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CDM, CFPP Career Info

Discover the Power of the Credential

As the national professional organization representing and serving nutrition and foodservice professionals, the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP) is here to serve you in your career path.

The Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) Certification program is one of the most popular benefits of membership in ANFP. By earning your CDM certification, you will join the top levels of nutrition and foodservice managers in the field. It can advance your career and open many new opportunities for employment!

Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professionals (CDM, CFPPs) are nationally recognized experts at managing dietary operations. Many work in healthcare—nursing facilities, rehab centers, senior living communities, or hospitals. Some work in correctional facilities, schools, and the military. Others work for corporations.

Certified Dietary Managers are trained and qualified to manage menus, food purchasing, and food preparation; and to apply nutrition principles, document nutrition information, ensure food safety, manage work teams, and much more. In the latest regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM, CFPP) credential is now listed as the primary qualification for the Director of Food and Nutrition Services in long-term care facilities, in the absence of a full-time dietitian.

Working conditions may include varied hours, long days, and juggling multiple demands. Certified Dietary Managers work with both people and paperwork. They tend to be energetic, results-oriented problem solvers who thrive on challenge and enjoy teamwork. Employment in food service is not dependent on economic conditions, and is growing steadily. The fastest-growing segment of the market is senior living, an area where the skills of Certified Dietary Managers are just what the doctor ordered!

How to Become a CDM, CFPP

A Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM, CFPP) has the education, training, and experience to competently perform the responsibilities of a dietary manager and has proven this by passing a nationally-recognized credentialing exam and fulfilling the requirements needed to maintain certified status. The CDM, CFPP also demonstrates specific competency in the area of food protection and sanitation.

Some managers ask: If I’ve completed a dietary manager training program, am I already a CDM, CFPP? The answer is no. Keep going! To earn the credential, you need to follow three steps:

1. Qualify to take the CDM, CFPP Certification Exam.
There are five ways to qualify! You may start by completing an ANFP-approved dietary manager training program. Or, you may already have a two-year or four-year degree in foodservice management, nutrition, or culinary arts. You may qualify through a combination of training and experience. Or, you may qualify through your related military training. Details about how to qualify are on the Eligibility page of the CBDM website.

Not sure about whether you qualify? Please call ANFP at 800.323.1908.

2. Register for the Certification Exam.
Offered year-round, at over 200 sites, the exam gives you a chance to prove your competency in the marketplace by earning the CDM, CFPP credential.

We invite you to review detailed information and download an exam brochure and application.

3. Pass the exam and complete your certification process.
Once you have passed the exam, you can apply for certified status. (Certification will be automatic if you are already a current member of ANFP. However, membership in ANFP is not required.) If you have not already joined ANFP, you will receive an invitation to join and enjoy the many member benefits the association offers to you as a professional.

Once you earn the credential, you will also need to maintain it with continuing education and keep up your annual certification fee.

The CDM, CFPP is more than the letters after your name. It’s a career path that demonstrates your commitment to excellence in nutrition and foodservice management, and defines you as a highly qualified professional in your field.

Should You Become a CDM? Yes!

If you are already working in foodservice management you may wonder: Why earn the credential? The fact is: Those with the nationally-recognized CDM, CFPP credential are in demand due to regulatory requirements (varying by state). And... the credential translates into earning power! CDM, CFPPs earn more money than nutrition and foodservice professionals who are not certified.

Training Programs

ANFP-approved training programs are available in most states. You may find one at your local college, with nearly 100 colleges and universities to choose from nationwide. Training is also available through correspondence or online.

Many students are already working in food service, and complete their studies on the side.

Your training includes a minimum of 120 hours of classroom instruction, backed up by at least 150 hours of hands-on practice in nutrition and foodservice management. Four core courses cover foodservice management, nutrition and medical nutrition therapy, human resources management, and food safety/sanitation.

To explore training opportunities that may work for you, please visit the complete directory.

Foodservice Manager Salary Info

ANFP conducts salary surveys on behalf of its members, to arm you with important facts in your career advancement. Results of ANFP’s 2015 Salary and Benefits Survey are in and the news is good!

Over 4,150 dietary managers participated. About 58 percent indicated they had completed a dietary manager training program. Roughly 17 percent reported having a Bachelor’s degree. Another 17 percent stated they had an Associate’s degree. The most commonly reported job titles were: dietary manager (488); certified dietary manager (379); and food services director (324). Of those polled, 30 participants listed their job title as executive chef.

Analysis of the survey’s findings also revealed:

  • The average full-time salary is $50,766.
  • Those with CDM, CFPP credentials continue to earn more than those without them.
  • Participants with a Master’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree earn the highest salaries.
  • Participants employed in hospitals or continuing care retirement communities earn higher salaries
  • About 45 percent of participants work in long-term care and 24 percent in hospitals.
  • Over 27 percent of participants manage an annual budget of $200,000 - $500,000.
  • The greater the number of employees a nutrition and foodservice manager supervises, the larger the paycheck.
  • Benefits most commonly reported by nutrition and foodservice professionals include paid holidays, medical insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, and pension plan or 401(k) plan.

To learn more and start your exam application, apply online or download the CDM Credentialing Exam Candidate Handbook & Application. Study materials and tips to help you prepare for the exam are also available.

Policies and procedures related to the exam are determined by the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers, the credentialing arm of the ANFP that exists solely for the purpose of managing the credential. In fact, Certified Dietary Managers sit on this board, which oversees development of the exam itself.

In addition, an accrediting body called the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) has granted accreditation to the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers for demonstrating compliance with the NCCA Standards for the accreditation of certification programs. These standards are designed to ensure that certification programs adhere to modern standards of practice for the certification industry.

This level of excellence is one of the pieces that ensures your CDM, CFPP credential has meaning and value that will follow you throughout your career!

You Are Invited to Join ANFP!

Even before you achieve your CDM certification, we invite you to join ANFP.

You will be teaming up with more than 14,000 professionals dedicated to providing optimum nutritional care through foodservice management.

What does ANFP deliver for you?

Enjoy networking with like-minded professionals, a free subscription to ANFP’s magazine Nutrition & Foodservice Edge (one of the most respected publications in the industry), up to 20% off ANFP publications, access to, ANFPConnect, the ANFP member community, ANFP Job Board, connections with your local chapter, and many more benefits. You will be invited to ANFP meetings both close to home and around the country.

Jumpstart your professional advancement today! Download a membership application today!

We’re happy to assist you in your career planning. Learn more about ANFP and the CDM program at our website or call us at 800.323.1908.


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