Qualification - Proficiency Award In Nutrition

Course CodeVRE504
Fee CodePA
Duration (approx)500 hours
QualificationProficiency Award
The foods and drinks that we consume each day have a direct bearing on our state of physical and mental health. As a general recommendation, it is good to have variety in our diet to ensure we have the whole range of substances we need to build and maintain our body and our health. Too much of one or two food types, even healthy foods, is not recommended for long term health.
Each person is different and so too is the way we digest food and use food in our bodies. Each one of us develops a personal way of eating that may include more or less variety. In addition to being healthier, a varied diet can often be a lot more interesting for the taste buds. The extra time and thought needed to prepare high quality meals is easily rewarded in increased stamina and alertness, better resistance to illness, clear and healthy skin, eyes and hair. It is necessary to learn some basic principles so the health benefits of what we eat are maximised.
The field of nutrition is a fascinating and important field of study. Becoming more and more relevant in the modern day, skills and knowledge in nutrition can help in a professional setting, or for personal wellbeing.
This course is designed to solidify and broaden skills and knowledge in  Nutrition theory and practices for the student who has already had significant experience in a related field.
To complete the Proficiency Award, you are required to complete three 100 hour modules - Nutrition I, Nutrition II and Nutrition III - and 200 hours of work projects. 


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Proficiency Award In Nutrition.
 Human Nutrition and Food 1 BRE102
 Human Nutrition II BRE202
 Human Nutrition III (Disease & Nutrition) BRE302
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 5 modules.
 Industry Project BIP000
 Industry Project II BIP001
 Research Project I BGN102
 Workshop I BGN103
 Workshop II BGN203

Note that each module in the Qualification - Proficiency Award In Nutrition is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Workplace Projects

There are four options available to you to satisfy this requirement:

Alternative 1.

If you work in the industry that you have been studying; you may submit a reference from your employer, in an effort to satisfy this industry (ie. workplace project) requirement; on the basis of RPL (ie. recognition for prior learning), achieved through your current and past work experience.

The reference must indicate that you have skills and an awareness of your industry, which is sufficient for you to work in a position of responsibility.

Alternative 2.

A one module credit (100 hrs) can be achieved by verifying attendance at a series of industry meetings, as follows:

  • Meetings may be seminars, conferences, trade shows, committee meetings, volunteer events (eg. Community working bees), or any other meeting where two or more industry people or people who are knowledgeable about their discipline.
  • Opportunity must exist for the student to learn through networking, observation and/or interaction with people who know their industry or discipline
  • A list of events should be submitted together with dates of each attended and times being claimed for each
  • Documentary evidence must be submitted to the school to indicate support each item on the above list (eg. Receipts from seminars, conference or shows, letters from committee or organisation secretaries or committee members. All such documentation must contain a contact details)

Alternative 3.

Credits can be achieved by completing standard modules Workshop I, II and/or III

Each of these modules comprises a series of “hands on” PBL projects, designed as learning experiences that involve interaction with the real world. (This approach is based upon tried and proven learning approaches that originated in American universities but are now widely used and respected by academia throughout many countries). See the web site or handbook for more detail.


Workshop I

There are 3 lessons, each involving a PBL project, as follows:

1. Workplace Tools, Equipment and Materials: Identifying and describing the operation of tools and equipment used in the workplace; routine maintenance of tools and equipment; identifying and comparing materials used in the workplace; using different materials to perform workplace tasks.

2. Workplace Skills: Determining key practical skills in the workplace; identifying and comparing commonly-performed workplace tasks; determining acceptable standards for workplace tasks; implementing techniques for improving workplace efficiency.

3. Workplace Safety: Identifying health and safety risks in the workplace; complying with industry OH&S standards; developing safety guidelines for handling dangerous items.

What is PBL? Problem-based learning has been defined as: “A learning method based on using problems as a starting point for acquisition and integration of new knowledge.”

Alternative 4.

If you do not work in the relevant industry, you need to undertake a project as follows.

Procedure for a Workplace Project

This project is a major part of the course involving the number of hours relevant to the course (see above). Although the course does not contain mandatory work requirements, work experience is seen as highly desirable.

This project is based on applications in the work place and specifically aims to provide the student with the opportunity to apply and integrate skills and knowledge developed through various areas of formal study.

Students will design this project in consultation with a tutor to involve industry based activities in the area of specialized study which they select to follow in the course. The project outcomes may take the form of a written report, folio, visuals or a mixture of forms. Participants with relevant, current or past work experience will be given exemption from this project if they can provide suitable references from employers that show they have already fulfilled the requirements of this project.

For courses that involve more than 100 hours, more than one workplace project topic may be selected. For example, 200 hours may be split into two projects each of 100 hours. This will offer the student better scope to fulfill the needs of their course and to meet the number of hours required. Alternatively, the student may wish to do one large project with a duration of 200 hours.

Students will be assessed on how well they achieve the goals and outcomes they originally set as part of their negotiations with their tutor. During each 100 hours of the project, the students will present three short progress reports. These progress reports will be taken into account when evaluating the final submission. The tutor must be satisfied that the work submitted is original.

