Questions & Answers Regarding Professional Standards for State and Local School Nutrition Program Personnel
This Questions & Answers (Q&A) memorandum is designed to provide an overview of the policies related to the Professional Standards regulations (7 CFR 210.30 and 235.11(g)) for state and local school nutrition program personnel. The regulations seek to ensure that school nutrition program personnel have the knowledge and skills to manage and operate the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program correctly and successfully. This document includes responses to questions submitted by state agencies and program operators on specific aspects of the regulations. This memorandum rescinds and replaces SP 38-2016, “Questions & Answers (Q&As) on the Final Rule ‘Professional Standards for State and Local School Nutrition Programs Personnel as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.” This document has been updated to include questions regarding the final rule titled Hiring Flexibility Under Professional Standards (84 FR 6953/8247).
The questions are grouped under six headings: Background, Hiring Standards, Training Standards, Oversight, Food Service Management Companies, and Miscellaneous. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will continue to revise this document as needed to address other questions as they arise. The Professional Standards rules (80 FR 11077 and 84 FR 6953/8247), a training tracking tool, and other resources to assist in implementing the professional standards are available at: https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/professional-standards. FNS appreciates the efforts of school food authorities in managing the school nutrition programs and stands ready to support those efforts.