Certification Information Questions

Questions And Answers

What is a Certified Diabetes Educator?

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Where do I find information about licensure?

Please click here to learn more about certification and licensure.

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What is the difference between certification and certificate programs?

Certification refers to a credential that demonstrates the certificant’s specialized knowledge, skills, and experience. After meeting defined eligibility requirements, a certification applicant achieves a credential that is nationally recognized credential with the successful completion of a rigorous examination. In addition, individuals who hold a certification credential are normally required to renew their certification on a regular basis in order to demonstrate continued knowledge and experience in the specialty, e.g., maintaining the CDE credential requires renewal every 5 years.

A certificate program is an educational offering that confers a document (certificate) at the program’s conclusion. The participant’s possession of the certificate may be indicative of attendance only and is not necessarily a measure of knowledge or skills. There is also no requirement to demonstrate the maintenance of knowledge or skills over a period of time.

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Why doesn't NCBDE provide review courses or publish study materials?

As outlined in its Articles of Incorporation and mission statement, NCBDE's responsibilities do not include the creation or development of educational courses or materials. NCBDE believes that offering preparation courses or study materials would constitute a conflict of interest and could imply a guarantee of passing. Individuals will want to review the information NCBDE provides about Preparing for the Examination, including the Examination Content Outline. This information is available on the web site and in the Examination Handbook published annually. NCBDE does have a Practice Examination available that some applicants may find helpful. Click here for more information on the Practice Examination.

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Who is eligible for certification as a diabetes educator?

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What is diabetes self-management education?

To view the current definition of diabetes self-management education, click here.

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How do I track my DSME professional practice hours?

For initial certification, NCBDE does not have a required form or log that must be used for tracking  volunteer or employment DSME practice hours. However, your supervisor (or other health professional if you are in private practice, e.g., M.D./D.O.) must be able to verify your practice hours if you apply and are chosen for an audit. Therefore, we recommend you have a conversation with your supervisor about your wish to become certified and that you will need to be able to verify your hours if you are chosen for audit. Ask that individual what documentation they would need from you to be able to complete the audit verification, e.g., simple spreadsheet. You'll want to be sure not to violate any HIPAA regulations with your chosen tracking method.

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Are there professional practice experiences that are not considered diabetes education?

There are activities that are not considered diabetes education for purposes of certification eligibility and should not be included as part of Professional Practice Experience. While not an exhaustive list, a list of examples of such activities for those applying can be found in the current year's Handbook.

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Is there a maximum number of hours per week that may be claimed as diabetes self-management education?

Yes, NCBDE has determined that 40 is the maximum number of hours per week in diabetes self-management education (DSME) that may be reported when applying for initial certification. However, regardless of the number of hours per week worked (or in volunteer situation), it is important that the diabetes educator claim only time spent performing DSME. As in any role, there is a certain amount of time not dedicated to primary responsibilities. Teaching other health care professionals, completing administrative duties, conducting a community health fair screening, are a few examples of responsibilities that may be not be counted toward meeting professional practice requirements for initial certification (though some may qualify as part of professional practice for renewal of certification). Other examples are identified under the following FAQ: Are there professional practice experiences that are not considered diabetes education?

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Is there an alternative pathway for eligibility to become a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)?

Yes, there is.  It is referred to as the “Unique Qualifications Pathway” (UQ).  UQ was developed for health professionals with advanced degrees providing diabetes education and who do not qualify under the current list of disciplines via the standard pathway for initial certification.  For a list of current disciplines, click here.   

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What are the eligibility requirements under the “Unique Qualifications Pathway” (UQ)?

This pathway has different eligibility requirements and involves a “pre-application” process. To view the UQ eligibility requirements and application, click here

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Who would use the “Unique Qualifications Pathway" (UQ)?

This pathway is designed for health professionals holding a minimum of a master’s degree in a health-related area/concentration from a United States college or university that is accredited by a nationally recognized regional accrediting body to pursue certification.  To view the Unique Qualifications Pathway eligibility requirements and application, click here.

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What is the fee for the “Unique Qualifications Pathway” (UQ) pre-application?

The non-refundable application review fee is $150.  If your application is approved, the $150 will be credited towards the full application fee for initial certification in effect at the time of the application (e.g., if approved and the current application fee for those applying for initial certification is $350, you will need to pay an additional $200 when you apply for the examination).  If your UQ application review is unsuccessful, no refund of the review fee is provided.  To view the UQ eligibility requirements and application, click here.

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How long is certification valid?

NCBDE requires all CDE®s to renew certification every five (5) years. It is the responsibility of the individual certificant to keep abreast of any changes in certification and/or renewal requirements. Valid dates of the credential should be monitored and applications for renewal submitted by published deadlines. Extensions of certification are NOT granted.

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When will I hear about the status of my application for the Examination?

Click here to access the Exam Application Status page.

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Where can I find information on the Board Certified-Advanced Diabetes Management ("BC-ADM") certification?

NCBDE does not administer or manage the BC-ADM certification program. It is sponsored by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE). For further information, visit AADE's web site (http://www.diabeteseducator.org).

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