Dietetic support worker

Sometimes choosing the right person to give you advice about your diet is a confusing task. In the NHS in Scotland, dietetic support workers have a vital role in the dietetic team. They work with dietitians, who are the only regulated healthcare professionals who give food and nutrition advice. 

Starting your career

Choosing subjects at school

To become a dietetic support worker, you need a good standard of education. There are no entry requirements, but useful subjects include:

  • Science
  • English
  • Health and Food Technology
  • Maths

Work placements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to get some experience of working in healthcare by doing a work placement. There may also be opportunities to volunteer. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland.


Foundation Apprenticeships 

A Foundation Apprenticeship could give you the skills, knowledge and work experience you need to start your career journey as a dietetic support worker.

Find out more about the Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services and Healthcare.

Modern Apprenticeships 

Begin or continue learning the skills, knowledge and work experience you need to become a dietetic support worker with a Modern Apprenticeship.

Learn more about the Modern Apprenticeship in Healthcare Support.

All Healthcare Support modern apprentices study the three mandatory units of communication, health and safety, and learning development. For dietetic support worker, you will then choose your remaining units from the clinical pathway options.

The role

Dietetic support workers assist dietitians and help them carry outpatient assessments and review treatment programmes.

They provide advice on:

  • diet and nutrition plans
  • using feeding tubes and pumps
  • making food choices from hospital menus

What you’ll do

Your main tasks include:

  • updating patient records
  • advising nurses and other healthcare professionals about the patient’s nutritional requirements
  • weighing patients
  • ordering supplies

Top skills

You’ll need these skills:

  • caring 
  • communication
  • listening
  • motivating people
  • problem-solving
  • relationship-building

Who you’ll work with

You could work with:

  • dietitians
  • physiotherapists
  • doctors
  • nurses
  • carers

Working environment

You could work in:

  • hospitals
  • the community
  • health centres

Useful information

To work as a dietetic support worker in NHSScotland, you’ll need to:

Did you know?

Having a good diet is a key factor in the prevention of long-term conditions such as type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

Learning and development

When joining the NHS, you will work through the Mandatory Induction Standards. These standards are designed to help you work safely and must be completed within the first 3 to 6 months of employment.

You'll develop your skills by working closely with dietitians and completing a supervised training programme.

You may also be encouraged while in the post to work towards further education qualifications. These may include:

Getting experience as a healthcare support worker can be helpful if you decide you want to go to university to study to become a registered dietitian.

Learn more about becoming a healthcare support worker from NHS Education for Scotland's Healthcare Support Worker Careers Guidance leaflet