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Introducing Essential Practice Competencies


For Practitioners

For Students

For Educators

For Providers



The Commission on Dietetic Registration has developed the Essential Practice Competencies for CDR Credentialed Nutrition and Dietetics Practitioners to provide overarching validated standards for two credentials: the Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and the Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) or Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered (NDTR). Practice competencies define the knowledge, skill, judgment and attitude requirements throughout a practitioner’s career, across practice, and within focus areas. Competencies provide a structured guide to help identify, evaluate, and develop the behaviors required for continuing competence.  
Unlike entry-level competencies, which focus on preparation and evaluation for minimum competence upon completion of an ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics) education program, the essential practice competencies are intended for use throughout a nutrition and dietetics practitioner’s career.

Click on one of the links at the top of the page to see information specific to your background, and feel free to contact CDR for any information that you don't see here.


New registrants beginning their very first cycles will use the Goal Wizard starting June 2, 2015. Current registrants entering new recertification cycles will use the Goal Wizard starting June 1, 2016, so continue using the current PDP process until your cycle begins.

The 5-year cycle dates for practitioners beginning the Essential Practice Competencies program are:

  • First Group: June 2, 2015–May 31, 2021
  • Second Group: June 1, 2016–May 31, 2021
  • Third Group: June 1, 2017–May 31, 2022
  • Fourth Group: June 1, 2018–May 31, 2023
  • Fifth Group: June 1, 2019–May 31, 2024
  • Sixth Group: June 1, 2020–May 31, 2025

*Please note the RDN and RD are two credential designation options for one certification program. Practitioners may choose to use one or the other. For more information, click here
**Please note the NDTR and DTR are two credential designation options for one certification program. Practitioners may choose to use one or the other. For more information, click here.