What is accreditation, and why is it important?

What is accreditation?

Postgraduate programs, such as our Level 7 Diploma in Sports Nutrition, only receive accreditation when they are officially verified by an external awarding organisation. The verification process is typically lengthy and involves a detailed assessment of the programme structure and content by a specialist board of experts organised by the external awarding body or institution..

Once an institution verifies a particular postgraduate programme, it is able to declare itself as officially accredited and enjoy all of the benefits that come with such a significant award.

Why is it important?

It’s extremely hard for an online course to earn an accreditation. Gaining an endorsement like this means that the postgraduate programme has been recognised by an independent body for its outstanding course design and content, as well as the continued relevance of the programme within a professional setting, in this case applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition.

Accreditation means that the programme can boast of increased employability among their graduates, as well as recognition on the global academic stage (as with any accredited postgraduate diploma or degree programme).

It also helps to convince potential applicants that they will be equipped with relevant skills that will easily transfer from the virtual classroom to the workplace.

The accreditation process can also help programme staff to identify any weaknesses in their existing offering while further building on their strengths – a significant advantage for staff, students and other stakeholders.

IOPN Diploma: Accreditation


CFI (Crossfields Institute):

CFI is an Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) UK regulated awarding organisation. The IOPN is a CFI approved centre, uniquely delivering the following programmes:


What is a Level 7 Diploma?

A Level 7 Diploma is a format of formalised postgraduate learning in the United Kingdom at the masters degree level, but without an academic dissertation. Level 7 Diplomas are typically offered by independent institutes of higher education, such as the IOPN. The IOPN Diploma is a unique, fully accredited (globally recognised), 120 Credit bearing practice-focussed program (rather than a research focussed program such as an MSc / MRes degree typically offered by traditional universities), and is uniquely designed and delivered by the IOPN. The IOPN Diploma has been designed to focus on the specific vocational needs of a proficient sport and exercise nutrition practitioner looking to work in the “real world” workplace contexts that graduates will find themselves in. Many of our students enter our program already having a masters degree in a related field (nutrition, dietetics, physiotherapy, medicine, sport science etc), and are looking to add sport and exercise nutrition to their scope of practice.


IOPN Diploma: Professional and Industry Recognition



AfN (Association for Nutrition):

The course content has been endorsed under the AfN CPD endorsement scheme, which is current up to 02/02/2024. This means that it is considered to be appropriate CPD activity to further the professional knowledge and learning of AfN registrants, and as suitable evidence of learning to support a portfolio application for UKVRN registration as a sport and exercise nutrition specialist in those that are eligible to apply. (Typically those with undergraduate and/or postgraduate degrees in nutrition, dietetics, or sport and exercise science).


SDA (Sports Dietitians Australia):

The course has been endorsed for CDP (50 Professional Development Points) to support suitably qualified sports dietitians toward accredited and advanced Sport Dietitian status. For context: An SDA Accredited Sports Dietitian requires a minimum of 100 CDP Professional Development points per three-year cycle and continued APD status.


PINES (Professionals in Nutrition for Exercise and Sport):

Recognition of IOPN Diploma and eligibility for student and professional membership.