The official certification is a "CDE" -- Certified Diabetes Educator.
This is typically an RN (Registered Nurse) OR a Registered Nutritionist/Dietician; other typical disciplines include pharmacists, doctors, and physical therapists. Other medical people can certainly become a CDE, but it might be much harder for them, not having the scientific background. Also, people who do NOT have a CDE certainly can and do effectively teach clients/patients about management of diabetes. But, of course, the CDE certification proves that the person has had extensive experience and training beyond the ordinary.
To sit for the official CDE exam and become certified, a person must first have the prerequisite experience and education. Here is a direct cut and paste from the CDE website:
" Since 1986, the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators has offered certification in the field of diabetes education.
The Certification Process for Diabetes Educators to obtain the credentials "Certified Diabetes Educator" is discussed below. These requirements are from the NCBDE website, at http://www.ncbde.org/eligibilityreq.html
Eligibility Requirements for Initial Certification
To qualify for the Certification Examination for Diabetes Educators, the following requirements must be met:
1. Professional Education
A. An active, unrestricted license from the United States or its territories as a registered nurse, occupational therapist, optometrist, pharmacist, physical therapist, physician (M.D. or D.O.), physician assistant, podiatrist, or registration as a dietitian by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
B. A minimum of a master's degree, from a United States college or university accredited by a nationally recognized regional accrediting body, in one of the following areas: nutrition, social work, clinical psychology, exercise physiology, health education, or specified areas of study in public health*.
*Advanced degrees in public health must be in an area of concentration specific to health education, health promotion, health and social behavior, or health communications.
2. Professional Practice Experience
After meeting the education requirement and before applying for the Certification Examination, all (A through C) of the following requirements must be met:
A. A minimum of two years (to the day) of professional practice experience in diabetes self-management education in health care settings within the United States or its territories.* Only experience occurring AFTER completing the education requirement may be counted toward this requirement.
B. A minimum of 1,000 hours of diabetes self-management education experience within the past five years.* Work experience is defined as employment in diabetes patient education for compensation.
All experience must be in health care settings within the United States or its territories.
C. Current employment in a primary role as a diabetes educator a minimum of four hours per week, or its equivalent, at the time of application.
* All professional practice experience requirements must be met at the time of application. "
the exam itself, which currently costs $350, is difficult and extremely detailed. Continuing Education credits are required each year to maintain the right to call yourself "Certified."
so, it's a long-range goal, and usually takes a few years to achieve. That's why someone who is an actual CDE really knows his / her stuff!
i hope this helps! Having diabetes yourself gives you the personal experience to really relate to your clients. I believe this is really helpful as a CDE. Good luck!