Flexibility for Hiring Under Professional Standards

As outlined in the Final Rule Professional Standards for State and Local School Nutrition Programs Personnel as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010; Hiring Flexibility Under Professional Standards; and SP 05-2020 Questions & Answers Regarding Professional Standards for State and Local School Nutrition Program Personnel.


To address hiring challenges faced by small LEAs, state agencies have discretion to accept less than the required years of food service experience when an applicant for a new director position in an LEA with fewer than 500 students has the minimum required education.This flexibility is expected to expand the pool of candidates qualified to serve as leaders in the school nutrition programs while continuing to ensure that school nutrition professionals are able to perform their duties effectively and efficiently.


  • Request to hire a new school nutrition program director with a high school diploma (or HiSET or GED), an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree, but less than the required years of relevant food service program experience.

  • Training Standards

For more information about Professional Standards, contact OPI School Nutrition Programs at 406-444-2501.

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