Food Distribution Core Competency Areas 

ACDA's Food Distribution core competency area reviews and exams are the perfect way to take your career to the next level! The program can be tailored to fit your needs. You can choose one or more competency area that fits your unique goals and complete at your own pace. Passing any of the competency area exams demonstrates your proficient knowledge on the topic and demonstrates your understanding of the food distribution industry. Learn about each of the competency areas below and visit our online store to purchase the study guides. 

View USDA Foods Overview Learning Objectives
The purpose of the USDA Foods Overview competency area is to demonstrate knowledge and expertise related to USDA Foods.

1. Demonstrate an understanding the USDA Foods Program
1.1. Describe the background of the USDA Foods Program
1.2. Explain the purpose of the program
1.3. Describe how the USDA Foods program has changed and what value it brings now
1.4. Explain the stakeholders who benefit from the USDA Foods program

2. USDA Foods Rules, Regulations and Policy Guidance – the student will be able to:
2.1. Identify the location of the federal regulations related to the USDA Foods Program
2.2. Provide a general overview of the program and the requirements
2.3. Identify and explain the policy guidance documents related to the program

3. Roles and Responsibilities – the student will be able to:
3.1. Identify and explain the various stakeholders participating in the USDA Foods program
3.2. Determine each stakeholder’s role and responsibilities related to the program
3.3. Understand how each stakeholder works together to ensure proper utilization of USDA Foods.

4. Web-Based Supply Chain Management – the student will be able to:
4.1. Explain the purpose of WBSCM
4.2. Identify the various functions of WBSCM
4.3. Describe how to create requisitions
4.4. Describe how to monitor and track requisitions
4.5. Describe the reporting functionality of WBSCM

5. Food Safety and Recalls – the student will be able to:
5.1. Describe proper food safety protocols, including procedures, receiving methods, storage, and inventory control
5.2. Describe a HACCP-based food safety and sanitation program
5.3. Identify the various food safety certifications (SQF, GFSI, etc.)
5.4. Describe USDA emergency procedures and practices for food recalls and foodborne illnesses
5.5. Explain food safety inspection procedures and ensuring all food safety inspection deficiencies are addressed at each location in which USDA Foods are stored
5.6. Describe safe, effective methods for prevention and control of insects, rodents, and other pest infestations
5.7. Describe the recall requirements
5.8. Explain the process for refunding entitlement for recalled products

6. Cost Analysis & Value – the student will be able to:
6.1. Explain the importance of a cost analysis /budgeting
6.2. Explain the process for conducting a cost analysis
6.3. Explain how to calculate value of USDA Foods
6.4. Explain the process of obtaining USDA food value from manufacturer/distributor
6.5. Describe the method for record keeping for value of USDA Foods
6.6. Describe the method and frequency for auditing value of USDA Foods

7. Processing Agreements – the student will be able to:
7.1. Explain the regulatory requirements for processor agreements
7.2. Explain the difference between a National Processing Agreement and a State Processing Agreement
7.3. Explain the approval process for agreements at the national and state level
7.4. Describe the requirements/content of the processor agreement
7.5. Describe the process for contract management for processor agreements

8. CN Labels & Product Formulation Statements – the student will be able to:
8.1. Define a Child Nutrition (CN) label
8.2. Explain the elements of a CN label
8.3. Explain the benefits of using products with a CN label
8.4. Define a Product Formulation Statement and why they are needed
8.5. Explain how to obtain a Product Formulation Statement
8.6. Explain how to read and audit a Product Formulation Statement

9. Substitutions – the student will be able to:
9.1. Describe a USDA Foods substitution
9.2. Explain situations in which a substitution would be utilized
9.3. Describe the process for record-keeping and reporting for substitutions

10. Food Service Management Company (FSMC) – the student will be able to:
10.1. Describe the role of an FSMC in utilizing USDA Foods
10.2. Explain the various methods in which an FSMC may utilize USDA Foods
10.3. Describe proper contract management to ensure utilization of USDA Foods by an FSMC

11. USDA Foods Disaster Assistance- the student will be able to:
11.1. Describe procedures for USDA Foods Disaster Assistance

View Procurement and Planning Learning Objectives
The purpose of the Procurement and Planning competency area is to demonstrate knowledge and expertise related to the procurement of further processed USDA Foods.

