What is an Accredited Practising Dietitian?
Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) are university-qualified professionals that undertake ongoing training and education programs to ensure that they are your most up-to-date and credible source of nutrition information. They translate scientific health and nutrition information into practical advice, and practise in line with DAA Professional Standards, including the DAA Code of Professional Conduct and Statement of Ethical Practice.
To become an APD in Australia, a dietitian must have graduated from an accredited Australian university dietetic course. Dietitians who trained overseas must complete an examination process before being eligible to join the APD program.
Medicare provides rebates for visits to APDs treating chronic health conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer) under a care plan coordinated by a general practitioner. Visits to private practising APDs are also covered by most private health funds.
Medicare rebates are now also available for group services provided by eligible APDs, diabetes educators and exercise physiologist for people with type 2 diabetes, on referral from a general practitioner.
Contact Medicare or your private health fund for further information about rebates.
In Australia there is a distinction made between dietitians and other occupations in the nutrition and food science field, including that of a nutritionist.
A nutritionist is a tertiary qualified nutrition professional that has the expertise to provide a range of evidence based nutrition services related to nutrition, public health nutrition, policy and research, and community health. There is no industry specific assessing authority that assesses the qualifications of nutritionists who are not dietitians.
Dietitians are also qualified to provide this range of evidence based nutrition services, but in addition, dietitians have the expertise to provide individual dietary counselling, medical nutrition therapy, group dietary therapy and food service management. A dietitian has undertaken a course of study that included substantial theory and supervised and assessed professional practice in clinical nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and food service management.
DAA recognises that the differentiation between nutrition and dietetics is not universal. In Australia all dietitians are nutritionists however nutritionists without a dietetics qualification cannot take on the expert role of a dietitian.