RD Credential Use or Misuse
The Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credentials are awarded by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) to individuals who meet specific academic and supervised practice requirements and who successfully pass a registration examination. These credentials provide individuals with the advantage of a legally protected designation. These designations are the exclusive property of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Policy on Use of RD, DTR and CDR Specialist Trademarks by CDR Credentialed Practitioners
By making use of any CDR Marks, you agree to be bound by the terms of this Policy. Permission granted to you by this Policy is conditional upon your compliance with the terms of this Policy. One of the benefits of registration and credentialing offered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration is the right to use the CDR credential logos, the trademarks RD, DTR and the CDR Specialist trademarks (“CDR Marks”). The CDR Marks are provided to CDR credentialed practitioners to proudly announce their credentials.
Rights to Use Only for Credentialed Individuals
CDR Marks are for personal use by individuals that have successfully completed credential requirements and have been notified by CDR in writing that he/she has achieved a CDR certification ("Credentialed Individuals"). Upon receiving a CDR credential, CDR grants non-exclusive rights to use the CDR Marks for which the Certified Individual has been awarded certification, on promotional, display and advertising materials to publicize the Credentialed Individual's CDR credential or to promote his/her services corresponding to the CDR credential subject to the limitations below. The CDR Marks can be used on the Credentialed Individual’s business stationery (letterhead, business cards), web sites (but not as part of a domain name) and other collateral. Credentialed Individuals should get permission from their employers before printing the CDR mark on their company stationery and should ensure that the CDR Marks are appropriately used. In the event that a Credentialed Individual does not renew or maintain his/her credential, he/she must immediately cease all use of the CDR Marks associated with such CDR credential.
Any other use of the CDR Marks is prohibited. Without limiting the foregoing, CDR Marks shall not be used to misrepresent CDR status or an individual's qualifications. Credentialed Individuals further agree not to incorporate any CDR Marks or potentially confusing variations thereof as part of a trademark, service mark, product name, company name, domain name, or any other commercial designation. Likewise, any application to register or claim any interest in any mark or any other logo, name, trademark, service mark or commercial or product designation confusingly similar to any CDR Marks is prohibited.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and CDR are the owner of the CDR marks. The Academy and CDR reserve and retain all rights, titles and interests, including, without limitation, all trademark and other intellectual property rights, in and to the CDR Marks. Nothing contained in this Policy is intended to be or should be construed to grant any ownership rights in or to the CDR Marks. CDR reserves the right to audit any and all use of the CDR Marks and to require correction for any inappropriate use. Any user of the CDR Marks grants CDR the permission to access, review, and audit any materials that make use of the CDR Marks. If at any time, CDR determines, in its sole discretion that your use of the CDR Marks is not in compliance with this Policy or otherwise threatens to harm the CDR Marks, CDR may immediately terminate your right to use the CDR Marks. You agree to comply with all requests of CDR to cease and desist use of the CDR Marks.
List of CDR Credentials
- REGISTERED DIETITIAN and RD
- REGISTERED DIETITIAN NUTRITIONIST and RDN
- DIETETIC TECHNICIAN, REGISTERED and DTR
- NUTRITION AND DIETETICS TECHNICIAN, REGISTERED and NDTR
- REGISTERED DIETITIAN - ADVANCED PRACTITIONER and RD-AP
- REGISTERED DIETITIAN NUTRITIONIST - ADVANCED PRACTITIONER and RDN-AP
- BOARD CERTIFIED SPECIALIST GERONTOLOGICAL NUTRITION and CSG
- BOARD CERTIFIED SPECIALIST IN OBESITY AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT and CSOWM
- BOARD CERTIFIED SPECIALIST ONCOLOGY NUTRITION and CSO
- BOARD CERTIFIED SPECIALIST PEDIATRIC NUTRITION and CSP
- BOARD CERTIFIED SPECIALIST PEDIATRIC CRITICAL CARE NUTRITION and CSPCC
- BOARD CERTIFIED SPECIALIST RENAL NUTRITION and CSR
- BOARD CERTIFIED SPECIALIST SPORTS DIETETICS and CSSD
The Commission on Dietetic Registration is committed to protecting the RDN/RD and NDTR/DTR credentials from misuse by non-credentialed practitioners and has always encouraged RDNs/RDs and NDTRs/DTRs to promote their credentials.
Examples of permitted usage for current, valid, individual credentialed practitioners include:
- www.JaneDoeRDN.com or www.JaneDoeRD.com
- @JaneDoeRDN or @JanDoeRD
- Jane Doe RDN, LLC or Jane Doe RD, LLC
- janedoeRDN@email.com or janedoeRD@email.com
If an individual loses their credential, they are responsible for removing RD or RDN from their domain name, business, email, etc. The intent of the credential use and protection policy is to proudly signify that an individual has met all Commission on Dietetic Registration requirements to become a Registered Dietitian or Dietetic Technician, Registered and to maintain that credential(s). Enforcement of violations are rare and are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Examples of non-permitted uses, may include:
- credential use by non-credentialed individuals
- credential use in trademark filings for products (nutrition and dietetics related)
- credential use on a product (nutrition and dietetics related)
Policy reconfirmed by CDR Commission March 2, 2021 and examples added March 18, 2021.
RD and RDN are two credential designation options for one certification program. Practitioners may choose to use one or the other.
To report misuse of the RD or RDN credential, please contact CDR’s Interim Executive Director, Sharon M. McCauley, MS, MBA, RDN, LDN, FADA, FAND (firstname.lastname@example.org), 1/800-877-1600, ext. 4723).
History of Academy/CDR Credential Policy
Posted with permission from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics