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Professional Standards

Includes an overview, definitions, trainings, resources, food safety, compliance, policy guidance, FAQs, and contact information to assist School Nutrition Programs personnel in implementing the professional standards requirements.

Overview

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established professional standards with minimum requirements for hiring and annual training hours for School Nutrition Programs (SNP) personnel. The standards apply to all school food authority (SFA) personnel who manage or work in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) in public, charter, and private schools; residential child care institutions; and food service management companies that have a contract with SFAs.

The professional standards:

  • Ensure that SNP personnel have the knowledge, training, and tools they need to plan and purchase healthy products to create nutritious, safe, and enjoyable school meals.
     
  • Assist SFAs in recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining qualified school nutrition employees.

  • Enhance the image of school nutrition professionals and their influence in the community.

  • Build skills and empower staff to lead and efficiently operate SNPs.

This web page was updated as of February 2019.

Definitions

There are definitions for job categories based on the employee’s role. To determine which job category applies, focus on the individual’s role, rather than the title as follows:

  • Director: Manages day-to-day operations of the school food service for all participating schools under the jurisdiction of the SFA. Refer to USDA FAQs 7 and 8 for clarification External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) (unique situations and examples).

  • Manager: Manages day-to-day operations of the school food service for one or more participating schools, but not all of the participating schools under the jurisdiction of the SFA.

  • Staff: Has a nonmanagerial role in day-to-day operations of the school food service.

There are definitions for minimum education and work experience requirements:

  • Equivalent educational experience: Refers to college credits completed by an individual who does not meet all the requirements for a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree. Refer to USDA FAQ 12 for more information External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) (unique circumstances).

  • Specific majors or areas of concentration: Refers to major in food and nutrition, food service management, dietetics, family and consumer sciences, nutrition education, culinary arts, business, or a related field.

  • Major in a related field: Refers to other college majors that would provide an applicant specific knowledge and skills that are relevant for a School Nutrition Program Director. Possible majors would include, but are not limited to, Food Science, Community Nutrition and Marketing, and Hospitality Management.

  • Relevant school nutrition programs experience: Refers to previous work experience in the NSLP and SBP, as well as experience in other Child Nutrition Programs (the Child and Adult Care Food Program or the Summer Food Service Program) if the latter experience is gained from working in a school. The intent of the professional standards regulations is to ensure that new School Nutrition Program Directors have the knowledge and skills to manage the program as required. At the discretion of the state agency, experience gained from working in a school food service operation outside of the USDA’s SNP could count. The rationale for hiring decisions must be well supported and documented.

Professional Standards in California

The California Department of Education (CDE) has developed some reference materials for the SNP personnel to clarify the specific policies that apply in California.  

For comprehensive information about the requirements, policies, and procedures for implementing the professional standards in California see SNP Management Bulletin SNP-10-2019 under Policy Memoranda within the Policy tab.

 

Trainings

Online Training about Professional Standards
Online Training Databases for Annual Training
In-Person Training

Online Training about Professional Standards

This section includes online courses that assist SNP employees in implementing the professional standards requirements. SNP employees may count these trainings towards the training hours required in the school year.

Course
Number
Course
Name
Training
Topic
Target
Audience

School Nutrition Association (SNA)

(External Source)

Human Resources and Staff Training
SNP Directors

USDA

(External Source)

Human Resources and Staff Training
SNP Directors

Institute of Child Nutrition

(External Source)

Human Resources and Staff Training
SNP Directors

Online Training Databases for Annual Training

This section included sources of job-related online trainings that will help SNP operators meet or exceed their annual training requirement

  • The CDE Child Nutrition Program Course Catalog is a catalog of online training courses for program operators participating in the SNP, After School Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Food Distribution Program, and Summer Food Service Program to assist with professional standards requirements, professional development, and compliance needs. The online courses are grouped by program and organized by the key areas of nutrition, operations, administration, and communication and marketing.