If the student wishes to do one large 200 hour report, then only three progressive reports will be needed (however the length of each report will be longer).


1. Students are expected to select a suitable project or task to complete that allows the student to apply and integrate the knowledge and skills they have obtained as part of their studies.

2. The student should submit a draft proposal outlining their proposed project, study or task. The expected outcomes of this project should be clearly stated. This will be looked at by a tutor and comments made. Students are welcome to visit the school or to talk to a tutor to obtain advice on how to draw up their proposal. The proposal should indicate what the student intends to do, how they intend to do it, where they intend to do it, and what they expect to produce (e.g. a written report, a folio, references from an employer) as a means of showing what they have achieved during their project/study/task.

3. A refined proposal will be submitted by the student incorporating changes based on the comments made by the tutor. This updated proposal will either be accepted as being suitable or further comments made. The proposal may need to be submitted several times before it is finally accepted.

4. The student will then be expected to carry out the project, study or task.

Progress Reports

The student will be expected to submit three progress reports during the duration of the progress. This is in addition to the final project product (e.g. report, folio). Each progress report should show what you have done so far (e.g. what research you have done, what tasks you have carried out, etc.). It should also cover any problems you have had so far, and if so, what you have done to overcome these problems. Each progress report should be in the vicinity of 300 - 500 words in length.

Progress Report 1.

This should be submitted about one quarter of the way through your study/project/task.

Progress Report 2.

This should be submitted about one half way through your study/project/task.

Progress Report 3.

This should be submitted about three quarters of the way through your study/project/task.

Final Report

This report is to be typed and submitted to the school.

The final report should summarise the objective of the workplace project, and be set out like a professional report.

Although content is the most important factor in determining a pass grade for the workplace project, your report should exhibit elements of professional report writing (in regards to spelling, grammar, clarity and presentation).

Final Report Length

For 100 hours Workplace Projects:  Complete and submit a report of 1,500 to 3,000 words.

For a 200 hour Workplace Project: Complete and submit a report of 3,000 to 5,000 words.



Detoxification is a concept applied widely in natural medicine. It is based on the premise that the body accumulates a variety of different toxic compounds (both natural and unnatural) over time, and that these compounds will eventually reach a critical level if they are allowed to increase their concentration in the bodies tissues, unchecked.

Detoxification is the process of reducing the concentration of toxins which have been accumulating in the body, bringing those antagonistic compounds back to a level which the body is able to more easily cope with. The net result should be greater vitality and a stronger constitution, hence less likelihood of disease or any other problem.

Detoxification is claimed to be affected by various different techniques, including:

·         Fasting

·         Water therapies

·         Herbal treatments

·         Diets

·         Massage

·         Stimulating Bowel or Urine Movement

During a cleansing period, there should be differences in the normal functioning of the body. There may be some discomfort, and it is normal to experience increased bowel or urine movements.  If discomfort persists or increases however, the intensity of the treatment should be reduced or curtailed.



Several methods of detoxification are currently available.  These include fasting, specific diets, colon therapy, vitamin therapy, chelation therapy, and hyperthermia.  As a word of caution - all long-term fasts require medical supervision as well as prior assessment as to levels of nutrients, to ensure that deficiency does not occur.  Weekend fasts are safe for most people, although it is still wise to seek advice from a professional experienced in detoxification.

The easiest, most inexpensive, and effective, methods of detoxification are fasting and specific dietary regimens.  Keep in mind that the goal is to achieve a healthier way of eating, not weight loss, or to rid the body of all bacteria.  In fact, "the good bacteria," known as probiotics, or commensal bacteria (which is also known as ‘flora’) is necessary in order to remain in good health. Recent research has shown that bacteria plays an important role in digestion, as well as immune function in the body, and without these bacteria body functioning is sub-optimal.

Several methods of detoxification are currently available.  These include fasting, specific diets, colon therapy, vitamin therapy, chelation therapy, and hyperthermia.  As a word of caution - all long-term fasts require medical supervision as well as prior assessment as to levels of nutrients, to insure that deficiency does not occur.  If you plan to make detoxification part of your dietary regime, do so with professional guidance. If you are planning on offering it as a service within nutrition or other complementary medicine service, be sure you are familiar with all aspects of the particular methods you plan to advise on.

Some methods of detox include:

Water and juice fast: Most experts recommend beginners to do one or the other in alternation over a few separate weekends. A water only fast starting Friday evening and ending Sunday morning (or just all day Saturday, as an alternative) should be broken with a day of raw foods (fruit/salad only, plus water), not with a heavy meal.  Make sure that not less than four and not more than eight pints of water are consumed during the fast.

Weekend mono-diet: This consists of a full weekend of relying on a single food such as grapes, apples, pears (best choice if you have a history of allergy problems), brown rice, millet, or even potatoes (boiled only).

Vitamin C therapy: Exposure to various toxins, like lead or benzene, will deplete your vitamin C stores.  Evidence also suggests that vitamin C deficiency hampers the body's own detoxification process.

