USDA releases proposed rule for professional standards for schools: Page 2 of 2

Training and requirements for hiring are addressed in the latest part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

Regardless of the district’s size, all new directors must have at least eight hours of food safety training within the three years prior to their starting date or they must complete this training within 30 calendar days of the start date. This requirement can be satisfied by providing documentation of training that was completed during a past position or through a food safety course or certificate program.School food authorities in districts with 10,000 students or more are encouraged to seek out individuals who possess or are willing to work toward a master’s degree, as well as individuals who posses at least three credit hours at the university level in foodservice management and at least three credit hours in nutritional sciences at the time of hire.

Continuing education/training: Beginning with the first year of hire or July 1, 2015, whichever is later, each director must complete at least 15 hours of annual continued education/training in topics including administrative practices and other topics determined by Food and Nutrition Services (FNS). This is in addition to the food safety training required in the hiring standards.

State directors

Who does this apply to: Those state agency directors with responsibility for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) who are hired after July 1, 2015.

Hiring standards: New directors would be required to have a bachelor’s degree with an academic major in areas including food and nutrition, foodservice management, dietetics, family and consumer sciences, nutrition education, culinary arts, business or a related field. New state directors would also be required to possess extensive relevant knowledge and experience in areas such as institutional foodservice operations, management, business and/or nutrition education. FNS highly recommends state directors have experience in three or more areas. New state directors should also possess skills needed to lead, manage and supervise.

Continuing education/training: These individuals must complete a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education/training in core areas appropriate to their areas of responsibilities, including nutrition, operations, administration and communications/marketing.

State directors of distributing agencies

Who does this apply to: Those directors responsible for overseeing state food distribution activities authorized to distribute USDA Foods in schools.

Hiring standards: Beginning July 1, 2015, all new state directors of distributing agencies must have a bachelor’s degree in any major or area as well as extensive relevant knowledge and experience in areas such as institutional foodservice operations, management, business and/or nutrition education. They must also possess skills needed to lead, manage and supervise. FNS recommends new hires have at least five years of experience in institutional foodservice operations.

Continuing education/training: These individuals must complete a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education/training in core areas appropriate to their areas of responsibilities, including nutrition, operations, administration and communications/marketing.

School nutrition program managers

Who does this apply to: Those individuals directly responsible for the management of the day-to-day operations of school nutrition programs for participating school(s).

Continuing education/training: Beginning with the first year of hire, each manager must complete at least 12 hours of annual continuing education/training or as otherwise specified by FNS.

School nutrition program staff

Who does this apply to: Those individuals without managerial responsibilities who are involved in routine operations of school nutrition programs for participating school(s). This can include line workers who serve meals, those who prepare meals or those who review free or reduced-price applications.

Continuing education/training: For school nutrition staff (other than the director and managers) who work an average of at least 20 hour per week, staff must complete at least eight hours of continued education/training applicable to their job. While FNS highly encourages those employees who work an average of fewer than 20 hours per week to receive eight hours of training per year, FNS says the continued education/training should be proportional to the number of hours worked. FNS is asking for comments regarding this requirement for part-time staff.

A few other notes on training:

  • Providing training to school nutrition program staff is an allowable use of the nonprofit school foodservice account.
  • The proposed rule excludes as an allowable cost any costs incurred by an individual to meet the educational criteria necessary to be hired as a new school nutrition program director
  • The rule also excludes as an allowable cost any costs associated with obtaining college credit
  • Each school food authority must maintain a recordkeeping system to annually document compliance with the professional standard requirements for all employees

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
construction plans drawing tools calculator

When revamping an old cafeteria or building a new retail spot, the design process can feel like fitting together the pieces of a puzzle: What needs to fit in the space, and what’s the most efficient flow for staffers, cooks, diners and more?

Cathy Estes, administrative director of nutrition services at four northern Indiana hospitals that are part of the Franciscan Health network, faced the creation of a new in-house dining program at Franciscan’s Munster hospital. Amid all the big plans, design was one of the largest undertakings.

“I was looking at 5,000 square feet on a...

Ideas and Innovation
amazon prime delivery

About 90% of our students receive financial assistance and participate in our free and reduced-price meal program. But a number of students in our district study remotely due to circumstances such as chronic illness. In January, we hired a driver to deliver meals to students who aren’t able to step into our cafeteria each day.

Ideas and Innovation
wheaton emerson int salad bar

Restaurant design is all about catching a customer’s eye —and it’s sometimes particularly beneficial to be far-sighted. As Airbnb has proven with its San Francisco headquarters, where cafe spaces are inspired by cities like Cairo and Mumbai, elaborate design schemes that evoke far-flung geographic regions can be done to great effect. But operators are finding simpler ways to achieve that feel.

That’s been the experience of Kutztown University Dining Services in Pennsylvania. Kent Dahlquist, director of housing and dining services, says that when the university decided several years...

Managing Your Business
overtime payroll timesheet

Just eight days before Dec. 1, when operators would have to comply with the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime rules, a federal judge in Texas slapped an injunction on the regulation. The move indefinitely halted the rules that would have doubled the overtime threshold to $47,476, affecting nearly 4.2 million workers, according to the DOL. For some operators, the move was too little, too late. Now, they have to answer to employees who had been briefed on promised wage increases.

Kansas Memorial Union at the University of Kansas in Lawrence made changes ahead of the deadline...

FSD Resources