Skip to main content

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.