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Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS)
 

What is a CP-FS?

Exam and Application

 



Exam Description and Content Outline

 

The CP-FS examination consists of a total of 140 multiple-choice questions. Candidates are given a total of two and Ĺ hours (2.5) hours to complete the exam. There will be a total of 140 items on the examination, 120 of which will be scored and 20 unscored pilot items. The scored items are reflective of the exam blueprint listed below.

Below is an outline of the seven (7) different content areas the examination covers and the percentages allotted to each of those areas. Please use this outline as a guide when preparing for the examination. 
 

Duties and Tasks

Percentage

A

Developing Food Safety Policies, Procedures, and Training

20.00%

1

Identify the five risk factors

 

2

Identify potential areas for contamination

 

3

Identify food pathogen attributes

 

4

Develop good manufacturing practices (GMPs)

 

5

Develop allergen control procedures

 

6

Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs)

 

7

Develop standard sanitary operating procedures (SSOPs)

 

8

Develop specific food preparation policies and procedures

 

9

Develop an integrated pest management (IPM) plan

 

10

Develop employee hygiene practices and policies

 

11

Develop good retail practices (GRPs)

 

12

Identify root cause of adverse food safety conditions

 

13

Develop sample collection, testing, and evaluation procedures

 

14

Develop emergency policies and procedures

 

15

Establish a training plan

 

16

Ensure compliance with state and local training requirements

 

17

Develop HACCP plans

 

18

Administer employee training

 

B

Assessing Food Safety

33.33%

1

Assemble inspection equipment

 

2

Calibrate food safety equipment

 

3

Schedule the inspection

 

4

Evaluate HACCP programs

 

5

Review compliance history

 

6

Conduct a menu review

 

7

Determine food sources

 

8

Assess time and temperature controls

 

9

Evaluate employee behaviors

 

10

Evaluate HACCP plans

 

11

Evaluate storage practices

 

12

Assess cross-contamination of foods

 

13

Evaluate waste management practices

 

14

Evaluate chemical handling practices

 

15

Evaluate cleaning and sanitizing practices

 

16

Evaluate controls of special foods

 

17

Evaluate storage areas

 

18

Analyze food preparation activities

 

19

Assess food equipment

 

20

Review administrative documentation

 

21

Assess plumbing hazards

 

22

Assess risk factors

 

23

Document assessment findings

 

24

Assess pest control practices

 

25

Assess employee hygiene practices

 

26

Evaluate the need and frequency of food safety assessments

 

27

Manage the flow of foods

 

28

Interpret test results

 

29

Analyze food safety inspection findings

 

30

Draft required responses for violations

 

31

Develop a corrective action plan

 

32

Verify the operator's knowledge of a risk control plan

 

33

Review whether or not a risk control plan is being used

 

34

Educate food service staff

 

35

Communicate post-inspection findings to the person in charge

 

C

Reviewing Establishment Plans

10.00%

1

Research local laws and regulations

 

2

Apply for licenses, permits, and variances

 

3

Compare menus to site conditions

 

4

Review external site plans

 

5

Evaluate food/product flow

 

6

Evaluate hazards in food/product flow

 

7

Evaluate plumbing, electrical, and mechanical infrastructure

 

8

Determine hot water demands

 

9

Assess ware washing needs

 

10

Evaluate food storage needs

 

11

Evaluate restroom needs

 

12

Evaluate sewage disposal system

 

13

Evaluate facility lighting

 

14

Evaluate the facility walls, floors, and ceilings

 

15

Evaluate potable water sources

 

16

Evaluate transport equipment

 

17

Evaluate handwashing needs

 

18

Review finish schedule

 

19

Review employee training

 

20

Review HACCP plans

 

21

Verify physical build is according to plans

 

22

Verify equipment certifications

 

23

Verify compliance with local, state, or federal laws and regulations

 

24

Verify establishment licenses and permits

 

D

Investigating Foodborne Illness

15.00%

1

Determine legitimacy of foodborne illness

 

2

Communicate with appropriate agencies regarding the investigation process

 

3

Communicate with internal and external stakeholders regarding the investigation
process

 

4

Interview cases of foodborne illness

 

5

Establish 72 hour food history

 

6

Collect case samples

 

7

Conduct suspected facility investigations

 

8

Evaluate food preparation practices

 

9

Identify employee impacts on a case

 

10

Hold food for disposition

 

11

Collect food samples

 

12

Collect facility samples

 

13

Initiate a trace back

 

14

Manage internal and external crisis communications

 

15

Abate existing violations

 

16

Write foodborne illness reports

 

17

Coordinate incident recovery processes

 

E

Performing Recall Activities

6.67%

1

Train staff on recall activities

 

2

Conduct mock recalls

 

3

Submit regulatory information

 

4

Determine implicated products

 

5

Determine effected lot numbers

 

6

Secure distribution lists

 

7

Communicate recall information to stakeholders

 

8

Prevent future sales of recalled products

 

9

Verify effected products were removed

 

10

Execute disposition of affected products

 

11

Manage consumer inquiries regarding recall

 

F

Managing Food Defense Practices

6.67%

1

Conduct food defense vulnerability assessments

 

2

Identify food defense hazards

 

3

Develop a food defense plan

 

4

Establish food defense enforcement protocols

 

5

Implement corrective action plans

 

6

Collaborate with federal, state, and local regulatory agencies

 

7

Train employees on food defense plans

 

8

Conduct food defense drills

 

9

Identify a suspect food defense event

 

10

Communicate critical information to internal and external stakeholders

 

11

Perform post event analysis

 

G

Responding to Emergencies

8.33%

1

Determine parameters for ceasing operations

 

2

Coordinate the emergency response team

 

3

Identify risks associated with the emergency

 

4

Identify emerging risks associated with the event

 

5

Segregate contaminated foods

 

6

Contact regulatory agencies regarding emergencies

 

7

Communicate emergency information to stakeholders

 

8

Activate the recovery plan

 

9

Assess infrastructure for capacity to operate

 

10

Evaluate a facility's ability to reopen

 

11

Verify compliance with emergency response plans

 

Totals

100.00%

 


 

Application

Completing the Application

Applications must be completed and returned to NEHA for review at least 4 weeks prior to the exam date. If an application is received less than 4 weeks prior to when an examination is being given you may have to schedule the exam for another date.

A complete application should include:
 

  1. Completed NEHA Application for Professional Credentials.

  2. Official College Transcripts or official high school transcripts or GED. To be considered an official transcript it should be received at the NEHA office in the sealed envelope from the schools Registrarís Office/Transcript Office.

  3. Copy of Certified Professional Food Manager (CPFM), Food Safety Managers Certification Examination (FSMCE), SuperSafe Mark Exam, or ServSafe exam (if applicable)

  4. Work Experience Verification Form.

  5. Appropriate fees.

  6. Third party review (applicable for foreign candidates).

Foreign Applicants

For foreign applicant or those that have attended and received a university degree outside of the United States applying under the Degree Track, a third party review of your transcript is necessary to determine equivalency to schools within the United States. The report given by the third party will need to accompany your NEHA Application for Professional Credential

You may contact a service such as the International Education Research Foundation www.ierf.org to conduct the third party equivalency review.


 

Transcript Review

U.S. Candidates can request NEHA to review their transcripts for eligibility separate of the application procedure for a $50 fee.

Transcript Review Request Form  (PDF)

 


 

Exam Fees

All fees should accompany the NEHA Application for Professional Credentials.

Fees

Member Rate

Non-Member Rate

Application fees

$90.00 

$125.00

Examination fees

$155.00

$265.00

Pearson VUE fee

$100.00

$100.00

                                  


 

Exam Scheduling and Locations

Candidates can choose to schedule the CP-FS examination in several different ways:

  1. The CP-FS exam is offered annually at the NEHA Annual Educational Conference (AEC) & Exhibition.

  1. State Affiliate and Regional Meetings periodically offer the CP-FS exam at their meetings/conferences. An up to date listing of these meeting/conference offerings can be found on the NEHA website.

