Frequently Asked Questions


To assist you in finding the information you are looking for, our Frequently Asked Questions have been grouped by categories.



In Australia, professional nutritional practice is not regulated by the government, and there is no legal protection over the term ‘Nutritionist’ – anyone can call themselves a Nutritionist. In order to distinguish nutritionists who are properly trained from those who are not, NSA has established a Register of Nutritionists for its members to recognise and encourage high standards of professional training in nutrition. Find out more and apply for registration.

Nutritionists may work in a number of roles, including research, nutrition consultants and advisors, public health and health promotion officers, community development officers, quality and nutrition coordinators, food technologists, media spokespeople and more. There is no regulating or professional body for nutrition consultants who work in clinical practice.

Nutritionists may design, coordinate, implement and evaluate a range of population health interventions to improve the wellbeing of individuals, communities and the population as a whole, through better food and nutrition.

Dietitians provide expert nutrition advice for people of all ages and prescribe dietary treatments for many conditions such as diabetes, food allergies, cancers, gastro-intestinal diseases and obesity.

For more information, read about what nutritionists do or visit the Nutrition Australia website.

To learn about becoming an Accredited Practising Dietitian, please visit the Dietitians Association of Australia website.

No, NSA is a scientific society and is unable to offer advice in relation to running a nutrition practice.



Read about the benefits of membership.

Please find and contact a registered nutritionist on our website.

If you are unable to find a referee, please put “None” and we will send your application to your regional Chair. Please make sure you have selected the Regional Group you wish to join.

Please select ‘Corresponding’ as your Regional Group.

No, NSA is a scientific society and is unable to offer advice in relation to running a nutrition practice.



No, nutrition is unregulated in Australia. NSA Registration is a voluntary scheme and is not a license to work.

Read about the benefits of registration.

A professional title, letters after your name and a certificate that shows recognition of your professional competency in nutrition from a scientific society.

Yes, but your Registration cannot be processed unless your membership has been approved.

We do not recommend any specific courses or institutions nor does NSA accredit courses. However, we have a minimum eligibility for Registration. Find out more about applying for registration.

NSA course requirements are:

An appropriate qualification in science at Bachelor level or equivalent which includes studies in human nutrition and at least one other related subject area (including physiology, biochemistry, public health, consumer affairs, physical education/human movement, food science or other as determined on an individual basis by the NSA Registration Committee). Plus interaction with peers, continuing professional development (see below) and commitment to the NSA Code of Professional Conduct.

If the course offered by your college/university meets the Australian Qualifications Framework level 7 Bachelor’s degree and has been verified through the AQF Register then it is considered a Bachelor’s degree. We verify if the organisation meets these requirements using the webpage. The Registration Committee will then look at the Bachelor’s degree to ensure that the qualification includes studies in human nutrition and at least one other related subject area as noted above.

To check if your institution and course is registered with TEQSA, please visit the TEQSA website.

If you have a science degree, please see this pathway [.pdf - 29KB].

If you have a non-science degree, please see this pathway [.pdf - 29KB].

You will need to achieve a combination of postgraduate studies in nutrition science and relevant work experience to be eligible.

Yes, you will need to apply again for voluntary Registration with NSA.

If you have overseas qualifications, you will need to contact your state based Overseas Qualification Unit (OQU) and have your qualification assessed. This service is usually free but there may be eligibility criteria. There is no OQU in New South Wales (NSW). If you live in NSW, see the Qualification Assessment page for information on AEI assessment services and how to apply.

Relevant work experience includes roles where duties include relevant nutritional science.

Health retail, self employment and personal fitness will not be considered.

NSA is unable to validate the quality and hours of work performed in self-employment and therefore it is not considered when reviewing work experience.

Incomplete or unclear information about the type and duration of work experience is a major cause of delays in assessing applications.

Usually full-time work is five days per week, approximately 8 hours per day. Part-time work should be expressed as a fraction of full time equivalents (FTE). Work experience should be clearly expressed in your application.

For example:

  • 2 days per week (or 16 hours) would be 0.4 FTE
  • 4 days per week would be 0.8 FTE

A placement for three months should be clearly stated as such, giving dates when you started and finished and FTE.

A Justice of the Peace or staff at a police station.

You need to provide three referees who may be a mixture of professionals and academics:

  1. Provide at least ONE referee who knows that you hold professional qualifications in nutrition, for example, an academic (and preferably a Registered Nutritionist).
  2. Provide at least ONE referee who knows that you performed to the standard of competency expected of a professional Registered Nutritionist.
  3. Provide at least ONE referee who knows that you have the character to uphold the professional ethics and values required for registration with the Society. Examples include an academic, such as a personal tutor, a professional colleague, or a manager.

No, registration does not give you a provider number. The NSA Register is not intended to qualify you to practice clinical nutrition.



We recommend that you enter your continual professional development (CPD) points as you gain them on the online CPD form on the NSA website. At the end of the initial three year period, you will need to demonstrate that you have accrued 300 CPD points.

NSA holds a number of events in each region throughout the year, including the Annual Scientific Meeting. NSA webinars are also frequently held throughout the year. Keep an eye on the website and newsletter for upcoming webinars and events. There are also pre-recorded webinars on the website.

Other non-NSA nutrition related events, seminars and webinars can qualify for CPD points.

Please see our CPD guide for more information on how many points each activity is worth.

No, Registration does not give you a provider number nor will it assist with sourcing public liability insurance. The NSA Register is not intended to qualify you to practice clinical nutrition.



NSA provide opportunities for students to present their research in nutrition science at the Annual Scientific Meeting. Specific mentoring events are also offered for students at the Annual Scientific Meeting. Various prizes and awards are also offered for students. For more information, please contact the Chair of Student Mentoring Dr Rebecca Leech.