Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists


A Vision for the Future 

The repositioning of the specialty is an outgrowth of our new vision to drive optimal outcomes through the integration of diabetes clinical management, education, prevention and support.

This was an acknowledgement that while diabetes education is at the heart of what you do, it isn’t all you do. A new title was needed for both the specialty and the association that conveyed your full role, and new resources were needed in order to ensure all diabetes care and education specialists remain on top of the field. Read more about the extensive research process that brought us to this point

Your Role

The new title helps to bridge the gap between the clinical and self-management aspects of care, but on an individual level, it’s critical that you reinforce this in your practice. It means elevating your role as a key diabetes technology resource, demonstrating your range within the full cardiometabolic spectrum and ensuring that you are equipped to provide person-centered care and support the emotional well-being of the whole person with diabetes.

More specifically, you can take these action steps: 

  1. Update your title wherever it appears. This includes email signatures, signage, business cards, your website and any social media channels. If you have the (formerly called) certified diabetes educator credential, make sure you’ve updated any mentions to reflect the new name certified diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES). If you are an ADCES Fellow, be sure to change your credential to FADCES.
  2. Review your skillset and ensure you are working at the top of your scope. ADCES has created self-assessment worksheets in our Roadmap for the Profession Page to help you identify and address gaps in knowledge and opportunities to fully step into this role.
  3. Spread the word. Communicate your value to area primary care offices, your health system leadership and colleagues. Access an employer guide and a sample job description template, also on our Roadmap for the Profession Page.    

We must ensure that everyone knows your role as a core member of the larger care team, offering care that positively impacts quality and cost, and enhances the experience for both the person with diabetes and the provider. 

Next Steps

Accompanying this new vision for the specialty is a commitment to provide all diabetes care and education specialists with enhanced education and training opportunities, new practice guidance and supporting advocacy.

Adopt a population health mindset. It’s a model of care that effectively integrates the clinical and self-management, and where health care is headed. If you’ve heard of population health but don’t see where you fit into it, take a look at some of our resources that offer an introduction on the topic. Learn more

Become tech proficient. Through our technology website and member-only benefit,, you can become an expert at diabetes technologies and data interpretation. Danatech offers a wide variety of online courses, free certificate programs, podcasts and product demos on CGM devices, digital health platforms, insulin and medication delivery devices, pumps and apps. Learn more

Demonstrate your expertise within the full range of cardiometabolic conditions: hypertension, obesity, prediabetes, diabetes and cardiac disorders. We’re placing an increased focus on reinforcing knowledge and skills you already have while building new ones. Several CVD campaigns will be launching this year, but we already have new practice guidance on obesity and diabetes, and a wide variety of recorded webinars. Learn more

ADCES is working to expand the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP). Working collaboratively with diabetes care and education specialists, we provide education and technical assistance to become a lifestyle coach and implement the National DPP. Learn more

Increase your focus on behavioral and mental health. As a central touchpoint for individualized care, it’s imperative that diabetes care and education specialists assess the mental and behavioral health of clients and refer to a mental health provider when appropriate. While you can’t effectively address all aspects of behavioral health, there are many ways to integrate it into your practice. We recently released practice guidance on mental health that is a must read. We also have many webinars and annual conference sessions devoted to helping you provide this level of person-centered care. Learn more

Offer care that is person-centered and inclusive. Diabetes care and education specialists are already known for this, but who couldn’t receive a refresher now and then. Take a listen in on several podcasts that explore cultural competency and health literacy. Learn more

Promote your role as core to achieving the Quadruple Aim. We know that DSMES improves outcomes but does everyone? Join us as we work to spread the word at the national level through partnerships with allied organizations, conversations with healthcare decision makers, media outreach, and legislative and regulatory fixes. Learn more

Join us as we expand your role and impact.


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