What Is a Certified Dietary Manager? Definition and Steps To Become One

What is a cdm in food service?

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What does a CDM do?

Certified dietary managers make sure that foodservice protocol is secure and that food products maintain a high standard using their background in nutrition. To ensure that all of the information on an organization’s menus is accurate, a certified dietary manager might assist in the design and creation of the menus. Additionally, they can purchase food ingredients and inventory for the company they work for. Certified dietary managers oversee a facility’s food preparation practices and make necessary protocol adjustments to ensure compliance with state and local laws governing food safety.

Documenting nutritional data about the foods they serve is a crucial component of a certified dietary manager’s job. This can be used to monitor the nutritional value of products and identify which ones they should improve or stop selling.

What is a CDM?

A certified dietary manager, or CDM, is a specialist in the foodservice sector who oversees the operations and policies of a facility’s foodservice. Certified dietary managers typically work for institutions that provide food to patients, such as hospitals, clinics, schools, and cafeterias. In order to improve their practices, some certified dietary managers also consult with dietitians and nutritionists. Before entering the field, certified dietary managers receive specialized training to get them ready for the job by teaching them about nutrition, food safety laws, and standard business procedures in the foodservice industry.

How to become a CDM

Heres how you can become a CDM:

1. Earn a degree

Pursue an associates or bachelors degree. Although you can select a related major like food science, most aspiring certified dietary managers major in nutrition, foodservice management, or culinary arts. The Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP)-approved dietary manager training program is another option for meeting the educational requirements to become a certified dietary manager. There are several online training courses for dietary managers that you can finish at home to obtain this credential.

2. Register for the CDM certification exam

Apply to take the CDM certification exam. By visiting their website and submitting an application for authorization, you can sign up to take the exam with the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers. When your application is accepted, the CBDM sends you instructions on how to study for and take the test. The CDM offers numerous locations for candidates to take the exam, and there are sittings available throughout the year. Digital multiple-choice questions covering topics like food safety, employee management, nutrition, and business operations are part of the exam.

3. Activate your certification if you do not belong to ANFP

After passing the CDM certification exam, take the necessary steps to verify your certification. Members of ANFP receive certification right away, but non-members must first fulfill a few additional requirements in order to activate their certification. When you pass the CDM exam, fill out the certification activation form provided by ANFP to activate your certification. After that, you can send the form and your ANFP annual certification fee. At this time, certified dietary managers in the field have the option of joining ANFP, which has a number of advantages.

4. Maintain your certification

Ensure your certification remains active by meeting ANFP requirements. You must first pay the ANFP your annual recertification fee in order to keep your certification. You can satisfy the ANFP’s requirement for proof of 45 hours of continuing education every three years by taking nutrition or foodservice management courses. Attending seminars and in-services that focus on techniques you might use as a certified dietary manager is another way to earn continuing education credits. After completing a continuing education opportunity, you must submit proof of it and notify the ANFP of the continuing education hours you accrued.

5. Fulfill state requirements

To work as a certified dietary manager, you must adhere to any requirements set forth by your state. Some states require additional certification or licensure, which you can obtain from the ANFP. Additionally, some states or specialized facilities may require you to have a certain number of hours of professional experience before you can practice there. Most state-specific requirements for certification of dietary managers can be found online at the ANFP website or the website of your state government.

6. Build professional experience

Apply for jobs as a certified dietary manager. There may be job openings in hospitals, public buildings like schools, or other structures with cafeterias. Look for opportunities in those kinds of businesses because some states also mandate that certain facilities, like hospitals or senior care facilities, have a CDM on staff. You can establish a solid reputation in the field and hone your abilities as a certified dietary manager by accumulating professional experience.

Skills for CDMs

To carry out their duties, certified dietary managers need a particular set of abilities. To effectively manage teams of employees and convey expectations and instructions, a certified dietary manager needs to possess excellent verbal communication and leadership skills. Strong writing skills are typically required for certified dietary managers in order to create reports, menus, and records of the nutritional content of foods.

Certified dietary managers also need industry-specific abilities, such as work experience in the food industry and familiarity with food safety regulations. Many certified dietary managers have experience in business operations and a background in nutrition. These abilities can educate you on particular subjects and guarantee that you are capable of handling every aspect of the job as a certified dietary manager.


What jobs can a CDM do?

Below are eight examples of the types of jobs that may be associated with the CDM certification:
  • Patient Services Manager (PSM) …
  • Health Center Nutrition Manager. …
  • Food and Nutrition Department Director or Assistant Director. …
  • Dietary Regulatory Affairs Specialist. …
  • Dietary Product Developer.

What is a CDM class?

Dietary Manager Program Through ANFP-approved online or correspondence study training programs, become a Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) or Certified Food Protection Professional (CFPP). Different Pathways are available from the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers (CBDM) to qualify for the national CDM Credentialing Exam.

How long does it take to get CDM certification?

A one semester (16 week) certificate program, the Certified Dietary Manager program is available.

How much should a CDM make?

As of June 28, 2022, the average Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) salary in the United States will be $61,500, with the typical range being between $50,800 and $78,600.

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