  • The USDA Professional Standards for School Nutrition Professionals web page External link opens in new window or tab. contains a database that is searchable by the following key areas: (1) nutrition, (2) operations, (3) administration, and (4) communications and marketing. Each training listed includes the source, format, learning objectives, date, and a web link to access the training.

  • The ICN Courses and Learning Plans web page External link opens in new window or tab. is searchable by selecting the Filter tab and choosing "School Nutrition". Find free online trainings for SNP directors, managers, and staff, designed to prepare participants to meet the challenges of day-to-day operations.

  • SNA’s How to Earn Training Hours for Professional Standards web page External link opens in new window or tab. web page contains a number of webinars, workshops, conferences, and online trainings available to earn continuing education units.

In-person Training

For in-person trainings, please refer to the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) Training Registration Module External link opens in new window or tab. or refer to the CNIPS Training Registration Instructions web page.

Resources

Below are resources to support implementation of the professional standards requirements in the SNP.

Resource Description
USDA Professional Standards Learning Objectives Handout External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) Handout with a list of training topics in the four Key Areas of Nutrition, Operations, Administration and Communications/Marketing. Each Training Topic has detailed Learning Objectives with Learning Codes. School nutrition professionals and trainers can use it to plan, select, and track training to meet the annual requirements.
USDA Professional Standards Training Topics Handout External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) Handout with a list of Training Topics and abbreviated Learning Objectives with Learning Codes, organized by Key Area. School nutrition professionals and trainers can use to plan, select, and track trainings to meet the annual requirements.
USDA Professional Standards for All SNP Employees Handout External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) Handout with a summary of the professional standards outlined in the Final Rule effective July 1, 2015. It is also known as the Summary Flyer.
USDA Professional Standards Training Tracking Tool External link opens in new window or tab. Web-based tracking tool provided by the USDA for program operators for tracking training attendance to ensure that the SNP employees meet the annual training requirement. SFAs may use this tool or an alternate tool.

California Department of Education's Sample Alternate Training Tracker Tool

(In the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System External link opens in new window or tab. )

This Excel-based training tracking tool is an alternative to the USDA’s tracking tool. Program operators may adapt this sample tool for their SFAs.
Institute of Child Nutrition Job Description Template for Child Nutrition Program Director/Supervisor/Administrator External link opens in new window or tab. Research-based job description template, including the general function and scope of responsibilities as described in the 14 functional areas for the District School Nutrition Director/Supervisor position.
School Nutrition Association (SNA) Training Content Development Guidelines External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) Guidelines for SNP directors and managers to use when creating continuing education training materials.

Additional Resources

 

Food Safety Trainings and Resources

Food Safety Training is required for all SNP Directors. Below are online courses and supporting resources that can help meet these requirements. Food safety training is strongly recommended for all other food service positions including: managers, full-time and part-time staff. All positions can use the online courses to meet their annual continuing education/training needs.

Online Trainings
Additional Online Training Databases
Resources
Additional Resource Databases

Online Trainings

Source Course Name Training Topic Target Audience

Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN)

(External Resource)

Food Safety
SNP Directors, Managers, and Staff

ICN

(External Resource)

Food Safety
SNP Directors, Managers, and Staff

USDA

(External Resource)

Food Safety
SNP Directors, Managers, and Staff

USDA

(External Resource)

Food Safety
SNP Directors, Managers, and Staff
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Food Safety
SNP Directors, Managers, and Staff

Additional Online Training Databases

  • The ICN Food Safety web page External link opens in new window or tab. has a wide-range of online courses on the food safety and food allergy topics including cooling food, employee health and personal hygiene, food safety basics, food safety in schools, and many more.

 

Resources

Below are resources to support food safety in the SNP.

Resource Description
Kansas State University
Food Safety Posters External link opens in new window or tab.
Posters available in English and Spanish from the Center of Excellence for Food Safety Research in Child Nutrition Programs (CNP).
National Education Association (NEA) Healthy Futures and the USDA The Stomach Bug Book External link opens in new window or tab.
A booklet available in English and Spanish to inform and educate school personnel on norovirus and provide helpful resources for the school community.
A guide for school nutrition staff working to create an environment of best practices in food safety.
The NEA Health Information Network Food Allergy Book External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This booklet explains what the school employees need to know about food allergies and allergic reactions.
This curriculum provides an instructors' guide for teaching food safety, participant manual, PowerPoint slides, and Food Safety Jeopardy.

Additional Resource Databases

  • The USDA Food Safety web page External link opens in new window or tab. provides science based food safety education, instruction and technical assistance resources to support program operators.

  • The California Department of Education Food Safety web page provides information and links about food safety during food preparation and transfer, and California Uniform Retail Food Facility Law requirements.

  • The ICN Food Safety web page External link opens in new window or tab. provides fact sheets, mini-posters, instructors’ manual, guide, assessments, and more.

Food safety training policy is located in the Professional Standards in the SNP Management Bulletin under Policy Memoranda within the Policy tab.

Compliance

The California Department of Education (CDE) monitors compliance with the professional standards during the administrative review (AR) which occurs every three years. The CDE provides technical assistance and requires corrective action when the standards are not met. There will be an off-site assessment and an on-site review. Please see the following AR guidance:

  • AR Off-site Assessment Tool (OAT) Guidance
    Prior to the on-site AR, sponsors are required to fill out an OAT. The off-site professional standards questions are numbered 1200–1209. You can download the OAT guidance in Child Nutrition Information and Payment System External link opens in new window or tab. (CNIPS) under SNP, Applications, Download Forms, Form ID SNP 58 AR, and refer to the professional standards questions on pages 22–24, Questions 1200–1209.

  • USDA AR Manual 2018–19
    The USDA provides guidance to state agencies on the areas of review. You can download the AR Manual in CNIPS External link opens in new window or tab. from the SNP Download Forms, Manual AR, and refer to the General Area–Professional Standards module on pages 169–174

  • On-Site AR Guidance Chart
    The reviewer conducts the on-site review to validate the information submitted in the OAT and observe the operation of programs at the SFA and in selected schools. Prior to the on-site AR, the state reviewer sends the On-site AR Guidance Chart to the sponsors to prepare all the documents for the AR. The on-site professional standards questions are numbered 1210–1219. You can download the On-Site AR Guidance Chart in CNIPS External link opens in new window or tab. from the SNP Download Forms, Form ID SNP 42, and refer to page 22.

Requirements for Tracking and Documenting Training

Program operators must track and document completion of the minimum required hours of job-related training annually by each SNP employee to demonstrate compliance with the professional standards for all SNP employees—Title7, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 210.30(g). They must maintain supporting documentation, such as the agenda and sign-in sheet or certificate of completion, for completed training. For tracking, they may either use the web based USDA Professional Standards Training Tracking Tool External link opens in new window or tab. or an alternate method.

Any alternate method of tracking must include: trainee’s first and last name, job category (director, manager, part-time staff, or full-time staff), training title, date training completed, credited training hours, and professional standards learning objective code. In California, key area and training topics are optional as they can be inferred from the learning objective code.

The CDE Sample Alternate Professional Standards Training Tracking Tool (Excel) is available for SFAs to organize and track employee training records to demonstrate compliance during the AR. You can download this tracking tool in CNIPS External link opens in new window or tab. from the SNP Download Forms.

Information

For more information regarding an AR, visit the CDE SNP AR web page.

 

Policy Guidance

Regulations

The USDA established minimum professional standards requirements for SNP personnel who manage and operate the NSLP and SBP.

