As a dietician, you will be providing information to the patients so that they can take health-conscious decisions and stay healthy. Dieticians are a very crucial part of the healthcare system and becoming one in the UK open the doors for a bright career progression and a meaningful and satisfying life. It's necessary to be aware of the important steps of becoming a dietician in the UK so that you can have a smooth journey.
What qualifications are required to become a dietician in the UK?
Registration with the HCPC is compulsory to become a dietician in the UK. You will be required to complete an HCPC-approved programme in dietetics to get yourself registered. Entry without an approved degree or postgraduate qualification is only possible at the level of dietetic assistant practitioner. From here with the support of your employer you can study for an approved degree to become a dietician.
How to get registered with HCPC?
UK application process
If you have been trained in the UK follow the below steps.
- Submit forms and fee
- Check the register
HCPC aims at completing the process within 10 days. The details of successful applicants will be automatically added on the register. You can check the register online to confirm the process.
International application process
If you have been trained outside the UK follow the below steps.
- Submit forms and fee
- Receive confirmation and reference number
- Processing and assessment
- Decision letter
An in-depth look at the assessment process
Step 1: Application received by HCPC
There can be two cases when an application is received by the HCPC. Either it is accepted for processing or rejected because of missing information.
Case I- Application is accepted
Fortunately, if your application is accepted you would be required to pay £495 as the scrutiny payment. Thereafter, HCPC will provide you with a confirmation receipt as well as your reference number. The reference number holds vital importance as you would be asked to provide it each time you contact HCPC to discuss your application at any stage.
Case II- Application is rejected
If your application is rejected, HCPC will return it on the address mentioned in the form and you would be required to re-submit the application.
Step 2: Initial processing
Timeline: Within 60 days from receipt.
This stage of assessment will assess your regulated education and training and other relevant education, training or experience. First, your training or education will be compared with the standards of proficiency of the HCPC. If there are any shortfalls it will look if this has been compensated with any other relevant education, training or experience.
Note: The decision of HCPC is based only on the information provided by you. It does not contact any other referees, training institutions, or employers to obtain further information about your training or work experience. So make sure that you provide everything to the best of your knowledge.
Background and verification check
International applicants will be required to sign a declaration regarding background checks.
The declaration will give permission to the HCPC to:
- Verify your identity documents
- Confirm your qualifications
- Confirm that you possess a good character
All the documents which are required will be included in your application. HCPC might ask an outside agency to conduct the checks to ensure that the documents provided are genuine.
English language proficiency
International applicants are required to confirm their proficiency in the English language by scoring a minimum level score in either of these exams.
IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates. IELTS test can be taken at one of the centres across the world. Below figure suggests the exam pattern.
TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language is an English language proficiency test, conducted to evaluate the English speaking and understanding ability of a candidate. TOEFL has essentially two versions: TOEFL IBT (Internet-based test) and TOEFL PBT (paper-based test). You need to appear for TOEFL IBT. HCPC doesn’t accept any TOEFL test score undertaken in the UK. Below figure depicts the pattern of the exam.
Here is the minimum level of scores that you need to achieve.
1. All professions except speech and language therapists
|IELTS||7.0 with no element below 6.5|
|TOEFL (IBT)||A minimum score of 100/120|
2. Speech and language therapists
|IELTS||8.0 with no element below 7.5|
|TOEFL (IBT)||A minimum score of 118/120|
Note: HCPC accepts these certificates of English language proficiency, provided they are no more than two years old when your application is received.
Do I require any work experience?
While work experience might not be a necessity but is definitely an advantage. A voluntarily or paid experience in the dietetic department will provide you with enough understanding of the role. Working as a dietetic assistant practitioner or as a healthcare practitioner is also useful.
What salary can I expect?
Jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) Pay Rates. Starting salaries for qualified dieticians range from £23,023 to £29,608 (band 5). Dieticians at specialist level (band 6) can earn between £28,050 and £36,644. At advanced (highly specialist)(band 7), you can earn between £33,222 and £43,041.
The career progression in the NHS is well-defined.
- basic grade dietician (band 5)
- dietician specialist role (band 6)
- more advanced roles (band 7)
You can decide to specialise in an area such as gastroenterology or cancer. From product development and marketing to teaching and research, you can explore a variety of roles. Self-Employment is a brilliant option. This also can be blended with freelancing for additional income and experience.
How can Britasiadoctors help you?
The process of getting a doctors job in the UK is a bit complicated and the very first step that you should take to ensure that the process is hassle-free is choosing a partner that can guide you through each step. The team of Britasiadoctors is beside you from the point you decide to work as a doctor in the UK till you achieve your dream. With our experience and prowess, we will make all the stages including the registration process, exam and interview preparation, visa application and your arrival in the country as easy and as best we can. Our robust support team will guide you through all the steps so that you can complete the process smoothly. Having gone through the process ourselves, we can give you personalised advice and ways to make life easy for you. Our major role will be to organise interviews, connect you with the right employer, help you through the visa process and anything we can do on your way to success. For more information, please visit our service section.