Chelation therapy: A synthetic amino acid known as EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is administered intravenously and binds to various toxic metals in the blood. The toxins are then flushed from the body through the kidneys.  Used primarily to treat cases of lead poisoning, many doctors have found that EDTA can remove the calcium and plaque present in the walls of arteries in atheroscelerosis.  This therapy has yet to receive FDA approval as a treatment for heart disease.


Many experts advise that not eating for a period will have the effect of detoxifying the digestive system. It is not uncommon for a one day fast to be prescribed once every 1-4 weeks. During the fasting period, water should still be drunk. Nothing should be added to water though. A modified fast may involve taking in a limited type of food or clear broths.

The practise of fasting has been around for thousands of years primarily as an act of religious observance. These most typically take the form of 25hr fasts or, for Muslims the entire month of Ramadan, or Baha’i for the month of Ala where fasting occurs from dawn til dusk (approximately) with no food or fluid taken in those hours. Some Buddhist sects also fast, eating only until midday and then fasting until the following morning. For some Christians, a partial fast of forty days is observed during the period of lent. The 40hr famine is held in many parts of the world, to give young people an insight into the suffering of those who lack regular access to food. In all cases a healthy individual should suffer no ill effects of fasting and in general feel more vital, alert and healthy for the practise. 

Medically, fasts may be used for diagnostic purposes (blood sugar observance) or in preparation for surgery or diagnostic procedures. For example, it is necessary to fast and drink a medical electrolyte fluid prior to colonoscopy to ensure the bowel is entirely empty or to fast prior to anaesthesia. Fasting should be under the supervision of a medical professional if you are diabetic, have heart problems, kidney problems or any other major health concerns. There is some scientific evidence to suggest that temporary dietary restriction or dietary modification can improve health, combat chronic diseases and perhaps even increase longevity.

Whether this is more to do with people not taking in excessive nutrients as they do in most western diets, or due to the period of rest given to the gastro-intestinal tract, or a detoxification of the tissues is not yet clear. In general, shorter, more regular fasts are more effective than long term dietary restrictions. Certainly a person should go no more than a day without fluids.

Side-effects and symptoms

When fasting you can expect to suffer some mild symptoms that will resolve when you conclude your fast. These include:

·         Dizziness

·         Dark coloured, strong smelling urine

·         Nausea

·         Headache

·         “Fuzzy” tongue

·         Bad breath

·         Skin rash


In people prone to migraine, fasts with no fluid should be avoided. If symptoms become severe, the fast should be finished. Symptoms can be reduced by some pre-fast preparation:

·         Reduce or cease intake of caffeine

·         Drink plenty of water

·         Gradually restrict heavy, more difficult to digest foods prior to the fast

·         Eat a healthy, easily digestible meal prior to the fast

·         Do not undertake strenuous activity immediately prior to, or during your fast




A sauna (or sweat bath) is designed to flush the body’s toxins and residues of metabolism out through the sweat glands. The ideal humidity of a sauna should be 3-6% and no higher than 15%, and the air heated to approximately 40 plus degrees C. A steam bath (or wet sauna) does not remove toxins so effectively. A sauna will dehydrate the body in this process, so it is important to drink plenty of water to rehydrate. A sauna is not a weight loss treatment. The weight which is lost is due to water lost, and that must be replaced.

Hydrotherapy for detoxification involves the use of hot or cold water, either in a bath or running (shower). Hot water initially raises the blood pressure, before lowering it as the blood vessels dilate (widen). This improves circulation, particularly close to the body surface and oxygen transport is enhanced. This enhanced circulatory function is then believed to aid in flushing toxins. Perspiration may also remove accumulated toxins. Other effects of hot water include increasing the body’s temperature and metabolism rate, as well slightly lowering blood acidity. For some people the effects can be disconcerting, as the body may perceive the hot water as a threat, setting off a flight or fight reaction until the body is accustomed to the elevated temperature. 

Cold water is invigorating and stimulates the immune system. Brief immersion in very cold water will cause the blood vessels to constrict, and when the person is removed, they will automatically dilate, providing the same type of benefits you get with hot water. Constriction of blood vessels slows blood flow to an area and may provide relief from oedema and also pain as the nervous system slows.

Cold will also reduce inflammation. Washing with warm water will help cleansing of body wastes by cleaning clogged pores and allowing perspiration to occur more freely. Washing the abdomen may improve digestion, and washing the skin with warm water will stimulate the flow of blood closer to the skin surface, helping expel body wastes. 

Care should be taken with the temperature of water. Icy cold water should be used only for very brief periods as hypothermia will set in after only a few minutes. For heat treatments, 100F (38C) is a good starting point, but you should never go beyond 110F (43C). When going from hot to cold or vice versa, the body will sense temperatures to be more extreme than they actually are, and you should stick to the milder heat. Exposure to icy cold water should be avoided in people with heart conditions, or the generally frail as it can cause shock or in some cases heart attack in such people. Cool water is a better option in this case. 

Herbs can be used in baths or spas, facilitating all of the benefits of washing, plus added benefits associated with specific herbs. Apart from any other benefits, the relaxation affect will allow metabolism to occur with reduced stress. Refer to the list below for herbs and their specific effects. They may be diluted into baths and in warm baths the oils will be released and can penetrate through the skin and the aromatics breathed in.

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