How Can I Become a Certified Dietary Manager?
Are you interested in managing food services for a health or educational facility? Do you like planning and preparing nutritious meals? Read on to learn how you can become a certified dietary manager. Schools offering Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Kind of Education Do I Need to Become a Certified Dietary Manager?
The Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) exam is available to dietary managers who meet the eligibility requirements of the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP), formerly the Dietary Managers Association. To quaify for the exam, you need to graduate from an approved dietary manager training program or possess an associate's or bachelor's degree in nutrition, food service management, culinary arts or other related field. Alternatively, you could qualify if you have at least two years of institutional food service management and have graduated from an approved course. Former U.S. military members, E-5 or above, who completed an approved dietary manager training program provided by the military may also qualify to take the exam.
The ANFP approves dietary manager certificate and associate's degree programs based on established guidelines. Approved training programs offer coursework in human resource and food service management, nutritional therapy, food safety and medical nutrition therapy. Courses are available in a traditional classroom format and online.
How Do I Get Certified?
You need to apply to the ANFP to take the CDM exam. The CDM is nationally-recognized and accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The American College Testing Program (ACT) administers and proctors the CDM exam. The assessment includes 100 multiple choice questions covering food service, human resource management, nutrition and sanitation. After you attain certification, you need to complete continuing education courses and pay an annual fee to maintain the credential.
What Might My Job Duties Be?
In this supervisory position, you manage the food services department for your facility. You could work at a nursing home, assisted living facility, correctional institution, school or retirement community. Personnel management duties typically include training, scheduling, hiring and firing of staff. Business and operating duties consist of purchasing and budgeting tasks.
You work to provide sound nutritional programs under a dietitian's guidance. You gather clients' dietary needs and histories. Monitoring and charting of fluid and food intake is done on a regular basis. You're also responsible for ensuring a sanitary food preparation and serving environment. Other duties may include client training and education.
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