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Professional Standards 


Professional Standards for school nutrition professionals is a key provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA).  The final rule took effect July 1, 2015.

USDA has established minimum professional standards requirements for school nutrition professionals who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.  The standards establish minimum education standards for new State and local school nutrition directors as well as annual training standards for all school nutrition professionals.  The standards will ensure school nutrition personnel have the knowledge, training, and tools they need to plan, prepare, and purchase healthy foods to create nutritious, safe, and enjoyable school meals.  Required training topic areas will vary according to position and job requirements.  The final rule:


  • Creates minimum hiring standards for new school food authority (SFA) directors based on a school district’s size;
  • Establishes minimum hiring standards for new State directors of school nutrition programs and State directors of distributing agencies; and
  • Requires minimum annual training for all new and current school nutrition professionals.

MDE Professional Standards Contact Information:

Phone: 517-241-5374


Questions & Answers Regarding Professional Standards for State and Local School Nutrition Program Personnel - USDA Memo SP 05-2020

USDA School Meals Professional Standards - USDA webpage

Professional Standards - Learning Objectives

Professional Standards - Training Topics with Codes

Professional Standards Flyer - USDA, August 2021

School Nutrition Association (SNA)

School Nutrition Association of Michigan (SNAM)

Tracking Tools

Professional Standards Tracking Tool Information - USDA Tracking tool

Michigan Professional Standards Tracking Tool template - MDE Tracking tool

Frequently Asked Questions

Professional Standards Frequently Asked Questions


USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center
at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed
AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
        U.S. Department of Agriculture
        Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
        1400 Independence Avenue, SW
        Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or

  2. fax:
         (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or

  3. email:


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.