Resource Description
Final Rule: Professional Standards for SNP Personnel as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 External link opens in new window or tab. The final rule institutes hiring standards for the selection of State and local SNP directors, and requires all personnel in the SNP to complete annual continuing education/training. These regulations are expected to result in consistent, national professional standards that strengthen the ability of school nutrition professionals and staff to perform their duties effectively and efficiently.
Correction to Final Rule External link opens in new window or tab. The Food and Nutrition Service published a final rule in the Federal Register,80 FR 11077, on March 2, 2015, to establish professional standards for state and local SNP personnel. The final rule omitted part of a criterion from the hiring standards established in Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR), Section 210.30(b) for local educational agencies (LEA) with 2,499 or fewer enrolled students. This document corrects the oversight by providing the missing regulatory text for7 CFR, Section 210.30(b)(1)(i)(B), and the summary chart in7 CFR, Section 210.30(b)(2). This document also makes a technical correction in7 CFR, Section 210.30(b)(3), to ensure readers clearly understand the annual training standards for SNP Directors. All other information in the final rule remains unchanged.
Final Rule Summary Flyer External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) Handout with a summary of the professional standards outlined in the Final Rule effective July 1, 2015.
Proposed Rule: Hiring Flexibility Under Professional Standards External link opens in new window or tab. This proposed rule would add four flexibilities to the hiring standards for new SNP directors in small LEAs and new SNP state directors under the professional standards regulations for the NSLP and SBP.

Policy Memoranda

The USDA and California Department of Education (CDE) have issued the following policy memoranda related to the professional standards. When merited, the CDE will release a subsequent management bulletin (MB) to include state specific policy guidance and further explain or clarify the topic.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

U.S. Department of Agriculture's Frequently Asked Questions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides extensive questions and answers in SP-38-2016 located in the Policy Memoranda section of the Policy tab.

 

California Department of Education's Frequently Asked Questions

The California Department of Education has created these questions and answers as a supplement to USDA's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General

  1. I am a new supervisor at my school site. I need help with understanding the professional standards for the School Nutrition Programs (SNP). What do we have to do to comply with requirements?
    Here are the recommended action steps and resources to implement the professional standards:
    • Learn about the new standards. See information available on the Policy tab.
    • Inform your district’s leadership, the human resources department, and the employee union about the new standards.
    • Assess if the person who performs the role of the SNP Director meets the hiring standards. Refer to the California Minimum Requirements for Hiring a New Director web page. Maintain supporting documentation to confirm compliance with the hiring standards during an administrative review. Check if the job description of SNP Director is consistent with the minimum hiring requirements of the professional standards. The Job Description Template for Child Nutrition Program Director/Supervisor/Administrator is available on the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) Job Description Template web page External link opens in new window or tab..
    • If the SFA has a contract with a food service management company (FSMC), make sure that the contract reflects the requirement of compliance with the professional standards.
    • Identify the minimum hours of training required annually for each employee who has a role in the SNP. Refer to the California Professional Standards by Position web page.
    • Assess learning objectives of the SNP employees and make a training plan to meet the annual training requirements. See Resources tab.
    • Find free or low-cost training opportunities and resources to meet your employees’ training needs. Visit the Training tab.
    • Find food safety training and resources on the Food Safety tab.
    • Select a tool to track progress in completing the annual training requirements. Either use the optional web-based USDA Professional Standards Training Tracking Tool or use an alternate method that includes the required fields as mentioned in the Compliance tab.
    • Start tracking completed trainings and saving documentation to demonstrate compliance with training standards. For each training completed, keep the certificate of completion or agenda and a sign-in sheet.
  2. What resources are available to find free or low-cost training opportunities to meet the professional standards?

    Visit the Training tab to learn about sources of free or low-cost training opportunities and resources.

  3. Do the hiring and training requirements apply to private schools, charter schools, and residential child care institutions (RCCI)?

    Yes, all agencies participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) are required to comply with the professional standards.

  4. Are membership dues for SNA an allowable expense?

    Yes, Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), section 200.454 states in part: "...costs of the nonfederal entity's membership in business, technical, and professional organizations are allowable."

 

Definitions

  1. Where do I find the definitions for managers and directors?

    Section 210.2 of 7 CFR, defines director, manager, and staff by their role in the operation and management of food services. Refer to USDA FAQs External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) 7, 8, and 25 for examples.

