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Assistant dietitian/dietetic assistant

This page outlines the role of assistant dietitians and dietetic assistants.

Job role

Assistant dietitians work alongside and under the direction of registered dietitians.

In hospitals they ensure that patients are well nourished and on the right diet for their condition. They might advise those on special diets about choosing suitable meals from the hospital menu, for example, and liase with nurses about patients' weight and food intake.

In the community they might help educate the local population about healthy eating. They could be working with patients on strict food regimes, such as those with kidney disease, food allergies, eating disorders, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cancer or digestive problems.

Entry requirements and training

For entry into a role such as an assistant dietitian or dietetic assistant, employers look for motivation and enthusiasm and personal qualities such as a mature and caring attitude, rather than academic qualifications.

A good general education with numeracy and literacy is needed, as most roles involve some sort of paperwork and academic qualifications such as GCSEs or an NVQ in a relevant subject, are an advantage.

Evidence of work experience or voluntary work in a related area can be very beneficial.

You might work towards QCF level 2 or 3 qualifications in Healthcare Support Services or Clinical Healthcare Support, such as those accredited by CACHE

Getting in

Visit the NHS Jobs website to find out about current job vacancies.

It may be possible to enter this role through a Level 3 (Advanced) apprenticeship.