Latest Updates from ACEND


ACEND Fee Schedule

ACEND®'s fee schedule for June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2024 has been published. The current fee schedule remains in effect until May 31, 2021.

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Distance Education Emergency Checklist

Quality Matters, a non-profit organization dedicated to support quality assurance in online learning, has developed a remote instruction emergency checklist. The checklist provides tips and strategies to use if your program moves to temporary distance education.

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List of ACEND Resources

ACEND® has developed a list of frequently used resources and training in one convenient document. You may choose to save this list to your desktop to help you locate answers to common questions such as:

  • How do I sign and issue verification statements to program graduates?
  • Where can I find the templates for a self-study report?
  • What webinars and training are available to program directors?

View the list of resources.

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Future Associate (FA) FEM Accreditation Standards Minor Revisions – Call for Comments

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics is proposing minor revisions to the Associate Degree (FA) Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics Future Education Model Accreditation Standards. Public comments on the proposed revisions to the Standards can be made until August 15, 2020. We encourage you to provide your input. Please share this information with your constituents/colleagues. If you or they have questions, please send them to acend@eatright.org, so we can respond to them.


International Dietitian Education (IDE) 2017 Accreditation Standards Minor Revisions – Call for Comments

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics is proposing minor revisions to the International Dietitian Education (IDE) Programs Accreditation Standards. Public comments on the proposed revisions to the Standards can be made until August 15, 2020. We encourage you to provide your input. Please share this information with your constituents/colleagues. If you or they have questions, please send them to acend@eatright.org, so we can respond to them.

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Update to Spring 2021 Computer Match Dates and DICAS Fees

The NDEP Computer Match Committee reviewed the Spring 2021 match dates and made the decision to move the date of notification and appointment days due to notification day occurring during multiple holidays. The committee established a timeline that fits within typical business hours for as many time zones as possible, including moving notification day from a Sunday to a Monday. Note the updated computer match calendar for Spring 2021 below.

Monday, April 5 at 11 a.m. (Central time) - Notification Day: Match results available on D&D Digital.

Tuesday, April 6 at 11 a.m. at the time zone of the program - Appointment Day: Matched applicants must notify program of acceptance of match by this time.

Tuesday April 6 at 6 p.m. (Central time) - Interim Match Period Occurs: Dietetic Internship program directors with available openings can review the list of unmatched applicants to see if any qualified applicants they originally entered on the D&D Digital website are listed. Dietetic Internship program directors may contact and invite any of those applicants on their original list who did not match to attend their program.

Wednesday, April 7 at 8 p.m. (Central time) - Interim Match Period Ends: All appointments of the Dietetic Internship's own unmatched applicants must be confirmed by applicants to dietetic internship program directors.

Thursday, April 8 at 11 a.m. (Central time) - All Dietetic Internship Directors and Didactic Program Directors may access the current Match/No Match list of applicants who authorized their names to be released.

The computer matching calendars have been updated.

All programs must update their website to reflect the 2021 computer match dates.

DICAS Fee Increase:

Starting in Spring 2021, the DICAS application fee has increased. The first designation is $50 and $25 for each additional designation (Previous fees were $45 and $20, respectively). If you list the DICAS application fee on your website it must be updated with these new application fees.

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States that Offer Provisional Temporary Licenses

2020 program graduates may have some delays in taking the registration exam because of limited access at Pearson VUE testing sites because of the pandemic. Some states offer provisional or temporary licenses for graduates who may not be able to take the RDN exam right away.

Please share this information with your program graduates who may be anxious to get licensed to practice in their state.

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Updated Guidance Information for the 2017 Accreditation Standards Released

The Guidance Information Document for the 2017 Accreditation Standards has been updated to provide clarification for several Required Elements. A list of the updates can be found on page 3 of the document. You can also refer to the appendices in the document for information and answers to your questions about the following:

Appendix A: Glossary-Provides definitions for frequently used ACEND® terms
Appendix B: Guidelines for Using the ACEND® Logo
Appendix C: ACEND Document Retention Procedures
Appendix D: Didactic Programs in Dietetics and Affiliation Agreements

Additionally, ACEND® has developed the following optional templates for your use when completing your reports.

  • Required Element 1.5 Program Director Description Template (all program types)
  • Required Element 4.1 and 4.2 Program Evaluation Plans specific to each program type with the ACEND® required objectives included in the template.