    • Director: Directly manages the day-to-day operations of school food service for all participating schools under the jurisdiction of the SFA.
    • Manager: Directly manages the day-to-day operations of school food service for some of the participating school(s), but not all of the participating schools under the jurisdiction of the SFA.
    • Staff: Functions in a nonmanagerial role in the day-to-day operations of the school food service for the participating school(s) under the jurisdiction of the SFA.
  2. If you only have one site in your district, are you a director or manager?

    If your role is to manage the day-to-day operations of this site, then you are responsible for complying with the professional standards for the director. For more information, refer to USDA FAQs External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) 7 and 8. See a sample job description for program director on the ICN Job Description Template web page External link opens in new window or tab..

 

Hiring Standards

  1. Are managers required to have a certain degree of experience?

    No. Minimum education and relevant experience requirements are only for new directors who are hired on or after July 1, 2015. However, review the responsibilities or duties of this person, not the title, to ensure that you are following the definitions established by the USDA.

  2. If districts have outdated job descriptions, are they required to update their descriptions?

    SFAs are strongly encouraged to update job descriptions to reflect the minimum education and relevant job experience requirements for directors as stated in the hiring standards outlined in the USDA final rule.

  3. We are a very small school and serve about 100 meals per day. We use an FSMC that does all the menu planning and food preparation while we are only the point of delivery. Do the professional standards apply to our agency? Can we use an entry-level staff member to serve the meals and ensure student tracking is handled correctly?

    The SFA must maintain oversight and responsibility for planning, administering, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the school meal programs; therefore, the role of program director must remain with the SFA. See USDA FAQs External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) 60, for when the FSMC representative performing the program director’s duties and the SFA director or contact whose name is on the SFA-state agency permanent agreement must comply with the hiring and training standards of the director. Refer to USDA FAQs External link opens in new window or tab.(PDF) 7 and 8 for typical responsibilities of a program director.

    You may use an entry-level staff member to serve the meals and ensure student tracking is handled correctly. You must ensure that this individual receives job-related training to meet the minimum annual training requirements. The SFA must also ensure that FSMC personnel comply with the training standards. Refer to USDA FAQs External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) 58–61 for more information.

 

Paying for Training

  1. Is the SFA nutrition services department required to provide all training hours to nutrition services employees? Can the SFA's nutrition services department provide partial professional development hours and require the nutrition services employee to seek the remaining hours on their own time and pay out of pocket (if needed)?

    It is not appropriate to require employees to meet the training requirements using their own time or money. It is the SFA’s responsibility to ensure that all SNP personnel who operate or manage the food service program complete the required number of hours of job-related training annually. SFAs may pay for staff training from the cafeteria fund. For free or low-cost training resources, refer to the Training tab.

 

Who Must Comply with Training Standards

  1. Do training standards apply to RCCI's? If yes, does this mean that every year I have to train all of our 100 plus staff (since all have the potential to serve meals) for the hours stated in this final ruling instead of just providing short civil rights training and the short claiming training? That would be a huge expense for our facility and would affect our budget greatly.

    Yes, the professional standards apply to all agencies that participate in the NSLP or SBP. This includes RCCIs. Staff are required to complete 4–6 hours of job-related training annually, depending on the number of hours they work per week in the SNP. See USDA FAQs External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) 18–51 regarding training standards. Also refer to the Training tab for resources to find free or low-cost trainings.

  2. Are acting, temporary, or substitute workers, and volunteers required to meet professional standards for training?

    No, in California there is no minimum annual training requirement for acting, temporary, or substitute workers, and volunteers. The CDE strongly encourages SFAs to provide job-related food safety training to all individuals who handle food. SFAs are not required to maintain records and documentation for any training that acting, temporary, or substitute workers, and volunteers complete.

  3. Do these regulations include office staff, such as secretaries, accountants, warehouse staff and maintenance employees who are full supported by the cafeteria fund?