1. Planning and Forecasting – the student will be able to:
1.1. Explain the importance of planning and forecasting
1.2. Explain the difference between forecasting and ordering
1.3. Explain the process for conducting a forecast of USDA Foods
1.4. Explain how to calculate value of USDA Foods
1.5. Describe how to develop a budget based on forecasting, including value of USDA Foods products
1.6. Explain the process of obtaining USDA food value from manufacturer/distributor
1.7. Describe the method for record keeping for value of USDA Foods
1.8. Describe the method and frequency for auditing value of USDA Foods

2. Procurement – the student will be able to:
2.1. Explain the regulatory requirements for procurement
2.2. Describe effective and compliant procurement procedures. (Micro, Small, Formal, Sole Source, Emergency)
2.3. Explain the difference between procurement documents (RFP, IFB, etc.)
2.4. Explain the process for evaluating current purchasing practices to determine effectiveness and compliance with federal, state, and local rules and regulations
2.5. Describe the elements of a bid document that include product specifications, usages, and special instructions/conditions following federal, state, and local regulations
2.6. Describe the process for conducting taste tests of items
2.7. Describe various purchasing methods (e.g., bid buying, prime vendors, group purchasing)
2.8. Describe the process for developing product specifications to include in procurement documents. (Identify when generic specifications should be used vs. Denoting manufacturer name and “or equal”)
2.9. Explain the procurement process (document development, pre-bid conferences, product testing/screening, product comparison/like items, bid opening, bid evaluation, etc.)
2.10. Understand how to evaluate different types of procurement documents (bid vs. RFP, etc.)
2.11. Explain the process for monitoring market conditions (e.g., price, supply, demand)

3. Inventory Management – the student will be able to:
3.1. Describe receiving procedures to ensure that products received match delivery requirements
3.2. Describe procedures for inventory control that address the delivery date, storage, and turnover rate of food products and supplies
3.3. Describe the process for record-keeping and reporting for inventory management
3.4. Explain how proper inventory management controls are utilized in planning and procurement.
3.5. Demonstrate the use of inventory tracking or inventory management tools (software, forms, etc.)
3.6. Describe how improper inventory management can affect stakeholders throughout the process/chain

4. Processing Agreements – the student will be able to: Already discussed in the above section, recommend deletion here
4.1. Explain the regulatory requirements for processor agreements
4.2. Explain the difference between a National Processing Agreement and a State Processing Agreement
4.3. Explain the approval process for agreements at the national and state level
4.4. Describe the requirements/content of the processor agreement
4.5. Describe the process for contract management for processor agreements

5. Contract Management – the student will be able to:
5.1. Describe the methods and steps to conduct proper contract management for all executed agreements
5.2. Explain financial consequences and how they relate to contractor and contracting agency performance
5.3. Demonstrate knowledge of common contract terms and clauses
5.4. Describe the process for documenting contractor performance, including the use of forms or other documentation methods
5.5. Describe the process for contracting with a Contract Management Company and the impact on USDA Foods

View TEFAP_CSFP Learning Objectives
The purpose of the The Emergency Assistance Food Program (TEFAP) and Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) competency area is to demonstrate knowledge and expertise related to USDA Foods Household Programs operating in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and The Emergency Food Assistance Program.

1. Demonstrate an understanding of The Emergency Food Assistance Program and Commodity Supplemental Food Program – the student will be able to:
1.1. Describe the background of the TEFAP and CSFP Programs
1.2. Explain the purpose of the programs and how they are different
1.3. Define terms and acronyms for TEFAP and CSFP

2. TEFAP/CSFP Rules, Regulations and Policy Guidance – the student will be able to:
2.1. Identify the location of the federal regulations related to the TEFAP and CSFP Program
2.2. Provide a general overview of the program and the requirements
2.3. Identify and explain the policy guidance documents related to the program

3. Roles and Responsibilities – the student will be able to:
3.1. Identify and explain the various stakeholders participating in the programs
3.2. Determine each stakeholder’s role and responsibilities related to the program

4. Web-Based Supply Chain Management – the student will be able to:
4.1. Explain the purpose of WBSCM.
4.2. Identify the various functions of WBSCM
4.3. Describe how to create requisitions
4.4. Describe how to monitor and track requisitions
4.5. Describe the reporting functionality of WBSCM

5. Funding and Allocation – the student will be able to:
5.1. Describe the funding formula applied to states for each program
5.2. Describe the allocation process to distributing agencies
5.3. Define the two-tiered priority system for TEFAP
5.4. Understand the state agency matching requirements for the programs
5.5. Explain USDA Foods

6. State Distributing Agencies
6.1. Describe the role of the State Distributing Agency
6.2. Describe the program responsibilities for State Distributing Agencies
6.3. Explain the requirements for agreements between a state distributing agency and USDA
6.4. Describe the requirements for distribution to eligible local distributing agencies
6.5. Explain the reporting requirements to USDA

7. Local Distributing Agencies
7.1. Explain the role of local distributing agencies
7.2. Describe the program responsibilities for local distributing agencies
7.3. Explain the requirements for agreements between a state distributing agency and a local distributing agency
7.4. Describe the requirements for distribution to eligible program participants
7.5. Describe the frequency and rate of distribution to eligible participants
7.6. Explain Out of Condition Foods or Damaged Shipments and the process for addressing them
7.7. Describe the reporting requirements for the program
7.8. Explain what allowable costs to the program are
7.9. Describe proper procurement using TEFAP/CSFP funds

