The British Dietetic Association
(BDA) is a professional association and trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...
for dieticians in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
. It was founded in 1936 and became a certified union in 1982; it is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress
The Trades Union Congress is a national trade union centre, a federation of trade unions in the United Kingdom, representing the majority of trade unions...
and the Scottish Trades Union Congress
The Scottish Trades Union Congress is the co-ordinating body of trade unions, and local Trades Councils, in Scotland. With 39 affiliated unions as of 2007, the STUC represents around 630,000 trade unionists....
The BDA was established in 1936. It is a UK-wide membership organisation representing around 6,500 dietitians and dietetic support workers. The BDA head office is in Birmingham, but has members from all four UK nations and some from overseas. Its aims are:
> Advance the science and practice of dietetics and associated subjects;
> Promote training and education in the science and practice of dietetics and associated subjects;
> Regulate the relations between dietitians and their employer through the BDA Trade Union.
The majority of the BDA's membership work in the NHS, however, approximately one third of the membership work in other sectors, such as education, private industry, private practice and the media.
In the UK, 'Dietitian' is a legally protected title. Unlike nutritionists, all dietitians are required to be educated to a certain level (UK degree level) and must be registered with the Health Professions Council
. There is a distinct difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist.
The Patron of the BDA is Her Majesty the Queen
(since 1983) and the BDA Honorary President is the GMB Union
National President Mary Turner MBE
. The Chairman is Helen Davidson and the Chief Executive Officer in Andy Burman.
The British Dietetic Association also administers the specialist register for dietitians and sports nutritionists working with elite sportspeople, the SENr
In September 2010, the BDA attended the Trade Union Congress in Manchester and their motion on Malnutrition and Dehydration
(the first motion to be heard following the historic speech by the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King) gained unanimous support and widespread media coverage.
The BDA's Food Factsheets
are used not only by the profession, but the wider public and media too. Their news section
of their website is also a good source of up to date views and news.
In 2011 the BDA will celebrate its 75th anniversary.