USDA Releases Final Rule On Professional Standards


On March 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the Final Rule on Professional Standards for school nutrition professionals. USDA will also provide grants to state agencies to assist with training. Letters of intent are due by April 14, 2015. SNA is reviewing the Final Rule, but here are some key points:

  • The Rule goes into effect July 1, 2015.
  • Current school nutrition professionals are grandfathered in and remain so if they choose to take a similar position within a similar size LEA.
  • The three categories for LEAs for hiring standards are 2,499 or less, 2,500-9,999 and 10,000+.
  • The hiring requirement for a director in a small LEA is a high school diploma plus three years (which is less than the proposed five) experience. State agencies have discretion to hire directors with less than three years experience.
  • The hiring requirement for a director in a medium LEA is two years of school nutrition program experience and a Bachelor’s degree with a non-specific academic major OR two years school nutrition experience and an Associate’s degree.
  • The hiring requirement for a director in a large LEA is five years experience and a Bachelor’s degree.
  • The Final Rule removed the minimum requirements for LEAs over 25,000. 

USDA staff will provide an update on the new standards at the Legislative Action Conference (LAC) at 8:30 am this coming Monday, March 2. SNA will provide a summary to all SNA members as well as soon as possible.

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