Renewal of certification must be completed during the calendar year in which a CDE's certification expires. If a CDE® can document meeting the renewal practice requirement, she/he may choose to renew either by continuing education or by taking the examination (Examination Details). If she/he does not meet the renewal practice requirement and still wishes to maintain the credential, renewal can only be accomplished through documentation of acceptable continuing education hours and passing the examination (Click here for the CE Packet to be submitted with Exam application for this situation).

Certification renewal demonstrates that professionals previously certified have maintained a level of contemporary knowledge in diabetes education. NCBDE requires all CDEs recertify every 5 years to maintain certification status. It is the responsibility of each CDE® to stay abreast of changes in certification and/or renewal requirements and to recertify in a timely manner. Valid dates of the credential should be monitored and application for renewal submitted by published deadlines. Extensions of certification are not granted.


  • Health professionals specializing in diabetes education will demonstrate through renewal of certification:
    • knowledge and skills are up-to-date
    • ability to practice proficiently, safely, and in a manner consistent with current National Standards of Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (NSDSMES)
  • All CDEs who select renewal of certification by continuing education will engage in a personal assessment to identify professional needs and participate in appropriate activities that are inclusive of the Examination Content Outline in the current Handbook.

General Information

Renewal by continuing education requires that CDEs meet eligibility requirements and complete 75 clock hours of continuing education in content areas applicable to diabetes during the five year recertification cycle.

Renewal by Continuing Education Cycles

For those renewing for the first time, the start date for accruing professional practice hours is the January 1 following the year of initial certification.

For those who have previously renewed, the start date for accruing practice hours is the day after the deadline date of their last renewal by continuing education or the fall exam deadline date (e.g., for those renewing in 2019, those who renewed by continuing education using the standard deadline of September 15, 2014, accrual starts September 16, 2014; for a CDE who renewed by examination on June 6 or November 27, 2014, the accrual date starts on September 16, 2014).

All hours must be obtained prior to the date of application for renewal.

Continuing Education Activities:

  • must be provided by or approved by a provider on the NCBDE List of Recognized Providers.
  • must be applicable to diabetes. All subject matter on the Certification Examination Content Outline published in the current Handbook is considered applicable to diabetes.
  • must be completed between as defined by the renewal of continuing education cycles policy. (All continuing education activities must be completed prior to the application deadline and before submitting the application.)
  • must be at a professional level that enhances the quality and effectiveness of diabetes self-management education practice.
  • does not have to be discipline specific nor does it have to come from any specific area of concentration, e.g., social workers may attend a diabetes related nursing program and use those clock hours for renewal of certification.

Formal continuing education activities acceptable for renewal of certification by continuing education - minimum of 45 clock hours of the following:  

  • Continuing education courses
  • Independent study
  • Seminars
  • Online programs
  • Workshops
  • Telephonic or video conference programs
  • Conferences

Expanded activities acceptable for renewal of certification by continuing education - maximum of 30 clock hours of the following:

  • Academic courses
  • Presentations or lectures by the certificant
  • Publications - articles or books written by the certificant
  • Service as a Mentor in NCBDE’s Mentorship Program

Review all of the guidelines here:  Renewal by Continuing Education: Guidelines for Reporting Continuing Education Activities.

Sample Audit Summary of Continuing Education Activities Form

Click here for information on obtaining a sample Audit Summary of Continuing Education Activities form. The document is available via download or mail.