If you have been working as an associate nutritionist for approximately 2 ½ - 3 years you might be considering putting together your RNutr transfer portfolio. It might seem slightly overwhelming at first, but when you start to break it down and make a plan it can make it seem achievable. Putting some time aside each week can make it seem more manageable.
If you are just starting out as an associate nutritionist (ANutr), the earlier you start recording your CPD, writing reflections and keeping note of what you achieve every 3-6 months or every year within the workplace will help in the long run when you come to put together your portfolio. This will also help you to gain a variety of experience and CPD within nutrition over the years.
What are the benefits of getting RNutr status?
Gaining your RNutr status demonstrates that you have a clear understanding of several competencies within nutrition. It also shows that you have one or more areas of speciality (food, public health, sports or animal nutrition). It demonstrates that you abide by the AfN code of conduct and work within your boundaries in the field, as well as showing employers and other healthcare professionals and nutritionists that you have been working in the field for approximately 3 years.
Where should I start?
Look at the guidance documents on the AfN website on transferring and break down what is required. Consider putting together a spreadsheet with what you have done within nutrition over the last few years and then you can see how these fit into each competency. Fear not if you don’t meet all of the core competencies, you can either make a note of the gaps and try to gain more experience in these areas through your work or voluntary experience or alternatively you can seek CPD such as webinars, courses, reading journals or reports to meet the competency.
Continued professional development (CPD), with the field of nutrition constantly evolving staying up to date with the latest research and reports is an important part of being a nutritionist. There are lots of online free webinars now available to expand your knowledge in different topics.
Here are some useful places to seek CPD:
Liam Brown has created this useful google doc:
Join the health and nutrition book club:
Top 5 things to consider
1. Make a plan- Making a plan of what you need to do in order to achieve putting your transfer portfolio together can be a great way to get started and identify if there are any areas you need to gain more experience or CPD in.
2. Reflections- Ensure you have written a reflection on each of our CPD activities that you have completed. The AfN have some brilliant suggested templates to follow which helps to structure your reflection whilst identifying which area of nutrition the CPD activity falls under.
3. Support network- Reach out to other nutritionists who may have already completed their transfer portfolio or if you have a mentor they may be able to give you guidance. They might also be able to help read through your portfolio and give you feedback.
4. Nutrition speciality- Identify which area/s of nutrition you wish to specialise in. You can choose from Food, Public Health, Animal or Sport. The Public Health specialism has the largest proportion of nutritionists in this area.
5. Keep yourself accountable – Setting yourself small goals in order to complete your overall portfolio can make the portfolio seem more achievable. Whether that’s completing one reflection a month or collating your certificates together and updating your CV. Keeping on top of the portfolio over time can make things easier when you start to bring it all together.