quality of the provision of dietetic pre-registration education is fundamental to advancing the science and practice of dietetics.  The curriculum is the mechanism through which the Association describes a dietitian, and the accreditation process is thus the mechanism through which the profession ensures that the pre-registration education in each university is designed to meet the profession specific standards.  Thus upon graduation, students should hold the core understanding, knowledge, skills and capabilities of the profession.

This Framework forms the basis for the provision of pre-registration education in dietetics and the BDA has a responsibility to monitor and recognise those programmes which meet the requirements of the framework.

What does this mean for dietitians?

The Curriculum Framework for the Education and Training of Dietitians has been developed to describe in detail the key aspects of the knowledge, skills and attributes required by entry-level dietitians in order to ensure that new graduates are able to satisfy the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency for Dietitians and are thus eligible to apply for registration as a dietitian and work in the NHS and elsewhere.

BDA Accreditation of Pre-Registration Dietetic Programmes

The accreditation process is the mechanism through which the BDA maintains an overview of national provision.  It ensures that at entry level, all dietitians have a profession approved skill-set and knowledge base.  Thus all stakeholders can have confidence in the quality of pre-registration training, whilst the flexibility of the framework allows each Higher Education Institution to demonstrate innovation in delivery.   

The BDA accreditation process enables the Association to engage with universities and raise the profile of the profession.  Through its Quality Standards Committee, the BDA has developed services which offer support to accredited HEIs and which are financed through the accreditation process.

BDA services

  • To provide support to course development teams by identifying a suitably experienced dietitian to act as a critical friend and advise on curriculum and course development;
  • To provide annual update based upon intelligence data supplied by accredited HEIs in order to identify key trends and themes;
  • To accredit pre-registration education programmes at initial approval and revalidation;
  • To be aware if there are any issues which affect the quality of provision, obtain information and make recommendations for improvement; and support individuals who wish to raise concerns about the quality of provision;
  • To maintain a list of those able to act in the capacity of accreditation visitor or critical friend.  To maintain a current list of external examiners as well as details of BDA members who have expressed an interest in undertaking such a role.