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© 1998 - 2015
Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals ·
406 Surrey Woods Dr. ·
St. Charles, IL 60174

Tel: 800.323.1908 ·
Fax: 630.587.6308 ·

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Credentialing Exam Information


The CDM®, CFPP® Credentialing Exam—offered since 1985—is part of the competency assurance program for dietary managers. A Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM®, CFPP®) has the education 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. CDM, CFPPs work together with registered dietitians to provide quality nutritional care for clients in a variety of non-commercial settings and perform a myriad of specialized tasks.

The Certifying Board for Dietary Managers (CBDM) is responsible for the certification program, but the actual exam is conducted by a nationally-recognized professional testing firm. A survey is conducted and analyzed every five years, in which CDM, CFPPs are asked to review the exam content outline and suggest a percentage of weight for each category of the exam.  The CBDM then utilizes the survey results to finalize the outline, and each exam is developed based on this blueprint. The certification program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Exam Eligibility Requirements

You are eligible to take the exam if you meet the requirements of one of the four pathways outlined below. The most popular is by graduating from an ANFP-approved dietary manager training program, which includes 120 hours of didactic education plus 150 hours of field experience.

Pathway I: for candidates who have graduated from an ANFP-approved dietary training program. You must submit a copy of your certificate of course completion, or your name must appear on the official graduate listing that is sent to ANFP by the college/school.

Pathway II: for candidates who hold a two-year or four-year college degree in foodservice management or nutrition, two-year culinary arts degree, or two-year hotel-restaurant management degree. Please submit your transcripts with your exam application.

Pathway III: for graduates of a state approved or other approved 90-hour foodservice course, who also have two years of institutional foodservice management experience. You must submit employment information with your application.

Pathway IV: for current and former members of the U.S. military who have graduated from an approved military dietary manager training program and have attained the grade of E-5. You must submit your documentation of military training and pay grade when applying under Pathway IV to determine eligibility. Note that your exam fee may be reimbursable through the Montgomery GI Bill; visit for information.

Denial of Exam Eligibility

You may be denied a seat for the exam if you:

  • Fail to meet the eligibility pathways
  • Falsify any information on the exam application
  • Violate registration or examination rules
  • Fail to report address changes to ANFP, resulting in your not receiving application forms or information crucial for the exam
  • Fail to submit proper documentation within the required time frame

The Certifying Board for Dietary Managers (CBDM) provides applicants who are denied eligibility an opportunity to appeal to an impartial decision-maker: the Appeals Committee of ANFP.

Exam Scoring & Results

Becoming Certified

After you pass the exam, you need to activate your certification so you can begin using the CDM, CFPP credential. At the time you pass the exam: If you do not yet belong to ANFP, you will receive a letter from ANFP with instructions and an invitation to join for a discount on your certification fee. (Membership is not mandatory.)

If you are a Pre-Professional Member, you will receive a letter from ANFP with instructions and an invitation to upgrade your membership and enjoy a discount on your certification fee.

If you are an Professional or Allied Professional Member, your certification will be activated immediately and you will receive a certificate by mail.

Maintaining your credential

Once you become certified, you will need to maintain your credential. For details, please visit:

Exam Day Information

Important! Bring to the Exam:

  • Picture I. D.
  • Battery operated calculator with no print device (optional)

Equal Opportunity for Education

The Certifying Board for Dietary Managers makes every reasonable effort to accommodate exam applicants with disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Testing accommodations are available to applicants who have diagnosed physical and learning disabilities and provide appropriate documentation.

Applicants requesting testing accommodations are required to follow these guidelines:

  1. Submit with the completed examination application a written request for testing accommodations. Include a detailed description of the diagnosed disability and accommodations needed to take the exam. In addition, supporting written documentation from the diagnosing physician or other licensed professional detailing the diagnosis is required and should be submitted with the application materials.
  2. If extended testing time is sought, the applicant must specify the precise amount of additional time required (i.e., time and one-half, double time, etc.).
  3. Applicants requesting accommodations should submit application materials and documentation as far in advance of the published deadline as possible, to allow sufficient time to make approved testing arrangements.

Please note: The exam is only administered in English, and there are no provisions for translation.

Questions regarding the application and exam should be directed to ANFP at (800) 323-1908.