The letters RNutr represent Registered Nutritionist and ANutr Registered Associate Nutritionist.  If a person has these letters after their name it means that they are on the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN), held by the Association for Nutrition (AfN). To be listed on the Register a person must be a competent, qualified nutrition professional who meets rigorously applied, high standards for scientifically sound evidence-based nutrition and its use in practice, as well as committing to standards of ethical conduct and performance.  

The UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists is the only register of qualified nutritionists recognised by Public Health England, NHS Choices and NHS Careers. You can search the Register here.

To be on the Register, all individuals must have demonstrated their knowledge and understanding (at a minimum of Honours degree level or above) in five core competency areas in nutrition science. Registered Nutritionists are further along their career paths and have also been assessed for their evidence-based application of this knowledge and understanding in at least one of five specialist areas of competence: Public Health, Sports and Exercise, Nutrition Science, Food Science and/or Animal Nutrition.

Public Health Nutritionists can work on developing, implementing and evaluating nutrition policies and programmes, generating the evidence base and applying scientific knowledge to further understanding of the impact of food and diet on the health and well-being of people, communities and society or can, work with individuals, employers and/or communities to support improving diet, nutrition and health.

Sports and Exercise Nutritionists develop, implement and evaluate nutritional strategies to optimise performance in sport and exercise. They determine the energy, fluid and nutrient demands of sport and exercise and provide tailored dietary advice to individuals and groups, ranging from recreational athletes, enthusiastic amateurs to elite professional athletes.

A Nutrition Scientist investigates how the metabolic and physiological demands of cells, tissues, organs and the whole body are met from the diet, de novo synthesis and from body reserves. The nutrition scientist will often use expertise from other scientific fields such as molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology and genetics to support and develop scientific knowledge and understanding.

Food nutritionists usually look at the science, ingredients, policy, legislation and regulations involved in the consumption or marketing of foods, food development or food service provision. Their roles will often vary and can include nutrition training or education, menu/recipe analysis, customer service, health promotion and assessing, setting, implementing and communicating nutritional standards and information for foods in commercial and food service settings, product development, regulatory support and research/science.

An Animal Nutritionist is a scientist who combines applying their knowledge of the anatomy, physiology, metabolism and nutrition of people to a particular species or genus. They understand the specific characteristics of the animals they work with and apply this knowledge in conjunction with that of their welfare, dietary needs and nutritional disorders, so as to advise others about the subject or construct experiments to increase understanding of the nutritional science of this species/genus.

Supported by the Association for Nutrition

@AfNutr chats are supported by the Association for Nutrition (@AfN_UK_) and can be used for your continual professional development (CPD). However, please note that these are public discussions and the views and information contained in the chats may not express or necessarily represent the views and opinions of either the AfN or UKVRN Registrants and the contents of the chats are therefore not endorsed by AfN.