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Background about the Professional Standards Database

Professional Standards for school nutrition professionals is a key provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). The final rule, published March 2, 2015, requires a minimum amount of annual training hours for all state directors of school nutrition programs, state director of distributing agencies, school nutrition program directors, managers, and staff. Required training topic areas will vary according to position and job requirements. There are also minimum hiring standards for new state directors of school nutrition programs, state directors of distributing agencies that oversee USDA Foods, and school nutrition program directors. An additional final rule, published March, 1, 2019, adds four flexibilities to the hiring standards for new school nutrition program directors in small local educational agencies (LEAs) and new State directors of school nutrition programs under the Professional Standards regulations for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. 

More than 500 free or low-cost training resources are available in a variety of formats in our training database. The training listed in the database includes training that is available on-line, including webinars—as well as in-person training, and is fully searchable by training category. Each listing contains information about the training, including how to access, developer, date, learning objectives covered, and more. It is FNS’ intent that continuing education/training may be taken in a wide variety of formats and that training be accepted from a wide variety of other sources. 

Training provided by FNS, School Nutrition Association and other professional associations, commercial vendors, academic institutions, or provided in-house by the State agency or Local Education Agency are examples of some potentially acceptable sources. In addition the FNS Office of Food Safety offers food safety training, such as Produce Safety University, as well as other resources.

For more information about professional standards, visit 

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