National Credential
Credential: Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS)  GI Bill resource
Credentialing Agency: National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS) is an intermediate-level certification for food safety professionals. The CP-FS is designed for individuals within the public and private sectors whose primary responsibility is the protection and safety of food. The exam for this credential assesses the knowledge of candidates in the areas of food microbiology, HACCP principles and regulatory and other food safety-related topics. To be eligible for the CP-FS credential, candidates must meet the criteria for either the degree track or the experience track. The degree track requires a bachelor's degree, plus experience for degrees not in food science or environmental health. The experience requirement requires a minimum of five years of experience plus passage of another food safety certification exam.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 2 years

Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS)

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 68M Nutrition Care Specialist MOS some  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information.        
Enlisted 68R Veterinary Food Inspection Specialist MOS most  Promotion Points: This certification has been approved for promotion points. Click for more information. II Star credentialStar    
Enlisted 92G Culinary Specialist MOS some          
Enlisted Z5 Enlisted Aide ASI some          
Warrant Officer 640A Food Safety Officer WOMOS most        
Warrant Officer 922A Food Service Technician WOMOS some        

Army Table Legend

Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite: Certified Professional Food Manager (CPFM), Food Safety Managers Certification Examination (FSMCE), SuperSafe Mark Exam, or ServSafe exam
  • Experience: 5 years
  • Education: High School Diploma/GED
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 2 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)
720 South Colorado Blvd.
Suite 1000-N
Denver, CO  80246-1925
Phone: (303) 756-9090
Fax: (303) 691-9490

Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS)

Track 1: Degree Track

  • A bachelor’s degree in environmental health from a degree program accredited by the National Environmental Health Science & Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC). The list of EHAC accredited programs is available on their website: EHAC Undergraduate Accredited Programs; or
  • A bachelor’s degree with at least two (2) years of experience in food protection; or
  • A bachelor’s degree and possession of the NEHA REHS/RS credential

Track 2: Experience Track

  • An associate’s degree and four (4) years of progressive experience in food-related work, and successful passage of the Certified Professional Food Manager (CPFM) exam, Food Safety Managers Certification Examination (FSMCE) exam, SuperSafe Mark exam, or ServSafe exam; or
  • A High School Diploma or GED and five (5) years of progressive experience in food-related work, and successful passage of the Certified Professional Food Manager (CPFM) exam, Food Safety Managers Certification Examination (FSMCE) exam, SuperSafe Mark exam, or ServSafe exam

Track 2: Experience Track

  • Associate’s degree and 4 years of experience, and successful passage of the CPFM, FSMCE, or ServSafe exam, or
  • High School Diploma and 5 years of experience, and successful passage of the CPFM, FSMCE, or ServSafe exam

The Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS) credential has the following other requirements:

  • Candidates and those who earn the CP-FS are required to uphold and abide by the NEHA Code of Ethics.

Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS)

  • Developing Food Safety Policies, Procedures, and Training (20%)
    • Identify the five risk factors
    • Identify potential areas for contamination
    • Identify food pathogen attributes
    • Develop good manufacturing practices (GMPs)
    • Develop allergen control procedures
    • Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs)
    • Develop standard sanitary operating procedures (SSOPs)
    • Develop specific food preparation policies and procedures
    • Develop an integrated pest management (IPM) plan
    • Develop employee hygiene practices and policies
    • Develop good retail practices (GRPs)
    • Identify root cause of adverse food safety conditions
    • Develop sample collection, testing, and evaluation procedures
    • Develop emergency policies and procedures
    • Establish a training plan
    • Ensure compliance with state and local training requirements
    • Develop HACCP plans
    • Administer employee training
  • Assessing Food Safety (33.33%)
    • Assemble inspection equipment
    • Calibrate food safety equipment
    • Schedule the inspection
    • Evaluate HACCP programs
    • Review compliance history
    • Conduct a menu review
    • Determine food sources
    • Assess time and temperature controls
    • Evaluate employee behaviors
    • Evaluate HACCP plans
    • Evaluate storage practices
    • Assess cross-contamination of foods
    • Evaluate waste management practices
    • Evaluate chemical handling practices
    • Evaluate cleaning and sanitizing practices
    • Evaluate controls of special foods
    • Evaluate storage areas
    • Analyze food preparation activities
    • Assess food equipment
    • Review administrative documentation
    • Assess plumbing hazards
    • Assess risk factors
    • Document assessment findings
    • Assess pest control practices
    • Assess employee hygiene practices
    • Evaluate the need and frequency of food safety assessments
    • Manage the flow of foods
    • Interpret test results
    • Analyze food safety inspection findings
    • Draft required responses for violations
    • Develop a corrective action plan
    • Verify the operator's knowledge of a risk control plan
    • Review whether or not a risk control plan is being used
    • Educate food service staff
    • Communicate post-inspection findings to the person in charge
  • Reviewing Establishment Plans (10%)
    • Research local laws and regulations
    • Apply for licenses, permits, and variances
    • Compare menus to site conditions
    • Review external site plans
    • Evaluate food/product flow
    • Evaluate hazards in food/product flow
    • Evaluate plumbing, electrical, and mechanical infrastructure
    • Determine hot water demands
    • Assess ware washing needs
    • Evaluate food storage needs
    • Evaluate restroom needs
    • Evaluate sewage disposal system
    • Evaluate facility lighting
    • Evaluate the facility walls, floors, and ceilings
    • Evaluate potable water sources
    • Evaluate transport equipment
    • Evaluate handwashing needs
    • Review finish schedule
    • Review employee training
    • Review HACCP plans
    • Verify physical build is according to plans
    • Verify equipment certifications
    • Verify compliance with local, state, or federal laws and regulations
    • Verify establishment licenses and permits
  • Investigating Foodborne Illness (15%)
    • Determine legitimacy of foodborne illness
    • Communicate with appropriate agencies regarding the investigation process
    • Communicate with internal and external stakeholders regarding the investigation process
    • Interview cases of foodborne illness
    • Establish 72 hour food history
    • Collect case samples
    • Conduct suspected facility investigations
    • Evaluate food preparation practices
    • Identify employee impacts on a case
    • Hold food for disposition
    • Collect food samples
    • Collect facility samples
    • Initiate a trace back
    • Manage internal and external crisis communications
    • Abate existing violations
    • Write foodborne illness reports
    • Coordinate incident recovery processes
  • Performing Recall Activities (6.67%)
    • Train staff on recall activities
    • Conduct mock recalls
    • Submit regulatory information
    • Determine implicated products
    • Determine effected lot numbers
    • Secure distribution lists
    • Communicate recall information to stakeholders
    • Prevent future sales of recalled products
    • Verify effected products were removed
    • Execute disposition of affected products
    • Manage consumer inquiries regarding recall
  • Managing Food Defense Practices (6.67%)
    • Conduct food defense vulnerability assessments
    • Identify food defense hazards
    • Develop a food defense plan
    • Establish food defense enforcement protocols
    • Implement corrective action plans
    • Collaborate with federal, state, and local regulatory agencies
    • Train employees on food defense plans
    • Conduct food defense drills
    • Identify a suspect food defense event
    • Communicate critical information to internal and external stakeholders
    • Perform post event analysis
  • Responding to Emergencies (8.33%)
    • Determine parameters for ceasing operations
    • Coordinate the emergency response team
    • Identify risks associated with the emergency
    • Identify emerging risks associated with the event
    • Segregate contaminated foods
    • Contact regulatory agencies regarding emergencies
    • Communicate emergency information to stakeholders
    • Activate the recovery plan
    • Assess infrastructure for capacity to operate
    • Evaluate a facility's ability to reopen
    • Verify compliance with emergency response plans

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Testing for this credential is handled by Pearson VUE. The test centers are located in the U.S. They also have some test centers on military bases.

To find out more, use the following links on the Pearson VUE website:

For more information on the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) testing process, visit the agency website.

Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS)

Renewal Period: 2 years

The Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS) credential has the following recertification information:

NEHA certifications are awarded for 2-year periods. To remain certified, certification holders must:
  • Earn and submit a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education every two years; and
  • Submit renewal fees for the CP-FS credential every two years; and
  • Agree to continue to abide by and uphold the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct Policy and the policies of the credential program.