While certification may be future goal for a health professional who elects to become a diabetes educator, it is not intended to serve as an entry level to the speciality. Rather, being a practice-based certification, it requires individuals to accrue professional practice experience prior to applying. This practice experience is necessary in order to master the knowledge and application of that knowledge associated with the specialty. A master level program is different than an entry level credentialing process where prior to taking it, individuals need only complete mandatory, prescribed, academic requirements, e.g., nursing license examination.

With this information in mind, It is critically important to understand at the outset that the Certification Examination for Diabetes Educators is designed and intended only for health professionals who have responsibilities that include the direct provision of DSME (as defined by NCBDE. Click here for to review that definition).

Mission Statement

The mission of the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE) is to promote comprehensive & ongoing quality diabetes clinical management, education, prevention & support by defining, developing, maintaining & protecting the certification & credentialing processes. (effective 2/2019)

Purpose and Objectives of Certification

The purpose of the NCBDE certification program is to conduct certification activities in a manner that upholds standards for competent practice in diabetes self-management education. The Certified Diabetes Educator® (CDE®) credential demonstrates that the certified health professional possesses distinct and specialized knowledge, thereby promoting quality care for persons with diabetes.

Certification is a voluntary process used to assess and validate qualified health professionals' knowledge in diabetes education. It is an evaluative process that demonstrates that rigorous eligibility requirements have been met. Certification is not required by law for employment in the field, although some agencies may use board certification as a basis for employment, job promotions, salary increases and other considerations.

Objectives of the certification program are to:

  • provide a mechanism to demonstrate professional accomplishment and growth
  • provide formal recognition of specialty practice and knowledge at a mastery level
  • provide validation of demonstrated dedication to diabetes education to consumers and employers
  • promote continuing commitment to best practices, current standards and knowledge

Contact NCBDE

National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators
330 East Algonquin Road, Suite 4
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
Telephone 877-239-3233 or 847 228-9795
Facsimile 847 228-8469