Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Diploma in Improving Diabetes Care (IDC)

The Diploma in Improving Diabetes Care course, previously known as the Certificate in Diabetes Care (CIDC) course, is the UK’s leading foundation course in diabetes care. Over 14,000 healthcare professionals have enrolled on the course that provides the practical knowledge and skills necessary to provide an effective and efficient service for people with diabetes.

Sensitive to the constraints on busy healthcare professionals, the course aims to link theory directly with practice. The course is designed to meet the educational needs of all healthcare professionals with an interest in diabetes care and the assessments for the course build upon existing knowledge and help to develop new skills.

Please note: Participants need to be working in a clinical setting where they consult with patients, this is to ensure they can complete the assessments linked to the course. For further details, please contact the programme team.

Course Dates


Blended (face to face and online)

Course philosophy:

The course philosophy emphasises the needs and concerns of people with diabetes, those who care for them and in particular, the importance of enabling the person with diabetes to manage his/her own health care. The existing skills and experience of course participants are valued, shared and utilised within the programme.

Participants are at the centre of the learning process, taking an active role throughout and are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning in a supportive and facilitative environment.

Who is the course aimed at?

The course meets the educational needs of all healthcare professionals with an interest in diabetes care. This includes GPs, nurses, doctors, diabetes nurse specialists, pharmacists, dietitians, optometrists and chiropodists. Other suitably qualified and experienced applicants may be accepted on the course at the discretion of the Course Director.

Programme aims:

During the programme, we expect that you will:

  • Develop, extend and enrich your existing knowledge about diabetes and the care of people with diabetes, adapting your professional practice to all you have learnt
  • Use the evidence base to optimise the quality of diabetes care delivered in practice using appropriate medication, diet and lifestyle interventions
  • Take the opportunity to explore existing attitudes and beliefs in the practice of diabetes care
  • Explore and discuss the value of team working in diabetes care
  • Recognise the importance of interpersonal and effective communication skills in relationships with people with diabetes, family members/carers and colleagues in the delivery of diabetes care
  • Understand how you learn and how you apply your learning to your professional practice
  • Extend your network of people working in diabetes care, to share experiences, develop supportive relationships, and achieve an accredited qualification in diabetes care from The University of Warwick

Course structure:

To enable students to combine work and study, the course is undertaken over nine months.

The course emphasises:

  • Work-based learning
  • Practical experience
  • Self-directed learning

During the course students will be encouraged to take an active role in their own learning and have the opportunity to share experiences and practice with tutors and fellow students. A great deal of learning takes place within small groups and active learning is encouraged by the exchange of knowledge/information/experiences between students.

Many topics will be covered including:

  • The diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Long term complications
  • Acute Complications and treatment options

The course is offered in 3 modes of delivery to ensure that it is available to as many healthcare professionals as possible who wish to be able to deliver good quality diabetes care and management within the primary care environment.

Students who wish to pursue topics in greater depth can do so in their own time and utilise the range of facilities offered by the University. Skills learned during this course of study can be used in any future study. The University offer courses at Postgraduate level in diabetes for those students who wish to specialise in this area of medicine or gain a higher academic qualification after completion of this course.

Course Content:

Unit 1: Induction to University, study skills relative to course assignments, living with diabetes mellitus – a person centred approach, classification and diagnosis of diabetes.

Unit 2: Nutrition and diet in Diabetes, Physical activity and the impact upon diabetes management, Behaviour change in relation to diabetes management.

Unit 3: Oral Hypoglycaemic Agents, Cardiovascular risk assessment, Undertaking an audit in clinical practice, Evidence based practice.

Unit 4: Blood Glucose Monitoring, Insulin Therapy, Management of acute complications of diabetes.

Unit 5: The management of long term complications (macro vascular, nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy), Foot disease in diabetes, Eye disease in diabetes, Erectile dysfunction & Sexual health.

Unit 6: Specific Groups - Diabetes in older people, Pregnancy (including gestational), Ethnic minorities younger people, learning disabilities/mental health.

Teaching Methods:

The Education Team comprises of Assistant Professors with a range of backgrounds all of whom have extensive theoretical knowledge and practical experience. Backgrounds include:

  • Diabetes specialist nursing
  • General practice
  • Dietetics

Additional support is provided from a multidisciplinary team of University of Warwick Associate Clinical Professor.


The Diploma in Improving Diabetes Care is assessed and accredited by The University of Warwick to provide 30 CATS points at level 5. Participants undertake three pieces of coursework:

  • Case study
  • Audit of care
  • Poster

The assessments for the course are intended to be practical and useful both to develop your skills, and to improve the care of patients with diabetes in your practice.

The case study is a formative piece of work and is peer-reviewed during the course. This is designed to help appreciate the patient perspective and look at practice in a different way.

The audit contributes 40% of your final mark, and looks at an aspect of diabetes care in your practice. A report of 1500 words is submitted.