  1. Candidates can choose to take the exam on computer through Pearson VUE.  By choosing this option candidates can schedule the examination at their convenience at one of Pearson VUEís testing locations nationwide. To find a Pearson VUE testing center near you please visit www.pearsonvue.com/neha.  Taking the exam at Pearson VUE not only offers the candidate flexibility in scheduling the exam, but also allows the candidate to receive his/her scores immediately following the conclusion of the exam.

  1. Special test sites may be arranged through NEHA in cooperation with its test vendor, PTI. In order to accommodate requests for special test sites, arrangements must be made a minimum of 4-6 weeks prior to the requested date. The fee to set up a special test site is $350.00. For groups of 10 or more REHS/RS and/or CP-FS candidates, the special test site fee is waived. Please complete the Special Test Site Request form (Appendix A) and return it to NEHA with your application.
     


 

Special Accommodations for Candidates with Disabilities or Impairments
 

NEHA is committed to ensuring that no individual is deprived of the opportunity to take a credentialing examination solely by reason of a disability or impairment. All test centers are fully accessible and compliant with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

To make a request for special accommodations you must complete the Accommodation Request Form and Documentation of Disability Related Needs Form including the specific diagnosis of your disability; medical records, or other written proof of the diagnosis by an appropriate licensed professional; and the type of accommodation being requested.  All forms and documentation must be returned to NEHA at least 8 weeks prior to the scheduled test date. To receive a copy of the form please contact Credentialing@neha.org.

If the forms are not returned to NEHA within 8 weeks prior to the scheduled test date your request for special accommodations may not be honored or may be delayed. 

With respect to all matters related to testing accommodations, NEHA will only communicate with the candidate, professionals knowledgeable about the candidateís disability or impairment, and the candidateís authorized representative (if applicable).
 



Admission to the Exam

 

NEHA will send an admission ticket approximately 2 weeks prior to your test date. The admission ticket will detail the exam date and location, reporting time, and starting time. Those that do not appear on the date of the exam at the appropriate time will forfeit all exam fees. Persons arriving after the examination has started may not be admitted.

If you lost your admission ticket or have not received an admission ticket at least 2 days prior to the test date, please contact NEHA immediately.

 Only approved candidates will be admitted to the exam. No walk-in applicants will be admitted.

On test day please bring with you your admission ticket, photo identification (i.e. driverís license or passport), and sharpened #2 pencils.

FOR PEARSON VUE CANDIDATES: NEHA will send you an authorization letter when your application is processed as approved. The letter will have your Pearson VUE ID number and the Pearson VUE website to schedule a testing time. 

On test day please bring your photo identification (i.e. driverís license or passport).
 


 

Scores
 

The scaled passing score for the CP-FS is 650. Your score will be based on the number of questions answered correctly. If you are unsure of the answer it is better to guess. You will not be given credit for any question left blank.

Beginning in July 2013, the NEHA CP-FS examination will report scores using scale scores that range from 0 to 900 with a passing score of 650.  The raw passing score is mathematically transformed so that the passing scaled score equals 650.  This process is similar to the way one adjusts Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature scales. While the values may differ the temperatures are the same.  For example, water boils at the same temperature regardless of the scale used.

Candidates who pass the examination will earn scaled scores between 650 and above and those who fail earn a scale score between 0 and 649.  A scaled score is NOT a percentage score.  In summary, a scale score is merely a transformation of a raw score. Scaling is done to report comparable results when forms and raw passing scores vary over time.

Your exam results will be mailed to you from the NEHA office 4-6 weeks after the administration. To insure confidentiality, exam scores will not be released over the phone, via fax or email.


 


 

Credential Maintenance
 

Once you have obtained the CP-FS credential you must maintain it. To keep your credential in good standing you must:

1.     Earn a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education every two years; and

2.     Submit renewal fees for your credential every two years ($130.00 members; $345.00 non-members).

 

 


 


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