Access the updated Guidance Document and new optional templates.

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Spring 2020 Dietetic Internship Match Data

Each spring, graduates of didactic programs in nutrition and dietetics (DPD) participate in a computerized match process run by D&D Digital for placement in a nutrition and dietetic internship (DI) program. The results of the first round of the April 2020 computer match and a comparison with the previous four years are shown below:

Spring 2020 Dietetic Internship Match Data Chart

As shown in the table, the match rate (i.e. the percent of applicants who match to a DI program in the first round of the computer match process) has steadily improved over the past five years. Factors contributing to this improved match rate likely include:

  • Decreased number of graduates from didactic programs in nutrition and dietetics (DPD): Data from DPD programs indicate that the number of graduates in 2019 (5,574) was 19% less than the number of graduates in 2016 (6,887) reflecting a nationwide trend in declining university undergraduate enrollment.
  • Decreased number of applicants participating in the computer match: The overall number of applicants participating in the computer match in April 2020 was nearly 1,400 (26%) less than the number of applicants in April 2016.
  • Increased number of supervised practice options: Between 2010 and 2020, 10 new CPs and 18 new DIs have opened and 2020 enrollment (compared to 2010 enrollment) increased by 44% in CPs (n=695) and 45% in DIs (n=1,253) programs. In addition, 969 individuals completed an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) during that time. 17 future education model graduate (FG) programs began admitting students with a 2019 enrollment of 244 students in FG programs.

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Reminder to Notify Prospective Students and Interns of CDR's Master's Degree Requirement

All ACEND® accredited programs for registered dietitian nutritionists must post language on their websites notifying prospective students or interns about the Commission on Dietetic Registration's requirement for a minimum of a master's degree to take the credentialing exam for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists beginning in 2024. ACEND® will require all programs to submit to ACEND® a link to where this information can be found on the programs' websites. Program directors will be notified of the procedure for submitting this information in September 2020.

"Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited [program type] program at [Institution name] are eligible to [apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program/apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN].

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here."

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Program Reviewer Applications: On Hold Until 2021

Given the limited ability and opportunity to travel this year, ACEND® is not accepting program reviewer applications this year. Please check back after March 1, 2021 for information on how to apply for the 2022-2023 Program Reviewer cohort. For more information, contact acendnominations@eatright.org.

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Pearson VUE Testing Center - Update From CDR

RDs and DTRs are recognized by Pearson VUE as essential medical personnel. This designation means that examination eligible candidates are now able to take the registration examination to become credentialed. Without this designation, individuals are not able to test at Pearson VUE testing centers due to COVID-19 safety restrictions. Limited testing centers are open and available to serve front-line medical workers, who require a credential to practice, during this crisis. Candidates are encouraged to schedule their appointments online. A Testing for Essential Services FAQ is also available on Pearson VUE's website.

As there are currently test center capacity limitations, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) is considering the temporary option of Online Proctoring. At this time, CDR is waiting for its credentialing agency, National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA), to approve its application for an online proctoring waiver. For more information, contact CDR at cdr@eatright.org

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Signing and Distributing Electronic Verification Statements

Program directors can download the most recent version (dated April 20, 2020) of a blank verification statement from CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS). Verification statements can be electronically signed using a digital signature that can be authenticated. Digital signatures can be easily obtained in Adobe Acrobat and are the most secure way to sign an electronic verification statement. As soon as possible after program completion, program graduates who successfully complete program requirements can be provided a verification statement via email with an authenticated digital signature, or a hand-signed copy scanned in color. Photocopies are unacceptable.

Below you can find useful links to instructions on how to create a digital signature in Adobe Acrobat:

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Reminder: Virtual Town Hall Meeting July 14

The next Virtual Town Hall Meeting will be held on July 14, 2020 from 11 a.m. - noon (Central time). During this town hall, dietetic internship faculty will share their programs' responses during COVID-19, changes made to their rotations, and plans for fall 2020. ACEND® hosts periodic virtual meetings to answer stakeholder questions about the accreditation standards.

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Call for Cohort 5 Applications for Demonstration Programs under the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards

The ACEND® Board has issued the call for applications for those interested in being part of cohort 5 demonstration programs under the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards. Applications for cohort 5 are due December 2, 2020 at 11 a.m. (Central time).

A workshop for those interested in learning more about the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards will be held in Chicago on August 13-14, 2020.

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