Your poster project will illustrate the changes you have implemented in your practice following your audit and the process behind this. It will demonstrate the implementation of a change in your chosen topic area to your clinical practice. This contributes 60% of your final marks and is submitted for marking at the end of the course.

You will receive feedback from your Course Leader to help you develop your assignment writing skills for the marked projects. Senior Teaching Fellows at Warwick Medical School are available to support you throughout your course.

Projects submitted by previous students have included:

  • Diabetes Lifestyle Clinics in the Community – monitoring and improving referral rates.
  • Implementing an Annual Review form for use in the outpatient clinic
  • Education and Empowerment of people with Diabetes
  • Implementation of a recall system for those with a previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes, and improving staff awareness of the issue.

The University has developed a range of online facilities to help students develop the necessary skills to complete this course of study (help with referencing, searching the literature, writing an assignment).

Entry requirements:

All applicants need to hold a recognised health related qualification (registered nurse/dietitian/podiatrist/doctor). In order to meet the needs of the assessment process, applicants will need to be working in a clinical setting and working with people who have diabetes mellitus to undertake this course.

Prospective students should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • The diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Long term complications
  • Acute complications
  • Treatment options

Additional requirements for online study:

All students will need access to a computer with a minimum of 64mb RAM, a graphics card supporting 800x600 resolution, a sound card, broadband internet connection, speakers/headphones, Microsoft Windows and email facilities.

Study online:

The online course allows you to study at your own pace online. There is no requirement for you to attend the on-site study days. The benefits of this method include:

  • Online tutor support from a dedicated teaching fellow
  • Excellent online library resources
  • Work flexibly to fit with your clinical workload
  • 24/7 access to electronic resources

Please consider the following requirements which will help you to decide if this online course is right for you.

  • Personal
    • Self-motivation to study
    • The ability and willingness to undertake work independently and to deadlines
    • The personal commitment to follow a distance learning course
    • Allocation of adequate study time
    • Support mechanisms both at home and at work
  • Technical (please read this information before registering for an online course)
    • All students will need access to a computer with a minimum of 64mb RAM, a graphics card supporting 800x600 resolution, a sound card, broadband internet connection, speakers/headphones, Microsoft Windows and email facilities
    • Ability to send and receive emails, Word documents and PDFs and upload files
    • Ability to use online communication tools e.g email and discussion forums and Microsoft Teams

Combine online and on-site learning:

For students who are unsure about committing to an entirely online course, we now offer a blended learning option. This allows students to attend the earlier sessions on-site, meeting their tutor and colleagues, then continuing the course through online learning.

Onsite will run May each year, exact dates can be provided upon enquiry.


  • Session 1 (Onsite): Living with diabetes; diagnosis; care pathways; behaviour change
  • Session 2 (Onsite): Nutrition; physical activity; oral therapies, cardiovascular risk
  • Session 3 (Onsite): Insulin treatments; blood glucose monitoring; acute complications
  • Session 4 (Online): Long term complications (foot disease; neuropathy; nephropathy; eye disease; sexual health)
  • Session 5 (Online): Special groups (older people, paediatrics/adolescence; BME groups; people with learning difficulties); gestational diabetes

Study in your local area:

Warwick offer two programmes based on a local delivery model: the Diploma in Improving Diabetes Care (IDC) and Optimising Glycaemic Control (OGC).

The local delivery model involves preparing your local diabetes specialists (e.g. Diabetes Specialist Nurses, doctors, dietitians, podiatrists, etc) to be Advanced Leaders to facilitate and deliver the courses in your locality. Warwick supports the local tutors with course content, and advises on formative assessments. The final project produced by the students is marked at Warwick, and students achieve an award from the University of Warwick.

The IDC programme focuses on improving the care of diabetes in primary care settings. The OGC programme helps clinicians work with their patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus to intensify treatment and optimise glycaemic control (using third level therapies).

The strength of these programmes is that they can be tailored in accordance with your local diabetes service agreements and local guidelines. Equally importantly, they offer professional development and skill enhancement for your Advanced Leaders.

Warwick Medical School has an unsurpassed international reputation for high quality learning and has been shown to bring about significant improvements in diabetes care throughout the UK.

The distance delivery model is the most cost effective way of delivering quality training to a workforce. If your CCG or Hospital wishes to start a distance delivery course or would like WMS to arrange for the course to be taught in your local area, please contact us.

Key Facts


Portfolio 3

Course title: Diploma in Improving Diabetes Care

Course Director: Jayne Hodgkiss

Duration: Nine months

Study mode: Part-time/Online/In local area

Fees: £1140.00

*20% Bursary available for all NHS employees

Please note this course fee is to be paid in full and is card payment only.

Listen to the Podcast

Group bookings

We are able to offer reduced rates for this course when block booking for groups. Find out more.

Cancellation Policy

A student may withdraw from a professional development course (PDC) event 31 days or more before the start of the event without charge.

If a student withdraws from a PDC event 30 days or less before the start of the event then they will be liable for 50% of the fee.