How to become a Certified Diabetes Educator

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The Benefits of Certification
Members of the Greater Atlanta Association of Diabetes Educators explain why being a Certified Diabetes Educator was an important step in their professional development.

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Certification for Diabetes Educators is available through professional service and testing. The National Certification Board of Diabetes Educators (NCBDE) is the organization that designs and administers the examination. The examination is intended for the professional who has a primary role as a diabetes educator and not for professionals who may perform some diabetes-related duties in the course of other occupational roles. All questions and issues regarding the CDE examination and certification as a diabetes educator should be referred to NCBDE. Eligibility to apply for certification does not require membership in AADE.

Diabetes self-management education is a process that aids the person in learning and developing habits and lifestyle changes that benefit his or her health. Additionally, the person and his or her family are encouraged to take control of psychological issues that improve overall well-being. Providing self-management education can be extremely fulfilling.

Eligibility Requirements for Initial Certification [The Diabetes Monitor]

The Certification Process for Diabetes Educators to obtain the credentials "Certified Diabetes Educator" is discussed below. These requirements are from the NCBDE website, at

To qualify for the Certification Examination for Diabetes Educators, the following requirements must be met:

1. Professional Education

A. An active, unrestricted license from the United States or its territories as a registered nurse, occupational therapist, optometrist, pharmacist, physical therapist, physician (M.D. or D.O.), physician assistant, podiatrist, or registration as a dietitian by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.


B. A minimum of a master's degree, from a United States college or university accredited by a nationally recognized regional accrediting body, in one of the following areas: nutrition, social work, clinical psychology, exercise physiology, health education, or specified areas of study in public health*.

*Advanced degrees in public health must be in an area of concentration specific to health education, health promotion, health and social behavior, or health communications.

2. Professional Practice Experience

After meeting the education requirement and before applying for the Certification Examination, all (A through C) of the following requirements must be met:

A. A minimum of two years (to the day) of professional practice experience in diabetes self-management education in health care settings within the United States or its territories.* Only experience occurring AFTER completing the education requirement may be counted toward this requirement.


B. A minimum of 1,000 hours of diabetes self-management education experience within the past five years.* Work experience is defined as employment in diabetes patient education for compensation.

All experience must be in health care settings within the United States or its territories.


C. Current employment in a primary role as a diabetes educator a minimum of four hours per week, or its equivalent, at the time of application.

* All professional practice experience requirements must be met at the time of application.



To obtain the current official application and Candidate Handbook, contact:

Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc.
ATTN: NCBDE Coordinator
8310 Nieman Road
Lenexa, KS 66214-1579
(913) 541-0400
(913) 541-0156 (fax)

If you need other information about Certification, contact:

National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators
330 East Algonquin Road
Suite 4
Arlington Heights, Illinois 60005
(847) 228-9795
Fax (847) 228-8469


Also see
The NCBDE's webpage at includes the eligibility requirements, fees, and dates of upcoming examinations.
Diabetes Educator Section (for Canada). Has an e-mail link for information about Diabetes Educator Certification in Canada.