Skip to main content

Questions & Answers Regarding Professional Standards for State and Local School Nutrition Program Personnel

EO Guidance Document #
FNS Document #
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
DATE: January 14, 2020
MEMO CODE: SP 05-2020
SUBJECT: Questions & Answers Regarding Professional Standards for State and Local School Nutrition Program Personnel 1
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions
State Directors
Child Nutrition Programs
All States

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: FNS appreciates the efforts of school food authorities in managing the school nutrition programs and stands ready to support those efforts.

State agencies are reminded to distribute this memorandum to program operators. Program operators should direct any questions concerning this guidance to their state agency. State agencies with questions should contact the appropriate FNS regional office.

Angela Kline
Policy and Program Development Division


Q&A Topics


1 Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 USC 801 et seq.), the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs designated this waiver as not major, as defined by 5 USC 804(2).
Page updated: April 05, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.