Renewing My CDCES – What is Required?

You have passed the CDCES Exam (yay) and 5 years have flown by, now you are up for renewal. How do you maintain your certification?

The rules around renewing can be a little confusing, so here are excerpts from the CBDCE Website and Newsletter that we hope you find helpful! Of course, for any additional questions or special situations, we recommend you visit the CBDCE Website or check out the links toward the end of the article.

For CDCES Recertification, there are three paths you can take.

Path 1. Renew through earning CEs
Path 2. Renew by taking the Exam
Path 3. Renew by taking the Exam and earning CEs

For Path 1 and 2 you need to:

  1. Accrue 1,000 hours of professional practice experience during the 5-year cycle
  2. Continue to hold the license or registration (e.g. RN, RD, MD, PA, etc.) for the same discipline held at the time of initial certification. This license or registration must be current, active, and unrestricted at the time of renewal.
  3. Renew by taking an Exam or earning 75 CE’s (see details below)

Path 3, this option is for those not able to meet the 1000 hour practice experience requirement, but applicants must:

  1. Continue to hold a license ( (e.g. RN, RD, MD, PA, etc.)
  2. Take the CDCES Exam
  3. Earn 75 CE’s (see details below)

Cost and Time Frame

The cost to renew your CDCES Certification is well worth the $250 dollars ($50 per year). This certification is widely recognized and respected by people with diabetes, health care professionals, and employers alike.

Time Frame: Certification is valid for a five-year time frame with an expiration date that ends on December 31st of the last year of the certification cycle.

  • Example: Coach Beverly last renewed her CDCES in March of 2017. She will need to renew her certification (by exam or CEs) by December 31st of 2022.

As many of you know, I choose to take the exam every 5 years to renew my CDCES. But, most people choose to renew through CEs. See the information below.

How do you Earn the 75 CEs required for Path 1 & 3?

When renewing by Renewal Pathway 1 and 3, you will need to earn a minimum of 75 CE hours during your accrual cycle. You can do this by only accruing 75 CE hours under the “Formal Activities” or you can mix and match with “Formal” and “Expanded Activities.”

Formal activities include:

  • Continuing education courses
  • Independent study
  • Seminars
  • Online programs
  • Workshops
  • Telephonic or video conference programs
  • Conferences

Expanded activities include:

If you are using “Expanded Activities,” there are limits on each “Expanded Activity,” and the maximum hours you can claim during your accrual cycle is 30 CE hours from the “Expanded Activities” Category.

Feel free to mix and match from both the “Formal” and “Expanded” categories as long as at least 45 hours of CE activities fall under the “Formal” category. 

Formal Category CE Requirements

The Activities in the “Formal” Category must meet identified requirements. All of the 75 CE hours can be accrued under the “Formal” category.

Continuing Education Hour Defined: – All continuing education activities must be reported in clock hours. One clock hour equals 60 minutes.

For the “Formal” category of continuing education, activities must be:

  • Provided by or approved by a provider on the CBDCE List of Recognized Providers.
  • Applicable to diabetes. All subject matter on the Certification Exam Content Outline is considered applicable.
  • Completed before the application deadline and before submitting the application, or by December 15 if using the Grace Period.
  • At a professional level that enhances the quality and effectiveness of the practice of diabetes care and education.

For more details on the qualifying activities, review Guidelines for Reporting Continuing Education Activities and the Renewal Handbook.

Is it Worth all this Work? – YES!

Achieving my CDCES is one of the best and most meaningful investments in professional career! ~ Coach Beverly


Accreditation: Diabetes Education Services is an approved provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider 12640, and Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), Provider DI002. Since these programs are approved by the CDR it satisfies the CE requirements for the CDCES regardless of your profession.*

*The use of DES products do not guarantee successful passage of the CDCES exam. CBDCE does not endorse any preparatory or review materials for the CDCES exam, except for those published by CBDCE.”**To satisfy the requirement for renewal of certification by continuing education for the Certification Board for Diabetes Care & Education (CBDCE), continuing education activities must be applicable to diabetes and approved by a provider on the CBDCE List of Recognized Providers (www.ncbde.org). CBDCE does not approve continuing education.

Diabetes Education Services is accredited/approved by the Commission of Dietetic Registration which is on the list of CBDCE Recognized Providers.”