What is an Accredited Practising Dietitian?

Everything you need to know about an APD, and why you can’t go wrong if you choose one. 

What is an Accredited Practising Dietitian?

An Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) is a university-qualified dietitian who has successfully fulfilled the requirements of the Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) program run by the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). He/she has also undergone training in hospitals, healthcare centres, clinics and other similar facilities.

APDs are mandated by the DAA to complete a dietetic practice requirement and commit to 30 hours per year of continued professional development so they can stay abreast of the latest health and nutrition information and trends. They are also required to follow the DAA’s Code of Professional Conduct and Statement of Ethical Practice in all their dealings with their clients.

Read more: What is a Dietitian?

What makes APDs different? 

You can easily distinguish accredited practising dietitians by their APD credentials, proven expertise in their chosen field, commitment to continuous learning, and personalised approach to nutrition treatments. 

The APD credential is the standard of excellence in dietetics and nutrition here in Australia. This means any accredited practising dietitian you encounter is an expert who can help address their clients’ health and nutrition concerns. It is also the sole credential recognised by the Australian government, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Medicare and most private health funding organisations.

Apart from the APD letters after their name, accredited practising dietitians also carry a wealth of knowledge from their four-year university degree in dietetics. But they don’t stop there. APDs allocate at least 30 hours annually for their professional development, which they may choose to spend by attending health seminars, taking part in nutrition-related events, or doing further research and training on their specialisation. This helps them provide reliable and up-to-date nutrition advice to their clients.

Another notable difference of APDs from dietitians without the APD credential is their personalised approach to diet and nutrition therapy. Unlike other dietitians who recommend generic treatment plans to their clients, APDs develop unique treatment plans suited to their client’s specific body type, health conditions, lifestyle, medical history, and nutrition goals. APDs consider these personal factors before starting a client’s medical nutrition therapy (MNT) or dispensing any health advice. They understand there is no single universal diet or treatment for everyone, that each of their clients is different, and thus deserves a special nutrition treatment designed for them alone. This personal approach enables them to come up with customised and more effective nutrition treatments for all their clients. 

What can APDs do?

The specialisation of an accredited practising dietitian will define the scope of services that he/she can provide. However, owing to their rigorous training, any APD is qualified to offer a wide range of health and nutrition services to individual clients as well as private corporations and public health agencies. 

Regardless of their specialty, APDs can:

  • Conduct nutritional assessments
  • Conduct food and nutrition research studies
  • Design meal plans tailored to their client’s unique needs and lifestyle
  • Dispense health and nutrition advice for clients and their caregivers
  • Educate clients and their caregivers about healthy eating habits, proper food handling, and good nutrition 
  • Formulate health and nutrition policies and programs 
  • Offer nutrition consultation, counselling and support to their clients and caregivers
  • Render consultancy services to corporate clients, food manufacturing companies, health institutions, restaurants, prisons, and schools
  • Supervise and train other dietitians, dietetic technicians, and other nutrition professionals

Accredited practising dietitians can also help their clients manage their symptoms for medical conditions such as diabetes, cancers, coronary heart disease (CHD), food allergies and intolerances, gastrointestinal disorders, and obesity, through medical nutrition therapy and other dietary treatments.

Read more: Types of Dietitians

Why should I go to an APD?

There are many benefits to seeing an accredited practising dietitian over a dietitian without an APD credential. We’ll share with you the top three:

1. You will have peace of mind from knowing your nutrition is in excellent hands. 

You wouldn’t entrust your health to a medical student, so why would you entrust your nutrition to a dietitian without an APD status?

Choosing an APD comes with a guarantee that your health and nutrition are in the best hands. As mentioned earlier, the APD credential is the gold standard for dietetics and nutrition in Australia. All APDs have completed a DAA-accredited dietetics course from a university and undergo continuous professional development.

If you want to talk to a trustworthy dietitian who dispenses the right nutrition advice, schedule a visit with an APD.

2. You will gain a better understanding of your condition and your treatment.

There are patients who don’t fully understand their health conditions, more so their recommended treatments. This is partly due to their healthcare provider’s failure to explain their diagnosis and available treatment options in layman’s terms.

You won’t have this problem with accredited practising dietitians. Due to their professional training in various healthcare facilities and exposure to different clients, APDs have mastered the ability to simplify medical conditions and procedures laden with scientific jargon so their clients can easily understand them. Their ability to convert the scientific facts surrounding health conditions and treatments into practical nutrition advice positively affects their clients’ long-term health. 

If you want to consult a food and nutrition expert who speaks your language, an APD is your best choice. 

3. You will save more money.

Medicare offers rebates for your consultations with accredited practising dietitians who specialise in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases under a health care plan arranged by a general practitioner (GP). Medicare also offers rebates for group services offered by qualified APDs for clients with type 2 diabetes, on referral from a GP. The majority of private health funding companies also cover consultations with private practising APDs. 

If you want to maximise your health care plan and save money, choose an APD.

Nutrition guarantee from an APD

There are things you shouldn’t compromise in life, and your health and nutrition are two of them. Seeing an APD will protect you from dietitians who may end up putting your health and nutrition in jeopardy due to their lack of knowledge and training. It will also ensure you are safe from so-called dietitians who don’t observe professional conduct and ethical standards.

Accredited practising dietitians deliver only the highest quality of nutritional support and assistance through research-backed methods and the latest scientific findings in their field. They are the professionals who can best help you achieve your nutritional goals. Why go to anyone else?

Read more: Dietitian vs Nutritionist: Difference between dietitian and nutritionist

Need Our Help?

Get the help of an expert! Book your appointment with any of our accredited dietitians or nutritionists by calling us on (07) 3071-7405 between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday.

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