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CDM, CFPP Informational Guide

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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.

By earning your CDM credential, 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! In addition, credential holders who are ANFP members have an added benefit of CE opportunities at reduced rates.

Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professionals (CDM, CFPPs) are nationally recognized experts at managing dietary operations. Many work in health care—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 Registered 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 problemsolvers 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 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 Credentialing Exam.

There are many different pathways 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 available at www.CBDMonline.org/eligibility.

Not sure about whether you qualify? Please call ANFP Professional Development Services (PDS) at 800.323.1908 or send an email to info@CBDMonline.org.

2. Register for the CDM Credentialing Exam.

After your application has been reviewed and approved by CBDM, you will receive information on how to register for the exam.

Offered year-round at over 300 testing centers, the computer-based exam gives you an opportunity to prove your competency in the marketplace by earning the CDM, CFPP credential.

We invite you to review detailed information and download an  the CDM Credentialing Exam Candidate Handbook and Application.

3. Pass the exam and complete your certification process.

Once you have passed the exam, you must activate your certification within one year of passing the exam. (Certification will be automatically activated if you are already a current member of ANFP. However, membership in ANFP is not required.) If you are not a member of ANFP when you pass the exam, you will receive an email with information on how to activate the certification as well as how to join ANFP and enjoy the many member benefits that ANFP offers to you as a professional.

Once you earn the credential, you will also need to maintain it by completing continuing education and paying the annual certification fee. After activation of certification, the CDM, CFPP credential may be used as long as the certification is active, valid, and in good standing. Certificants must comply with all recertification requirements to maintain use of the credential.

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.

NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure that all contact information in your ANFP record is current and accurate. ANFP and CBDM are not responsible for missed communications due to inaccurate email or mailing addresses, or for messages not accessed from a Spam folder. 

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, both federal and state. And...the credential translates into earning power! According to the ANFP Salary and Benefits Survey results, 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 programs.

Many students are already employed in food service, and complete their studies on while working. One pathway to eligibility includes a minimum of 120 hours of classroom instruction, supported by at least 150 hours of hands-on practice in nutrition and foodservice management. Core courses cover foodservice management, nutrition and medical nutrition therapy, human resources management, and food safety/sanitation. Some programs have a pathway for individuals who already have two years of foodservice management work experience. 

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 2018 Salary and Benefits Survey are in and the news is good!

Over 4,700 dietary managers participated. Over 57 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; certified dietary manager; CDM/CFPP; and food services director. The majority held director level (single facility), or manager level positions.

Analysis of the survey’s findings also revealed:

  • The average full-time salary is $53,116.
  • 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 47 percent of participants work in skilled nursing facilities/nursing homes care and 22 percent in hospitals.
  • Over 26 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 complete CDM, CFPP Credentialing Exam Candidate Handbook and 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 (CBDM), the credentialing agency of ANFP that is responsible for establishing and upholding policies for and administration of the CDM, CFPP Certification program. In fact, Certified Dietary Managers sit on this board, which oversees development of the exam.

In addition, an accrediting body called the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) has granted accreditation to the CDM, CFPP Certification Program 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, CFPP certification, we invite you to join ANFP.

You will be teaming up with more than 15,000 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, ANFPtvANFP 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 CBDM, ANFP and the CDM, CFPP Certification Program at our websites, www.CBDMonline.org or www.ANFPonline.org. Or call us at 800.323.1908.


Click below to download a printable flyer with the information on this page.

Printable PDF Flyer

*NOTE: The most current version of the CDM, CFPP Informational Guide is dated 8-28-2019. If you are not seeing this version, please contact ANFP Professional Development Services (PDS) at 800-323-1908 or send an e-mail to info@CBDMonline.org for assistance.