8. Food Safety and Recalls – the student will be able to:
8.1. Describe proper food safety protocols, including procedures, receiving methods, storage, and inventory control
8.2. Explain HACCP
8.3. Describe USDA emergency procedures and practices for food recalls and foodborne illnesses
8.4. Explain food safety inspection procedures
8.5. Requirements of Recalls
8.6. Describe the warehouse inspection requirements

9. Inventory Management – the student will be able to:
9.1. Describe receiving procedures to ensure that products received match delivery requirements
9.2. Describe procedures for inventory control that address the delivery date, storage, and turnover rate of food products and supplies
9.3. Describe the process for record keeping and reporting for inventory management
9.4. Explain how proper inventory management controls are utilized in planning and procurement
9.5. Demonstrate the use of inventory tracking or inventory management tools (software, forms, etc.)

View Direct Delivery Learning Objectives
The purpose of the Direct Delivery competency area is to demonstrate knowledge and expertise related to Direct Delivery of USDA Foods.

1. Demonstrate an understanding USDA Foods Direct Delivery – the student will be able to:
1.1. Describe Direct Delivery of USDA Foods

2. USDA Foods Procurement
2.1. Describe each stakeholder’s role in procuring USDA Foods
2.2. Explain the procurement process conducted by USDA
2.3. Identify the different commodity groups/codes used by USDA for procurement

3. Web-Based Supply Chain Management – the student will be able to:
3.1. Explain the purpose of WBSCM
3.2. Identify the various functions of WBSCM
3.3. Describe how to create requisitions
3.4. Describe how to monitor and track requisitions
3.5. Describe the reporting functionality of WBSCM
3.6. Describe the complaint process for USDA Foods

4. Food Safety and Recalls – the student will be able to:
4.1. Describe proper food safety protocols, including procedures, receiving methods, storage, and inventory control
4.2. Explain HACCP
4.3. Describe USDA emergency procedures and practices for food recalls and foodborne illnesses
4.4. Explain food safety inspection procedures
4.5. Explain the requirements of recalls and the process for replacement food

5. Warehousing – the student will be able to:
5.1. Identify various options for storage/warehousing USDA Foods
5.2. Describe the benefits and restrictions with each storage/warehouse model
5.3. Explain the contracting process for storage facilities
5.4. Explain proper contract management

6. Inventory Management – the student will be able to:
6.1. Describe receiving procedures to ensure that products received match delivery requirements
6.2. Describe procedures for inventory control that address the delivery date, storage, and turnover rate of food products and supplies
6.3. Describe the process for record keeping and reporting for inventory management
6.4. Explain how proper inventory management controls are utilized in planning and procurement
6.5. Describe how improper inventory management can affect stakeholders throughout the process/chain

View DoD Fresh Learning Objectives
The purpose of the USDA DoD Fresh is to demonstrate knowledge and expertise related to USDA DoD Fresh.

1. Demonstrate an understanding the USDA DoD Fresh Program – the student will be able to:
1.1. Demonstrate an understanding the USDA DoD Fresh Program – the student will be able to:
1.1. Describe the background and history of the USDA DoD Fresh Program.
1.2. Explain the purpose of the program.
1.3. Explain the benefits and challenges of the USDA DoD Fresh Program
1.4. Explain the DoD contracting process through DLA.

2. USDA DoD Fresh Rules, Regulations and Policy Guidance – the student will be able to:
2.1. Identify the location of the federal regulations related to the USDA DoD Fresh Program
2.2. Provide a general overview of the program and the requirements
2.3. Identify and explain the policy guidance documents related to the program
2.4. Audit and recordkeeping requirements for the program

3. Roles and Responsibilities – the student will be able to:
3.1. Identify and explain the various stakeholders within the USDA DoD Fresh Program
3.2. Determine each stakeholder’s role and responsibilities related to the program

4. Program Administration – the student will be able to:
4.1. Demonstrate knowledge of the ordering process
4.2. Understand the functionality of the FFAVORS software
4.3. Explain entitlement allocation for the program
4.4. Describe the complaint process through DoD
View Processing Learning Objectives
The purpose of the Processing competency area is to demonstrate knowledge and expertise related to program implementation, management, and oversight for the further processing of USDA donated foods.

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the Processing Program – the student will be able to:
1.1. Describe the background of the USDA Foods Processing Program
1.2. Explain the purpose of the program
1.3. Explain the benefits of the USDA Foods Processing Program
1.4. Identify the sources of USDA food for processing (direct shipment, transfer)

2. USDA Foods Processing Rules, Regulations and Policy Guidance – the student will be able to:
2.1. Provide a general overview of the program and the requirements.
2.2. Identify and explain the policy guidance documents related to the program.
2.3. Explain the difference between multi-state processors and in-state processors.
2.4. Audit requirements for national and in-state processors

3. