Professional Standards

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established minimum Professional Standards for school nutrition professionals who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The standards are a key provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) and are effective July 1, 2015. The standards provide minimum education standards for new State and local school nutrition directors as well as annual training requirements for all school nutrition professionals.

SNA's Certificate in School Nutrition and School Nutrition Specialist (SNS) Credential are aligned with USDA Professional Standards. For more information, click here.

Annual training for USDA Professional Standards counts toward continuing education requirements for maintaining SNA certificate and credentialing status.

1 SNA Continuing Education Unit (CEU) = 1 hour of training for USDA Professional Standards

These recommended guidelines are for SNA members and SNA State Affiliates to consider when planning training programs. Since State Agencies ultimately monitor compliance during the 3 year Administrative Review period, SNA encourages operators and SNA state affiliates to direct questions or concerns to their respective State Agencies for clarification purposes.

  • Included in these guidelines are the USDA Professional Standards Learning Objectives, organized by key area and linked to specific codes.
  • Additionally, SNA has created a grid that includes the USDA Professionals Standards coded topics (organized by key area) and also features other popular training topics that could count toward professional standards with the relevant coding.
  • A sample training tracking grid is also included.

USDA Professional Standards Training

Visit the USDA Professional Standards Training Database!


SNA Professional Standards Training Guidelines


SNA Professional Standards Resources