Nutrition Food and Wellness

Description of Assessment & Certification

The Nutrition, Food, and Wellness Assessment and Certification are:
  • driven by industry standards and requirements;
  • 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 related to nutrition, food, and wellness;
  • 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)

Nutrition Food and Wellness Resource Directory


The Nutrition, Food, and Wellness assessment and certification address competencies and a skill set necessary for success as a pre-professional in careers with a substantial focus on nutrition. There are usage applications in a broad range of education, community-based, staff development, and human resource settings. This assessment and certification will facilitate employment in early career ladder positions and promote continuing education at the post-secondary level preparing for careers associated with:
  • nutrition and dietetics,
  • nutrition education,
  • food handling and safety,
  • food service, and
  • health and wellness.


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 Nutrition and Wellness Industry Professionals and Educators

AAFCS has engaged the assistance of a broad range of esteemed nutrition and wellness professionals, leaders, and educators from across the nation to assist in identifying relevant industry standards and to develop the assessment instrument. Recognizing the value of a solid assessment tool in assuring that individuals possess the knowledge and skills associated with nutrition, food, and wellness, the following stakeholders participated on the development panel for the assessment and certification:
  • Shirley Blakely, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, College Park, MD
  • Helen Chipman, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC
  • Roxanne Moore, Sodexo USA, Gaithersburg, MD
  • Roberta Duyff, Duyff Associations, Ballwin, MO
  • Debra French, Washington State Dairy Council, Lynnwood, WA
  • Joan Giampaoli, The Emily Programfor Eating Disorders, St. Louis, MN
  • Wanda Eastman, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
  • Elaine Molaison, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
  • Vernell Berry, Cabot High School, Cabot, AR
  • Janan Foster, Duncanville High School, Duncanville, TX

Further Information

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

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