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Ethics 101: What Dietitians in Online Business Need to Know

If you think ethics is dry or only for those in clinical practice, think again!

Most ethics CEUs for dietitians are focused on HIPAA and clinical care. But dietitians are creating booming virtual private practices, thriving blogs and lucrative online courses. This leap into the digital world challenges dietitians to understand and apply ethics principles in unfamiliar ways.

  • Are you taking necessary precautions to protect data of your website users?
  • Does your email list signup form include explicit consent? And does it need to?
  • What counts as adequate disclosure on social media or your blog if you’re being paid by a brand for sponsored content?

These questions are anything but dry. They impact you everyday when doing business online.

Ethics CEU for Dietitians

This self-study ethics CEU (1.5 CEUs) for dietitians covers key concepts that online business owners need to know. Do more than satisfy your ethics requirement – give your online business a valuable ethics check-up.

*Disclaimer: This product is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice.  Consult an attorney for any legal questions.

What this self-study ethics CEU activity covers:

  • Marketing Your BusinessWhat does the Academy’s Code of Ethics require?

The internal tension between the role of dietitian and online marketer can be a fine tightrope to walk – and that’s even before ethics is thrown into the mix!  Online marketing may not be a natural skill for many RDs, and the legal and ethical issues can make it feel that much more challenging.

Utilizing the four principles in the Academy’s Code of Ethics and a decision-making framework, you can uphold your ethical obligations while running a profitable online business.

  • Website EssentialsBasics of privacy, security, consent, and accessibility

If you have a website, you need to be cautious about how you handle site visitor data. This is true from both an ethical and legal perspective.

Start with a basic understanding of how to protect your website with technology, what elements to include in your privacy policy and when to get consent for tracking visitor data. Make sure your website, social media posts, and videos can be accessed and enjoyed by those with any type of disability.

  • Email MarketingKnow the ethical and legal requirements

Email marketing can be a powerful way to reach your target audience and generate sales – but there are key ethical and legal issues to understand.

From growing your email list with a freebie to promoting a product as an affiliate, you must understand requirement for consent, disclosure, and privacy.

  • Sponsored Content and Affiliate Marketingdisclosing partnerships

Many brands are realizing the power of partnering with dietitians to promote their products or services. It seems like a win-win:  the brand can reach a key target market, while the dietitian benefits by being paid for their endorsement and reach.

Ethical guidelines set forth by the Academy require dietitians to disclose conflicts of interest, including financial interests in products or services that are recommended. Learn what, when and how to disclose.

  • Digital Productsethics applied to claims, pricing, and refunds

If you’re selling courses, e-books, or other digital products on your website or social platforms, there are some additional considerations. From pricing to refunds and claims about results, e-commerce requires ethics best practices.

  • Testimonialsobtaining and using social proof ethically

While in years past people may have sought out RD recommendations from their doctor, many have shifted to researching options online. Testimonials are a valuable way of providing “social proof” for a service or product, but must follow the Academy’s standard to respect patient/client autonomy.

Is this ethics CEU for dietitians right for me?

The Ethics 101: What Dietitians in Online Business Need to Know self-study activity is for RDNs and NDTRs with an online business (or are thinking about one in the future) – not just those with a private practice.

If you have a website, social media accounts that you utilize for business purposes, this content will apply to you.

By being mindful about marketing, protecting your audience’s data, embracing accessibility, and following other best practices related to email marketing, disclosures, and testimonials – you’ll be able to uphold your ethical obligations while running your profitable online business.

This self-study activity meets the requirements for the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s required 1 CPE credit on ethics in each 5-year cycle of their Professional Development Portfolio.

Will this meet my ethics CEU requirement?

This self-study activity meets the requirements for the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s required 1 CPE credit on ethics in each 5-year cycle of their Professional Development Portfolio.

How do I complete the activity and receive a CEU Certificate?

Immediately after purchase you will receive a link to download the materials to review and instructions on how to access and take the test.

CDR Activity Number: 165202

Expiration Date (must be completed prior to this date): 09/03/2024

CDR CPE Type: 720, Self Study Activity Printed

CPE Level 2

CEUs: 1.5 (meets ethics requirement)

This self-study reading and test must be completed prior to the expiration date. To obtain your continuing education certificate, you must review the material provided, take and pass an online test (80% or higher passing score), and complete a simple evaluation. You may re-take the online test as many times as needed prior to the expiration date.

How will I record this activity on my Professional Development Portfolio?

Each continuing professional education activity must be logged as required by CDR. Activities must apply to specific performance indicators you’ve selected on your learning plan. Many activities can apply to several different indicators.

Suggested CDR Performance Indicators*:

  • Sphere 1 Ethics Professionalism (1 CPE credit on ethics is required in each 5-year cycle)
    • 1.1.1 Participates and documents engagement in professional development activities to maintain and enhance competence.
    • 1.2.1 Recognizes and discloses any conflicts of interest, including any financial interests in products or services.
    • 1.3.1 Recognizes actual or potential ethical issues and dilemmas encountered in practice.
  • Sphere 4 Critical Thinking and Decision Making
    • 4.2.1 Identifies potential or real problems, issues or challenges.
  • Sphere 11 Business, Industry and Product Development and Marketing
    • 11.4.1 Stays abreast of changing trends and technology in promotion, marketing and advertising.
    • 11.4.4 Ensures advertising information is balanced, accurate and in the public’s best interest.

Note: *Numerous other CDR Learning Need Codes and Performance Indicators may apply.

What are the learning objectives for this ethics CEU for dietitians?

After completing this continuing education self-study activity, the learner should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of how the Code of Ethics applies to online business and general marketing activities.
  2. Recognize ethical dilemmas related to presenting digital products online, disclosing partnerships and sharing testimonials.
  3. Identify strategies to make social media and website content accessible to any with disability.
  4. Apply the concepts of consent, privacy and disclosure to email marketing as they relate to maintaining integrity, transparency and honesty.

This self-study activity meets the requirements for the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s required 1 CPE credit on ethics in each 5-year cycle of their Professional Development Portfolio.

Disclaimer: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy) and Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) are not responsible for the provider’s interpretation of the Academy/CDR Code of Ethics for the Nutrition and Dietetics Profession or its enforcement as it relates to the scenarios and content presented in this activity.

Do more than satisfy your ethics CEU requirement – give your online business a valuable ethics check-up.

Purchase this comprehensive self-study ethic CEU activity today (1.5 CEUs).

Utilize the ethical standards presented in the Academy’s Code of Ethics and learn essential elements for online business. Make the leap into the digital world informed and confident.


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  • Ethics CEU for Business

    This was a well-written, easy-to-understand & VERY useful self-study unit. Practical advice for private practice dietitians with any kind of web presence. I actually leaned something that I can use!

  • Great way to get your Ethics CEU especially for private practice RDs

    Quick, easy to understand, informative, thought provoking. Points out matters that can be addressed immediately like affiliate disclosure transparency.

  • Ethics course review

    This was excellent information–short, concise and packed with helpful information–and a great price.

  • Fabulous way to get done Ethics CEU

    Very well written and useful for me as a Private Practice dietitian. Learned a lot from this course. So nice to have this taken off of my To Do list!

  • Great way to get your ethics CEU requirement done!

    This is the BEST ethics CEU opportunity I have done.
    The self-study guide is well organized, easy to read, and 100% applies to the online dietitian.
    It always feels great to get this off my ‘to-do list. I enjoyed the material and plan to implement what I learned starting now.

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