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Procedures for Review and Recognition of Non-US-Based Programs


Except as noted in this document, programs applying for accreditation status must use the 2008 Accreditation Standards and the ACEND Policy and Procedure Handbook. The 2008 Accreditation Standards and the ACEND Policy and Procedure Handbook are available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the International link located on the ACEND homepage.

Eligibility Requirements for Non-US Based Program Applying for Candidacy for Accreditation Status

ACEND will accept an application for candidacy for accreditation from a program located outside the US and its territories if it meets eligibility requirements as follows:

  1. The program must be housed in a college or university meeting the following sponsoring institution criteria:
    1. Colleges and universities outside the United States that are part of the US-based educational system must be accredited as such by the US regional institutional accreditor.
    2. Colleges and universities that are not part of the US-based educational system must be authorized under applicable law by the country's ministry of education or equivalent public entity to provide an educational program beyond secondary education.
    3. The institution must acknowledge that ACEND Standards are educational standards based on dietetics practice in the United States. (ACEND does not seek input from the dietetics profession outside the United States in forming these Standards for dietetics education programs; therefore, quality measures may not reflect professional preparation required in countries outside the United States and its territories.)
    4. If the sponsoring institution is a non-English language institution, the institution must provide all program documents (application materials, published materials, course outlines, handbooks) to ACEND and its reviewers in English.
    5. The institution must agree to pay the actual costs incurred for the recognition review and site visit, including a bilingual interpreter if necessary. (See the fee schedule for current fees.)
  2. The program must be integrated within the administrative structure of the college or university as evidenced by an organization chart showing the relationship of the program to other programs/services.
  3. If accreditation or a quality assurance process has been established by the country's professional association or regulatory board for dietetics, the program must be recognized by this process before applying to ACEND for candidacy for accreditation.
  4. The program must be in operation and have graduated at least one class of students who has completed all requirements for the program and degree as stated in #5 below.
  5. The program must be equivalent to a Coordinated Program (dietitian level).
    1. To be equivalent to a Coordinated Program (dietitian level), the program must provide didactic instruction, at least 1200 hours of supervised practice experiences, and identify at least one concentration area, as described in Standard Two of the ACEND accreditation standards. The program must culminate in at least a baccalaureate degree equivalent to a baccalaureate degree conferred by a US regionally accredited college or university.
  6. The sponsoring institution must have designated a director for the program who:
    1. has earned at least a master's degree equivalent to a master's degree conferred by a US regionally accredited college or university,
    2. has completed formal education and training in food, nutrition, or dietetics verified by the country's professional association and/or national regulatory body, and
    3. is employed full-time by the college or university responsible for the program.
  7. The program must have a budget to support the program.

Process for Candidacy for Accreditation Status

The process for Candidacy for Accreditation status includes an eligibility application, submission of a self-study report, and a site visit by an ACEND review team. This is a three-step process. ACEND staff is available to assist in answering questions regarding preparation of the eligibility application and the self-study document, and scheduling the site visit. The eligibility and self-study formats outlined next should be followed when writing the reports.

  1. Submit the Eligibility Application
  2. Submit the Self-Study Application
  3. Schedule the Site Visit

Detailed Description of Each Step and Site Visit Procedures »


The ACEND staff at Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, USA responds to inquiries and provides assistance to organizations before, during and after the evaluation process. For more information, call 312/899-0040, ext. 5400 or e-mail or e-mail

Source: ACEND/April 2008

ACEND reserves the right to periodically review and revise these policies and procedures. It is the responsibility of the program and sponsoring institution to contact the Academy Accreditation staff to request current information.