Professional Standards - School Nutrition
Hiring standards and continued professional development/training is required for school nutrition employees. The final rule, effective July 1, 2015, was released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2015. The standards are another key provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 with the purpose of ensuring all staff have training and tools necessary to plan and provide nutritious and enjoyable school meals.
Professional Standards for All School Nutrition Program Employees - Summary of the final rule effective July 1, 2015.
Food Service Director Hiring Standards Chart - Any Food Service Director hired on or after July 1, 2015, must meet minimal education and training standards. Individuals working as a School Food Service Directors prior to July 1, 2015 may remain in their positions or transfer to a similar position in another SFA of the same size category without having to meet the hiring standards.
Continuing Education Requirements -Annual continuing education requirements for all new and current School Nutrition Program staff have also been set.
Resources and Tools
Iowa Professional Standards Clarification: This document describes Iowa requirements for professional standards in areas where state agencies were given discretion under USDA rules. These areas include: Flexibility in hiring for schools with less than 500 enrollment; Training standards for volunteers and substitutes; Carrying training hours over two years; and No training credit for viewing exhibits. It also includes a flow chart for determining necessary training for individuals designated as SFA Authorized Representative if that individual is not the School Nutrition Director.
Guidelines and Resources for Training New School Nutrition Directors: This resource provides links to training in every area of responsibility for School Nutrition Directors. These links can also be useful for training other staff in those areas.
Training Plan for New School Nutrition Directors: This document helps the new director and his/her supervisor evaluate and plan the training needed for a successful school nutrition program.
USDA Guide to Professional Standards: This easy-to-use booklet is designed to help State agencies, school food authorities, and school nutrition professionals understand and apply the Final Rule on Professional Standards for School Nutrition Programs Personnel.
Learning Objectives: Training topics to meet professional standards are divided into four key areas: Nutrition, Operations, Administration and Communications/Marketing. Training should meet one or more of objectives listed in this resource.
USDA Training Database: Search this site to search for training to meet school nutrition learning needs.
Iowa Training Events-Schools: This web page includes upcoming training events in Iowa as well as a link to previously recorded Iowa Learning Tools and Iowa School Nutrition Web-based Tutorials.
Web-Based Tutorials: Free interactive web-based trainings designed for school nutrition; each provide a certificate of completion.
USDA Training Tracker Tool: This is the recommended tracking tool. This tool can provide helpful reports. MS Access is required for the USDA Training Tracker Tool. It is available for free download from the USDA website. If MS Access is not an option for your organization, please use one of the alternate tools provided.
Alternate Training Tracker Tools: