Tennessee - Food service qualifications: Staff qualifications and professional development

Area: 
Staff Qualifications And Professional Development
Policy Type: 
statute; regulation
Summary: 

State law addresses certification or degree requirement for food service workers.

Tennessee Code Annotated 49-3-313. School lunch program

(e) At least ten percent (10%) of the state matching funds distributed to a participating LEA shall be applied to the costs of one (1) or more of the following:

  • (1) Employment of a certified school food service supervisor;

  • (2) Employment of cafeteria managers or assistant managers accredited by the Tennessee School Food Service Association or working toward that accreditation; or

  • (3) Professional training programs for nonaccredited personnel.


Tennessee Administrative Rules and Regulations 0520-01-02-.03 Employement Standards: School Nutrition Directors

(11) School Nutrition Program Directors

  • (a) School nutrition program directors hired on or after July 1, 2015, shall complete at least eight (8) hours of food safety training either not more than five (5) years prior to the employee's start date or within thirty (30) days of the employee's start date and shall meet the following criteria:

      1. School nutrition program directors employed by LEAs with a student enrollment of 500 to 2,499 must meet one (1) of the following criteria:
      • (i) Bachelor's degree or equivalent educational experience with academic major in food and nutrition, food service management, dietetics, family and consumer sciences, nutrition education, culinary arts, business, or a related field;

      • (ii) Bachelor's degree in any academic major and a School Nutrition Association Level 3 Certificate in School Nutrition;

      • (iii) A valid Tennessee teacher license with a school food service supervisor endorsement;

      • (iv) Bachelor's degree in any academic major and at least one (1) year of relevant school nutrition experience;

      • (v) Associate's degree or equivalent educational experience, with academic major in food and nutrition, food service management, dietetics, family and consumer sciences, nutrition education, culinary arts, business, or a related field and at least one (1) year of relevant school nutrition programs experience; or

      • (vi) High school diploma, or equivalency diploma, and at least three (3) years of relevant experience in school nutrition programs.

      1. School nutrition program directors employed by LEAs with a student enrollment of 2,500 to 9,999 must meet one (1) of the following criteria:
      • (i) Bachelor's degree or equivalent educational experience with academic major in food and nutrition, food service management, dietetics, family and consumer sciences, nutrition education, culinary arts, business, or a related field;

      • (ii) Bachelor's degree in any academic major and a School Nutrition Association Level 3 Certificate in School Nutrition;

      • (iii) A valid Tennessee teacher license with a school food service supervisor endorsement;

      • (iv) Bachelor's degree in any academic major and at least two (2) years of relevant school nutrition experience; or

      • (v) Associate's degree or equivalent educational experience, with academic major in food and nutrition, food service management, dietetics, family and consumer sciences, nutrition education, culinary arts, business, or a related field and at least two (2) years of relevant school nutrition programs experience.
        Tennessee Department of Education


Tennessee Administrative Rules and Regulations 0520-01-02-.03 Employement Standards: School Nutrition Directors

  1. School nutrition program directors employed by LEAs with a student enrollment of more than 10,000 must meet one (1) of the following criteria:

    • (i) Bachelor's degree or equivalent educational experience with academic major in food and nutrition, food service management, dietetics, family and consumer sciences, nutrition education, culinary arts, business, or a related field;

    • (ii) Bachelor's degree in any academic major and a School Nutrition Association Level 3 Certificate in School Nutrition;

    • (iii) A valid Tennessee teacher license with a school food service supervisor endorsement; or

    • (iv) Bachelor's degree in any academic major and at least five (5) years of experience in management of school nutrition programs.
      Tennessee Department of Education


Tennessee Administrative Rules and Regulations 0520-01-02-.03 Employement Standards: School Nutrition Directors

  1. School nutrition program directors employed by LEAs with a student enrollment of more than 10,000 must meet one (1) of the following criteria:

    • (i) Bachelor's degree or equivalent educational experience with academic major in food and nutrition, food service management, dietetics, family and consumer sciences, nutrition education, culinary arts, business, or a related field;

    • (ii) Bachelor's degree in any academic major and a School Nutrition Association Level 3 Certificate in School Nutrition;

    • (iii) A valid Tennessee teacher license with a school food service supervisor endorsement; or

    • (iv) Bachelor's degree in any academic major and at least five (5) years of experience in management of school nutrition programs.
      Tennessee Department of Education


Tennessee Administrative Rules and Regulations 0520-02-04-.12 Requirements for the Professional School Service Personnel License -- Repeal filed May 29, 2015; effective August 27, 2015

(1) School Food Service Supervisor Endorsement

  • (a) The applicant shall hold a bachelor's degree and the applicant shall be a licensed educator or shall have completed at least 18 semester hours in education, psychology, or sociology.

  • (b) The applicant shall complete 12 semester hours including course work in each of the following:

      1. Personnel management,
      1. Nutrition,
      1. Accounting, cost analysis, or financial management of food systems, and
      1. Spread sheet applications.
  • (c) The applicant shall complete one of the following:

      1. A field experience of 6 semester hours, or
      1. A professional experience--supervised by a licensed school food service supervisor--of at least 120 clock hours including the following areas: procurement, quantity foods, design and layout, and sanitation and food safety.
        Tennessee State Board of Education
Policy Links: