PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF QUALIFICATION
1. To train a dietitian who will be able to register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (Act 56, 1974), and who is in a possession of graduate-level scientific knowledge, skills and attitudes to practise independently in any of the areas of therapeutic nutrition, community nutrition and food service management; in line with national and international trends and standards.
2. To equip graduates with relevant and sound knowledge, skills and insight to function independently within the public and private sectors.
3. To equip graduates in the various steps of research methodology in order to prepare them for postgraduate studies in the fields of nutrition and dietetics.
4. To produce a dietitian who is focused on self-development through life-long learning, and who will uphold the ethical standards of practice.
1. The qualification is designed to meet the core purposes of nutrition and dietetics as a profession. On successful completion of the programme, suitably qualified dietitians are able to translate the science of nutrition into practice with the purpose of ensuring optimal nutritional status of individuals and communities in both health and disease, given available resources.
2. Good nutrition is a cornerstone of the primary health care approach and is considered one of the key developmental priorities in the country. The qualification aims to provide South Africa with dietitians who are proficient in:
• performing nutritional assessment in order to identify nutrition-related health problems and/or needs;
• planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating nutrition intervention (i.e. counselling, education, programmes);
• effective communication (verbal and non-verbal);
• research practices (reading, understanding, execution and interpretation, application).
3. The programme design (theoretical and practical training and exposure and service learning) addresses the changing health needs of the diverse communities of South Africa and aims to produce dieticians who will be able to practise in a variety of health care settings.
4. The programme is also designed to stimulate learners to pursue further personal and professional development and to promote life-long learning.