Kylie Register

March 28, 2024

Unlocking the Role: Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional


Looking to venture into the dynamic world of food management and safety? Dive into the realm of Certified Dietary Managers (CDMs) and Certified Food Protection Professionals (CFPPs), where precision meets passion in ensuring top-notch nutrition and safety standards. In this blog, we’ll unravel the pivotal roles these professionals play, shedding light on their responsibilities and the journey to obtaining these esteemed credentials. Whether you’re a seasoned professional seeking advancement or an aspiring newcomer eager to embark on a fulfilling career path, join us as we navigate the pathways to success in this vital field.


What is a Certified Dietary Manager?

A Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) is responsible for overseeing food service operations in various settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and other healthcare facilities. Their primary focus is on managing the nutritional needs of patients, residents, or students.


Typical tasks:

Plan and develop menus that meet the nutritional needs of individuals, considering dietary restrictions and medical conditions.

Manage foodservice budgets, including purchasing supplies and controlling costs.

Ensure compliance with dietary regulations and guidelines, as well as food safety standards.

Coordinate with dietitians, chefs, and other healthcare professionals to ensure that meals are nutritionally balanced and appropriate.

Provide nutrition education to staff, patients, residents, or students.



What is a Certified Food Protection Professional?

A Certified Food Protection Professional (CFPP) focuses specifically on ensuring food safety within foodservice establishments. Their role is to prevent foodborne illnesses and maintain high standards of food safety and sanitation.


Typical tasks:

Develop and implement food safety procedures and protocols to prevent contamination and ensure safe food handling practices.

Train staff on proper food handling, storage, and sanitation techniques.

Conduct inspections and audits to assess compliance with food safety regulations and guidelines.

Investigate food safety incidents or complaints and take corrective actions as necessary.

Stay informed about changes in food safety regulations and best practices, and update food safety protocols accordingly.

Obtaining your CDM, CFPP Credential

Becoming a Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional requires you to obtain a credential through the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers (CBDM), which is the credentialing agency for the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP). To sit for the CDM, CFPP credentialing exam students must meet the requirements of one of the four training pathways outlined by the CBDM.


Pathway I*

The Pathway I training pathway is for the individual with little to no noncommercial foodservice management experience. A college degree is not required for this pathway. This course meets the 120 hours of content and 150 hours of field experience needed to sit for the credentialing exam.

Source: ANFP

Pathway II*

This pathway is designed for candidates who hold a 2- or 4-year college degree in foodservice management or nutrition, 2-year culinary arts degree, or 2-year hotel-restaurant management degree.


Pathway III(a)

This pathway is designed for candidates who are graduates of a comprehensive, minimum 90-hour, foodservice course curriculum, and also have two years of full-time, non-commercial foodservice management experience.


Pathway III(b)*

Pathway III(b) is designed for candidates who have two years of non-commercial foodservice management experience. A student will be eligible for this program if they have a minimum of two years of work experience in a managerial or supervisory capacity in non-commercial foodservice that includes third-party oversight.


Pathway IV

This pathway is designed for candidates who are current and former members of the U.S. military who have graduated from a military dietary manager, foodservice manager or culinary arts training program that is a minimum of 90 hours of foodservice management training. Candidates must have a minimum of two years of noncommercial foodservice management experience.


Pathway V*

This pathway is designed for candidates who hold an alternate 2-year, 4-year, or higher college degree. Students selecting this pathway must have at least 5 years of noncommercial foodservice management experience.


*indicates pathways offered by the University of Florida

Not sure which pathway is best for you? Enter your information below to access our pathway finder!


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Prep for your CDM®|CFPP® Credential with UF

The University of Florida offers multiple pathways to prepare you to sit for the Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM®|CFPP®) Credentialing Exam. This program has been offered by the University of Florida since 1972.


Program Benefits

Receive a Certificate upon completion of a course

Preparation to sit for the CDM Exam through the Certified Board for Dietary Managers

Enroll anytime, take anywhere. These courses are 100% online and self-paced!