Food Science Fundamentals

Description of Assessment & Certification

The Food Science Fundamentals Assessment and Certification are:
  • driven by business and industry standards;
  • based on relevant content standards and consistent with the National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences Education and the National Career Clusters Initiative;
  • appropriate to validate achievement of competencies associated with fundamental principles of food science;
  • useful in a broad range of education and employment settings, such as secondary and post-secondary education, community-based education programs, and employer-based human resource and staff development programs; and
  • advantaged to utilize a gold-standard, computer-based testing platform format that provides for valid and reliable competency measurement, and a reporting mechanism for data-driven program improvement, accountability, and individual remediation and acceleration.

Uses of Assessment & Certification

The assessment and certification are used to:
  • document exit-level achievement in rigorous secondary programs and lower division post-secondary courses;
  • satisfy federal accountability reporting mandates required by Perkins IV legislation;
  • facilitate seamless articulation, placement, and credit-by exam within post-secondary institutions;
  • validate competencies required for employment at the pre-professional and/or paraprofessional level; and
  • provide an industry-recognized certification.

Assessment & Certification Resources

Alignment Matrices
21st Century Student Outcomes Career Ready Practices (CCTC) Employability Skills Framework

* Bulletin includes detailed information on assessment design, scoring, content, sample test items, and resources)

Food Science Fundamentals Resource Directory


The Food Science Fundamentals assessment/certification address competencies and a skill set necessary for success as a pre-professional in a careeer with a substantial focus on food science. It will facilitate employment in early career ladder positions and promote continuing education at the post-secondary level in career areas involving:
  • food science,
  • food safety,
  • food quality,
  • food technology, or
  • food preservation and packaging.


Once the assessment is submitted, results are immediately available to the test candidate. The results provide an overall percentage score, a breakdown of scores corresponding to domains, and the indication whether pre-professional certification was achieved. The national cut score for pre-professional certification eligibility is established annually by AAFCS. Scores can be used to demonstrate competency, pinpoint weaknesses or gaps in performance, improve programs and curricula, and demonstrate accountability to stakeholders. Through articulation agreements, scores may be used as the basis for advanced placement and/or credit-by-exam at post-secondary institutions. Thus, local and state entities have latitude for independently establishing passing or qualifying scores for other purposes.

Pre-Professional Certification Score:  Click here for the list of current certification scores

Developed by National Leaders and Professionals in Food Science

AAFCS has engaged the assistance of a broad range of esteemed food science industry professionals and educators from across the nation to assist in identifying relevant industry standards and develop the assessment instrument. Recognizing the value of a solid assessment tool in assuring that individuals possess the knowledge and skills necessary for pre-professional careers related to food science, the following stakeholders participated on the development panel for the assessment and certification:
  • Ellen Bradley, River City Food Group, LLC, Portland, OR
  • Bruce Ferree, California Natural Products, Lathrop, CA
  • Beverley Hamnmond, Thermador, BSH Test Kitchens, LaFollette, TN
  • Josie Landon, Heinz North America, Ontario, OR
  • Tom Nack, General Mills, Golden Valley, MN
  • Sarah Olhorst, Institute for Food Technologists, Washington, DC
  • Michelle Perchonok, NASA Food System and Advanced Food Technology, Houston, TX
  • Larry Steenson, Danisco USA, Inc., New Century, KS
  • Renee Boyer, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA
  • Claudine Laing-Kean, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Kim Gayle Best-Smith, Cary High School, Cary, NC
  • Susan Turgeson, Menomonie High School, Menomonie, WI

Further Information

For further information please contact AAFCS at or 703-636-7641

Back to Top