    Yes, the training standards apply to all employees with a specific role in food service operations. If a person provides support to the operation of the SNP, but is not specifically involved in it, such as a custodian, then compliance with training standards is not required (even if they are paid from the cafeteria fund).

    The program director or manager must examine the job duties of program staff to determine who has a specific role in food service operations and what job-specific training they need to perform their jobs effectively and in compliance with program regulations. Individuals such as cooks, cashiers, and others who are involved in the preparation and service of school meals; secretaries and accountants involved in eligibility determination or meal counting and claiming, etc.; and warehouse or food delivery staff who may have an effect on food safety are required to meet the training standards. Refer to the USDA FAQs External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) 30-36, 42, 46 and 58 for examples.

  4. How do you make the employees come to training if it does not fall within their work day?

    You may use different training formats such as online, self-paced, staff meetings for training time, training in 15-minute increments, and collaboration with neighboring SFAs for group training. Some SFAs provide an in-service day. Work with your human resources department to determine the best strategy for implementing the professional standards. Refer to USDA FAQs External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) 52 and 55.

  5. If part-time staff refuse to attend the training, what should I do?

    Before implementing the new professional standards, first contact your human resources department to find out what actions you may take if staff refuse to attend training. Consider a training survey to determine the training needs of staff and offer different training options to meet those needs. If staff still refuses to attend training, follow the established personnel procedures in consultation with your human resources department. Refer to USDA FAQs External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) 55.

  6. Are there any unique training requirements or exemptions for charter schools using vendors (i.e., we manage the day to day tasks of the program, but not the menu planning, meal preparation, etc.)?

    Training standards do not apply to the staff of vendors that prepare and provide meals. Charter schools must comply with the annual training requirements. SNP staff in charter schools should receive job-related training, e.g., eligibility, verification, point-of-service meal count, food safety when serving the meal, etc.

 

Training Topics

  1. What kind of training topics can qualify for SFA staff training?

    Training must be based on the individual’s learning needs and should be relevant to their job duties. SFAs are not required to provide a specific number of training hours in each of the four key areas. You should determine the best training for your operations.

    To assess staff training needs and select training topics, refer to the Training Topics and Learning Objectives on the USDA School Meals Professional Standards web page External link opens in new window or tab.. Also refer to USDA FAQs External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) 23, 37, 38, 39, and 45.

  2. At the beginning of every school year, I conduct a training with all staff that includes blood borne pathogens, antibullying law, sexual harassment, and civil rights. Would this be an acceptable training?

    Yes, these are appropriate training topics and they align with the Learning Topics in the USDA Learning Topics web document External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF). Also refer to USDA FAQs External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) 23, 37, 38, 39, and 45.

  3. Does ServSafe count toward the training requirement?

    Yes, when counting creditable training hours, SFAs may include the time it takes to complete the ServSafe course and exam.

  4. What are key areas, key topics, learning topics, and learning objectives?

    The USDA training database and the training tracking tool refer to the four key areas, which are nutrition, operations, administration, and communications or marketing. Within each key area there are training topics. Each training topic has learning objectives. The USDA has developed a four digit code number to organize this information. For example, professional standards training fits under key area Administration (3000), training topic Human Resources and Staff Training (3400), and learning objectives Policies and Procedures (3420) and Training Plans and Tracking (3430).

 

Crediting for Professional Standards

  1. How do I count training hours?

    In trainings or meetings, the time spent on discussing or learning about subjects that align with the Training Topics and Learning Objectives located on the USDA School Meals Professional Standards web page External link opens in new window or tab. counts toward the annual training standards. This also applies to the business meeting segment of California School Nutrition Association chapter meetings. The time allocated for opening remarks, introductions, lunch, breaks, networking, and advocacy activities does not count toward annual training.

  2. Are conferences for directors allowed as part of the required hours?

    Yes, any time spent learning about training topics in the key areas is creditable. Time spent on noninteractive activities, such as exhibits where information, materials, or equipment relative to the learning objectives are provided or displayed, may count toward a maximum of two hours of annual training.

