What is it and who is it suited to?
Planning and research
Rules and regulations
Costs and potential earnings
Rules and regulations
As previously mentioned, the nutrition industry is largely self-regulated, and as such there is no single qualification that you must obtain. Rather, there are a number of reputable courses available, each offering a slightly different approach to the business. A-levels in biology and chemistry are a pre-requisite, however don’t panic if you didn’t take these subjects at school, because it’s possible to retake them fairly quickly in a condensed form before embarking on a further course. You need to decide which avenue you want to go down before enrolling on a course. Most respectable courses will be recognised by the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT). For the highest level of training, you’ll need to do a degree course, although it is possible to do a diploma as well, which may take less time to complete. There is no ‘one size fits all’ rule, so it’s worth giving it good thought and researching the possibilities before committing to a course.
Insurance is absolutely crucial for anyone starting their own nutritional therapy practice. You must make sure you take out professional indemnity insurance to protect yourself if a client misinterprets your advice and then tries to make a claim against you. Without this vital cover, which is also known as medical malpractice insurance, your business and livelihood is at risk of potentially ruinous allegations. Public liability insurance is another important protection you must acquire if clients visit your place of work, which is highly likely as a nutritional therapist. This cover will protect you against claims from clients if they have an accident while on your premises and injure themselves in some way. These types of claims can also be potentially devastating for small businesses, so be sure to obtain the correct cover for your practice. There are an abundance of different insurance providers out there, so research the market thoroughly before choosing the best plan and supplier for your business.
As a therapist, you’ll be dealing with people’s private health records, often holding them on your premises. Therefore, it’s important that you register your business with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), to ensure you’re following the correct data protection policy. The ICO can also offer you advice on how to store confidential information safely and securely – visit the website for more information.