Certified Clinical Transplant Dietitian (CCTD)

NATCO is pleased to offer the Certified Clinical Transplant Dietitian (CCTD). This certification recognizes registered dietitians practicing in transplantation who have met strict eligibility requirements encompassing registration status, experience, and professional engagement.

The purposes of this certification are to:

  • Recognize individuals who have met professional standards and who possess clinical expertise based on specialized experience and professional engagement in transplantation
  • Help registered dietitians distinguish themselves as advanced practitioners in the nutrition care of transplant candidates, recipients, and living donors
  • Enhance professional and public recognition of transplant dietitians
  • Reassure patients and their families of professional nutrition services specific to transplantation
  • Increase awareness of transplant nutrition as a highly specialized , professional classification of clinical nutrition
  • Provide a mechanism for the attainment of a professional distinction and expertise, and to promote professionalism within the transplant dietitian community


Eligibility for Certification

The CCTD certification is valid for three years, after which an application must be submitted for recertification. Initial eligibility requirements are listed below. Eligibility will be evaluated by the Transplant Nutrition Workgroup.


Core Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for the CCTD, individuals must meet all the following core requirements:

1) Must be an active Registered Dietitian with the Commission of Dietetic Registration or a body determined to be equivalent if not located in the United States
2) Obtain a minimum of 4000 hours (2 full years) of transplant dietitian experience
     Examples of transplant dietitian experience included the following:

  • Interaction with transplant candidates, recipients, and living donors.
  • Attendance of transplant specific meetings (e.g. Patient Selection, Quality, etc.…..).
  • Participation in transplant rounds or performance improvement projects.
  • Providing transplant nutrition education to staff


Additional Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for certification as a CCTD, individuals must meet the core requirements outlined above and have completed at least one of the following in the prior 5 years:

  • Published a transplant nutrition-related article in a peer-reviewed journal or book.
  • Provided an oral presentation on a transplant nutrition-related topic (can include roundtable or panel discussions) at a national transplant or nutrition conference.
  • Provided a webinar presentation on a transplant nutrition-related topic for a national transplant or nutrition organization.
  • Presented a poster on a transplant nutrition-related topic at a national transplant conference.
  • Served on a national committee related to transplant and/or transplant nutrition for a minimum of 1 year.
  • Attended a national transplant or transplant nutrition conference two times.
  • Complete a minimum of 30 transplant specific CEU’s.

Transplant-specific education includes the following:

Any offering from NATCO or other national transplant-related organizations such as:

· American Foundation for Donation and Transplantation (AFDT)
· American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS)
· American Society for Transplantation (AST)
· International Liver Transplant Society (ILTS)
· International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT)
· International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS)
· Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance (The Alliance)
· United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)


Any offering from a national nutrition or medical organization specific to transplant nutrition or transplant dietitian practices. These organizations may include:

· The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
· American Society of Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition (ASPEN)
· National Kidney Foundation (NKF)
· Dietitians in Nutrition Support


Any offering that provides Category 1 CME approved credits on a transplant specific topic.

NATCO Transplant Nutrition Workgroup will accept any of these educational offerings regardless of whether they have been approved by bodies like the Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR).


Frequently Asked Questions

1)  What is the deadline to apply for the CCTD certification?

CCTD applications can be submitted anytime but are only processed twice annually, April 1st and October 1st.

2)  Is a written test required to obtain the CCTD certification?

No, the CCTD is an experience-based certification.

3)  When will I be notified of a decision regarding my CCTD status?

The CCTD workgroup will review and process all applications. You will receive a decision via email typically within 4 weeks from the processing date by the CCTD committee. A congratulatory email and electronic certificate will also be emailed to each approved applicant. 

4)  What happens if my application is found to be incomplete or requires additional clarification?

The CCTD workgroup will email applicants with incomplete or non-conforming eligibility documentation for further clarification. Applicants are then given 10 days to respond or the application is denied. 

5)  What does the CCTD workgroup consider a "National Transplant or Nutritional Conference"?

A national conference is most often characterized by speakers from multiple institutions, is targeted to a professional audience and provided accredited CEUs. Applicants submitting under the eligibility requirement of a national conference must submit documentation to this effect. 

6)  How do I know if my CEU is "transplant specific"?

Details of acceptable "transplant specific" CEUs are outlined on the NATCO website and application. Acceptable transplant specific CEUs could be any educational offering from NATCO or other national transplant-related organization regardless of topic. Educational offering from non-transplant related organizations are only acceptable if the topic is transplant nutrition or transplant dietitian practice specific and accredited by CDR or as a Category I CME credit. All CEUs must be related to solid organ transplant. Disease specific CEUs (e.g. ESRD, COPD, NASH/ESLD) will only be counted int he setting of transplant candidates, recipients, or donors. Transplant specific CEUs may be that of a general transplant topic, as overall transplant knowledge is important for transplant dietitian practice. 

7)  Can I use an acceptance letter as the qualifying experience requirement to apply or must I wait until the poster, webinar, or presentation is performed? 

Unfortunately, no. Being accepted to a National Conference is just part of the work. The skills of developing and performing the presentation are major components. Please wait until the presentation has been completed, then apply for CCTD certification. 

8)  What is the best way to provide the CCTD workgroup with my 30 CEUs?

Please provide a detailed attachment with the following documentation for all 30 Transplant Specific CEUs:

Title of education presentation
Date of completion
CEU credits and type (CDR or Category 1 CME)
Copy of certificate

9)  Can international practitioner apply for CCTD?

Yes, international applicants are encouraged to apply.

10)  How do I designate my credentials if I already have a specialist certification CNSC, CSR, CSP, or CSO etc.? 

Per Commission on Dietetic Registration:

Graduate academic degree
Specialty certifications with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (e.g. CSG, CSO, SCP, CSSD, CSR)
Licensure designation, other certifications (e.g., CDE, CNSC). Do not modify your current licensure designation.

Example: Jane Doe, MS, RDN, LD, CNSC, CCTD

11)  When do I need to re-certify my CCTD credential:

The CCTD certification last for 3 years, which at that time the practitioner can choose to reapply for certification. Details for re-certification are outlined on the NATCO website.

12)  Do you need to be a NATCO member to apply?

No. First time CCTD applicants will be offered a 1 year NATCO membership upon application as eligible. 

13)  What is the cost of CCTD certification/recertification?

Existing NATCO Member - $200 application fee includes a one-time, one-year extension of your current NATCO membership
New NATCO Member - $200 application fee and receive the first year of NATCO membership free
Non-NATCO Member - $200 application fee (does not include NATCO membership)

14)  What is a Category 1 CME?

Continuing Medication Education (CME) refers to a specific form of continuing education in the medical field commonly used by physicians. Category 1 CME credits are typically pre-approved prior to the continuing education event and is often noted on the attendance certificate. 

15)  Who processes the CCTD applications?

The CCTD Workgroup, composed of 6-10 transplant dietitians, process all applications and makes decisions regarding CCTD candidacy.