 

In-house Training by SFAs

  1. The final rule states that a director or manager who is providing training to staff may count that training time toward "part" of their annual training. Is there a limit on the number of hours a director or manager can use toward their own training requirement?

    An SFA director or manager may count the time it takes to deliver training to their staff toward part of their own annual training requirement. The time spent preparing to provide the training does not count. There is no limit on the number of hours earned in this manner. However, SFA directors and managers should assess their own personal training needs on an annual basis and ensure that adequate hours are devoted to meeting those needs. This will ensure that the knowledge you impart to SFA personnel is accurate, reflects advances in nutrition science, and incorporates any new program requirements.

  2. Are there any requirements for the individual(s) providing training to staff?

    No.

  3. How does the SFA certify their in-house training?

    There is no requirement for the SFA to certify their in-house training. SFAs are required to maintain records of the training event.

  4. We have safety talks each week for about 5-10 minutes - do these talks count as training?

    No, your training must be at least 15 minutes long to count toward the professional standard training requirement. SFAs may count and track training in 15-minute increments. Be sure to have a sign-in sheet for backup documentation of informal trainings as well.

  5. How would you convert 1.5 continuing education units (CEU) into hours?

    You would count 1.5 CEUs as equal to 1.5 hours of credit toward the professional standards.

  6. If we want to train staff internally for them to receive the hours necessary to meet the CEU requirement, do we need to have our agenda approved by the CDE for the hours to count?

    No, you do not need to request the CDE’s prior approval for your staff training agenda. Remember, the training should be pertinent to the employee’s job expectations. Please keep a copy of the agenda and sign-in sheet for backup documentation.

  7. Does any training that I do with my staff through the ICN count toward the requirements for staff and myself as the trainer?

    Yes. Training that you or staff complete through the ICN counts toward the training requirement. The manager or director providing training can count the time it takes to deliver the training toward their own training requirement. You will need to maintain documentation of all training and keep this material available for evaluation during your administrative review (AR).

 

Recordkeeping: Tracking and Documenting

  1. What records or documentation of training are SFAs in California required to maintain?

    Program operators must track and document completion of the minimum required hours of job-related training annually by each SNP employee. They may either use the USDA Professional Standards Training Tracking Tool External link opens in new window or tab. (PSTTT) or an alternate method. See the Resources tab for more information.

    An alternate method of tracking must include: trainee’s first and last name, job category (director, manager, part-time staff, or full-time staff), training title, date training completed, credited training hours, and professional standards learning objective code.

    Please note that key area and training topics are optional because they can be inferred from the learning objective code. For example, learning objective code 3430 indicates that key area code is 3000 and the training topic or learning objective code is 3400.

    Program operators must maintain supporting documentation, such as the agenda and sign-in sheet or certificate of completion, for completed training. SFAs must save records and documentation for the three school years that coincide with the time period specified for their next AR.

  2. How should I keep the training records?

    Each SFA needs to decide on a method to track the training completed by each person. Before selecting a tracking method, SFAs should try the USDA web-based PSTTT 2.0 External link opens in new window or tab.. This tool is free and has many attractive features such as: directors or managers can enter training for multiple employees; school contact information auto-populates; and it provides a list of trainings from the USDA training database. When training is selected, course information and training hours auto-populate. It also allows you to upload supporting documents for multiple employees at once. Reports generated by this tool are acceptable documentation to demonstrate compliance.

    If you are using an alternate method for tracking training, please make sure that it includes the required information. Remember to save supporting documentation for each training completed

 

 

Contacts

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Mandeep Punia, Nutrition Education Consultant (NEC), by phone at 916-323-6037 or by email at mpunia@cde.ca.gov; Melinda Yu, NEC, by phone at 916-323-2488 or by email at myu@cde.ca.gov or mail your questions to HHFKA@cde.ca.gov.

Follow @CDENutrition on Twitter.

 

Questions:   Education and Nutrition Policy Unit | HHFKA@cde.ca.gov
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, May 8, 2019
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