Continuing Professional Education (CPU)

The Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR) defines continuing professional education (CPE) as education beyond that required for entry into the profession of nutrition and dietetics. CPE participation is mandatory for maintenance of registration. CDR Credentialed Practitioners engage in lifelong development to maintain and improve knowledge and skills for competent practice. This includes continuous self-assessments to identify professional strengths and learning needs, establishment of short-term and long-term goals for individual professional development and selection of appropriate CPE to meet these goals.

Prior approved activities are individual educational activities for which activity Providers have opted to request continuing professional education (CPE) hour approval on behalf of CDR Credentialed Practitioners prior to the date of the activity.

The documentation for review to the CDR or the affiliated dietetic association should be submitted 4-6 weeks prior to the activity date. The CDR requests at least 4-6 weeks for review and asks that the applicant keeps one copy for their file. Some affiliate dietetic associations share the CPE approval responsibilities with the CDR.

Live Activities
The CDR or State CPE Review Contact will send verification of approval. Activity Providers MUST provide each participant with a certificate of completion verifying completion of the activity. Providers MUST also maintain a list of participants who completed their activity for at least 7 years. The approval status can be effective up to one calendar year from date of approval. Approval status will expire after the 1st of the year, and the entire activity along with documentation must be resubmitted for review prior to the expiration date.

The following must be provided with Prior Approval Requests:
– Educational objectives, describing anticipated outcomes for each session
– A Timing outline, detailing all the time spent in sessions, meals, breaks, testing, etc. All hours are awarded for learning time only
– Info regarding the target audience
– Qualifications of speaker(s)/presenter(s).

Self Study Activities
Request for Prior Approval of Self-Study activities must be submitted to the CDR for review. Providers MUST also maintain a list of participants who completed their activity for at least 7 years. The approval status can be effective up to one calendar year from date of approval. Approval status will expire after the third year, and the entire activity along with documentation must be resubmitted for review prior to the expiration date. The CDR’s Competency Assurance Panel has ruled that Self Study CPE activities, regardless of their format, will be eligible for CPE credit for up to 3 years from the date of their initial publication. PDP (Professional Development Portfolio) policy had until recently indicated that Self Study activities which were not “enduring”, like newspapers and recording of live presentations, would be eligible for CPE credit for only 1 year.

The following must be provided with Prior Approval Requests:
– Access to Self Study activities, including objectives of the activity stated in operational behavioral terms
– A bibliography for reference and further reading. Complete references must be cited. Controversial or disputed issues must be presented as such, with documentation from current and reputable refereed scientific journals
– Three letters from content experts. Letters should attest to the CPE content appropriateness for the CDR credentialed practitioners with specific comments. The letters should also attest to the length of time required to complete the activity. The content experts should not be associated with the Provider in any way. A biography, resume, or CV must be included for each content
– Documentation of the background in test item development of the item writers (participation in class, workshops on item writing techniques including sponsoring organization’s name)

As a part of one of my major projects for my currently rotation site, they have asked me to present a CPE presentation/webinar to be streamed to other affiliated hospitals on the FODMAP diet. The FODMAP diet is currently a presentation assignment/project of mine for my Graduate Seminar class this semester. So, hopefully my Seminar presentation, on March 25th, goes well and I can work out any kinks before I plan on presenting at my rotation site facility. So, be on the lookout for a blog about the FODMAP diet!

cdr cpe

todays dietitian

RDN… Hmm, Interesting

Every RD is a Nutritionist. But NOT every Nutritionist is a RD.

What is this new credential they are calling a “RDN”?

Well, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Board of Directors and the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) have recently approved the optional use of the credential “Registered Dietitian Nutritionist” (RDN) used by Registered Dietitians now.

The new optional RDN credential will not affect licensure or other state regulations. Plus many state licensure/certification laws already use the term “Nutritionist” (i.e.: LDN or CDN)

Many people, and especially RDs, are wondering why the Academy is offering this new credential. The reasoning behind this is to further enhance the RD brand and more accurately reflect to consumers who RDs are and what they do. This makes sense, when the Academy puts it like this…

This will distinguish the demanding credential requirements and focus that all RDs are Nutritionists but NOT all Nutritionists are RDs.  

The inclusion of the word “Nutritionist” in the credential itself, communicates a larger concept of wellness and treatment of conditions. This option is also consistent with the inclusion of the word “nutrition” in the Academy’s new name. Again, this makes sense and definitely seems innovative for the future of the Academy.

There is an increased awareness of the Academy’s role as a key organization in food and nutrition by media, government agencies, allied health organizations and consumers. This provides additional rationale for the incorporation of the word “nutrition” into the RD credential resulting in the optional RDN credential.  

But, here lies a substantial question… Was there any AND member input considered?

In 2010, the Academy began exploring the option of offering the RDN credential. It was supported by participants in the 2011 Future Connections Summit and most recently by the Council on Future Practice in its 2012 Visioning Report. The recommendation was shared and discussed in the House of Delegates at the Fall 2012 meeting. The 2013 joint meeting of the major organizational units (CDR, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), Council on Future Practice, Education Committee, and Nutrition and Dietetics Educators and Preceptors (DPG)) supported moving forward.

But here is my question- Do RDs have to use the RDN credential now?

No. The RDN credential is offered as an option to RDs who want to emphasize the nutrition aspect of their credential to the public and to other health practitioners. Plus, the new RDN credential has the exact same meaning and legal trademark definitions as the RD credential.

The credentials should be used, identical as a RD credential.

So, for example: Jess Brantner, RD = Jess Brantner, RDN. —-> (In time my friends… In good time)

The new RDN credential should be prioritized just like a RD credential, when other credentials are involved. So, 1st– Graduate degree credential, 2nd– RDN or RD, 3rd– special certifications with the CDR (CSSD, CSO, CSP, CSG, CSR), 4th– licensure designation or other certifications like Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE).

Here is the twist to my story- the CDR registration identification cards WILL include both the RD AND RDN credentials. So, be on the lookout for your 2013-2014 CDR registration identification cards, because it will have both credentials listed! But, don’t worry about costs, because there will be no additional fee for all these changes.

The opportunity to use the RDN credential is offered to RDs who want to directly convey the nutrition aspects of their training and expertise.

“This option reflects who Registered Dietitians are and what we do,” says Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President Ethan Bergman. “The message for the public is: Look for the RD – and now, the RDN – credential when determining who is the best source of safe and accurate nutrition information,” Bergman says. “All Registered Dietitians are Nutritionists, but not all Nutritionists are Registered Dietitians. So when you’re looking for qualified food and nutrition experts, look for the RD or RDN credential.”


Happy RDN Day?