Frequently Asked Questions
Here you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get about the program:
What is the IOPN Advanced Professional Diploma in Sports Nutrition?
The IOPN Diploma is a highly recognised, competency-based postgraduate level program, available 100% online. The course specifically focuses on the translation of sport and exercise nutrition science into daily practice with the aim of developing advanced level performance nutritionists who are well equipped with the confidence and competence to work with teams, individual athletes, and recreationally active clients in the real world.
How important is the IOPN Diploma?
The IOPN Diploma in Performance Nutrition is currently the only professional practice focussed program of its kind. The course is an internationally recognised competency-based postgraduate level educational programme aimed at developing highly educated and skilled sports and exercise nutrition professionals.
Do I need existing qualifications to be eligible to apply?
Yes, it is an advanced-level programme and will require an appropriate amount of prior knowledge to build upon.
If you have a university degree in a life science subject (i.e., biology, physiology) or specific to sport or nutrition (i.e., sports science, strength & conditioning, nutrition, sports nutrition, dietetics etc.), then you are eligible. Students with degrees in psychology and education are also eligible.
Alternatively, professionals with accredited certifications (i.e., personal training, nutrition coaching), plus a minimum of 1 year of relevant experience (i.e., as a personal trainer, strength & conditioning coach, or nutritionist) will be accepted.
In addition, all applicants must satisfy an IELTS 6.5 level (CEFR: C1) of English comprehension. Alternatively, if applicants can demonstrate that they have completed an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in English in the last five years, then this will also be accepted as having met the standard without demonstrating IELTS certification.
Is this an attendance or online / distance learning course?
The diploma has been designed to be undertaken online using Canvas which is our online learning management system (LMS) with downloadable lecture videos, electronic format reading materials and online interactions with fellow students and tutors.
Students (and graduates) are also encouraged to attend our live events in the UK, at a special discounted rate. These events are not mandatory to graduate from the program.
How much time will the course take to complete?
The diploma is an online part-time self-paced program. It has been designed to be flexible enough to accommodate students in full-time work or with other commitments. It has been designed to be flexible enough to accommodate students in full-time work or with other commitments. The program can be completed in 12-18 months. The average student will take 12 months to complete the program.
What qualification(s) will I get?
Eligible graduates will also be able to apply for graduate registration with the UK Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (see Pathways to SENr PDF download), as well as those that are eligible with the Association for Nutrition (AfN) for specialist registration as a sport and exercise nutritionist.
Will it be internationally recognised?
Yes, the IOPN Diploma is internationally recognised and accredited by many leading professional bodies and academic institutions.
However, accreditation and recognition and their importance in a program is not a black and white topic as it relates to why you should do a course, in what way it is recognised, and how that will be relevant to your career. Please read more about this here.
What title can I use / call myself upon completion?
Once you successfully complete the course, you will be qualified and able to call yourself a Performance Nutritionist, Sports Nutritionist, or a Sport & Exercise Nutritionist, and obtain professional indemnity insurance to practice (in the UK, and most other countries, but check your local national / state licensing laws to be sure).
You cannot call yourself a registered nutritionist or registered sports dietician without being registered by the appropriate registration bodies, such as the British Dietetic Association’s Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register or the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists or equivalent in your country / location. The diploma is a highly recognised program, and can support an application for registration and/or registration for specialisation (sport and exercise) in eligible candidates / registrants with SENr and AfN.
Can I get insurance to practice?
Once you successfully complete the course requirements and graduate with your IOPN Diploma in Performance Nutrition will then be able to obtain insurance* to practice as a Performance Nutritionist.
Eligible UK based graduates are also strongly encouraged to apply for graduate registration with the UK Sport and exercise Nutrition Register (see Pathways to SENr registration PDF download) and/or the Association for Nutrition (AfN). Both SENr and AfN offer registrants practitioner insurance products.
*NOTE: obtaining insurance to practice as a performance nutritionist may be limited to certain countries worldwide, and local laws that may restrict the practice of sports nutrition to licensed professionals (i.e. some states in the US). In all cases you will be expected to adhere to a relevant scope of practice and remain evidence-based at all times.
How much does it cost?
You can opt to pay in full or pay by instalments. Please visit the fees page for detailed information.
How do I pay?
The course can be paid for in full up-front, or via monthly instalments. Please refer to the fees page for more information.
Once your application has been approved you will receive information on how to pay by bank transfer, direct debit, debit/credit card, pay online or pay by phone.
What happened to the Guru Performance Institute?
In September 2019 we rebranded from the Guru Performance Institute (GPI) to the Institute of Performance Nutrition (IOPN) to better reflect who and what we are as an educational and research institute.
Do you still offer the ISSN Diploma course?
The ISSN Diploma, originally conceived and developed by Dr Laurent Bannock, was the Guru Performance Institute’s flagship program for the past five years. In that time we, as a professional education institute, have evolved significantly, and so has the body of knowledge in sport and exercise nutrition.
Dr Bannock’s recent doctoral research, in bridging the gap between science and practice in sport and exercise nutrition, resulted in our rebranding to the Institute of Performance Nutrition (IOPN), and the creation of our new flagship program, the IOPN Diploma in Performance Nutrition, which officially launched with the inaugural February 2019 cohort.
All current ISSN Diploma students (i.e. the 2018 cohorts) who successfully complete the program will still graduate in 2019 with the ISSN Diploma (or can transfer to the new Diploma, please contact us for more information).