Credentialing for eating disorder clinicians: a pathway for implementation of clinical practice standards

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McLean, SA
Hurst, K
Smith, H
Shelton, B
Freeman, J
Goldstein, M
Jeffrey, S
Heruc, G
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Advances are needed to ensure safe and effective treatment is available for people with eating disorders. Recently developed clinical practice and training standards for mental health professionals and dietitians represent a significant step in this direction by providing a consensus statement on eating disorder treatment as a foundation on which to build competent practice. This commentary argues that a credentialing system could promote implementation of these practice standards through formal recognition of qualifications, knowledge, training and professional activities to meet minimum standards for delivery of safe and effective eating disorder treatment. Drivers for credentialing include the imperative to provide safe and effective care, promotion of workforce development in eating disorder practice and, importantly, readily available and transparent information for referrers, consumers, and carers to identify health professionals credentialed to provide eating disorder treatment. However, a number of factors must be considered to ensure that credentialing does not restrict access to care, such as prohibitively narrow criteria to become credentialed, absence of pathways for education, training, or professional development opportunities, and lack of consultation with or endorsement by stakeholders of the credentialing criteria, application and approval processes, and ways of identifying credentialed practitioners. Further work, including development of credentialing criteria and aligned training opportunities, currently being undertaken by the Australia & New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders and the National Eating Disorders Collaboration in consultation with stakeholders in the eating disorders sector and health professions will advance understanding of the feasibility of a system of credentialing for eating disorders within Australia and New Zealand. The availability of clinical practice and training standards, supported by implementation pathways, including credentialing of eating disorders practitioners, aim to improve quality of life, reduce financial burden, and close the treatment gap.

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Journal of Eating Disorders

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© The Author(s). 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

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Nutrition and dietetics


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McLean, SA; Hurst, K; Smith, H; Shelton, B; Freeman, J; Goldstein, M; Jeffrey, S; Heruc, G, Credentialing for eating disorder clinicians: a pathway for implementation of clinical practice standards, Journal of Eating Disorders, 2020, 8 (1), pp. 62