The Australasian Association and Register of Practicing Nutritionists (AARPN) is the peak body allied health association for professional nutritionists, these being degree qualified clinically trained nutritionists, which AARPN accredits through its Certified Practicing Nutritionist (CPN) program.
AARPN is Australia’s first independently mono-modality association exclusively representing and advocating for clinically trained tertiary-level qualified professional nutritionists (Practicing Nutritionists) who practice Clinical Nutrition.
Clinical Nutrition (which AARPN formally terms Nutrition Practice) is grounded in the scientific evidence based application of nutritional interventions and evolved from the merging of medicine and nutrition science in the 1950’s, hence its other name, “Nutritional Medicine”. It includes independent clinical assessment of the client and individualised dietary based modification, and additionally includes the complex prescribing of nutritional supplements to the diet, for the maintenance of health, and in support of the remediation of disease.
What AARPN does
In addition to peak body professional advocacy with government and industry on behalf of the profession and public health, AARPN, as an association, also facilitates key factors necessary for Certified Practicing Nutritionists to function in a clinical setting, including:
- provision of TGA Schedule 1 Advertising Exemption Certificates
- brokered indemnity and liability insurance
- relationships with Clinical Nutrition recognising private health funds
- complimentary provision of a practitioner’s total annual-required CPD content, specifically tailored for Practicing Nutritionists
- Certified Practicing Nutritionist accreditation
AARPN Certified Practicing Nutritionist program
Through its CPN program, AARPN affords Government, employers, other health professionals, and the consumer public, the ability to clearly distinguish in a transparent manner, degree qualified clinically trained professional Nutritionists from those of lesser training that may use the more general nomenclature of ‘Clinical Nutritionist’ or simply ‘Nutritionist’. The CPN program is accompanied by AARPN prescribed professional development and a comprehensive set of competencies that reflect the scope of practice of ‘Certified Practicing Nutritionists’.
The professional service provided by Certified Practicing Nutritionists is a dietary service. Certified Practicing Nutritionists consult directly to the public and are trained in Clinical Nutrition which includes food based dietary modification AND the complex prescribing of nutritional supplementation to the diet, with these skills applied both for general nutrient repletion and for complex nutritional medicine purposes.
Setting professional standards
Principally, AARPN terminologically refers to clinically trained Nutritionists (whose qualifications it has assessed and accepted as meeting AARPN’s training and competency standards) as ‘Certified Practicing Nutritionists’, while the common use term is ‘Clinical Nutritionist’, because the training and practice is in Clinical Nutrition. Through its Certified Practicing Nutritionist (CPN) program, AARPN sets the educational and professional standards for the Practicing Nutritionist profession.
CPN’s bring to the allied health dietary services table a unique underlying clinical examination and complex nutritional medicine prescribing skillset. They are trained to work with both health and disease. They are trained to take a detailed case history, conduct clinical examination, assess for drug-nutrient interaction, independently assess dietary needs, formulate individualised therapeutic goals, design, and implement individualised goal-oriented treatment plans, strategically monitor progress, adjust nutritional therapeutic interventions as needed, and to know when to refer-on to medical professionals.
AARPN currently assesses and accredits clinical degree qualification programs in Clinical Nutrition for CPN recognition free of charge as a service to the profession.