The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), formerly known as the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians (RD) or dietetic technicians, registered (DTR). ACEND serves and protects students and the public by assuring the quality and continued improvement of nutrition and dietetics education programs.
ACEND is recognized by the United States Department of Education as a Title IV gatekeeper. This recognition affirms that ACEND meets national standards and is a reliable authority on the quality of nutrition and dietetics education programs. ACEND is also a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) and abides by its code of good practice.
ACEND'S Accreditation Process
ACEND Accreditation Standards serve as the basis for each education program's evaluation. A program undergoing accreditation assesses its strengths and challenges based on ACEND's Accreditation Standards and describes its plans for improvement in a document called a "self-study report." The report is reviewed by a team of peer reviewers that includes an educator and a practitioner. An ACEND Board member and a staff member assist the team in its review. The team also visits the program to participate in a series of focused interviews, meetings, observations and tours. These activities provide information to validate the contents of the self-study report and further evaluate the program. The team writes its own report to document its findings and to objectively address key areas of ACEND's standards based on evidence provided by the program and gathered by the team. The ACEND Board of Directors reviews the team's report and uses it to arrive at a final accreditation decision.
ACEND publishes documents related to its accreditation process and makes them available to the public. Additional resources for directors of new and established programs are available through the Program Director Portal.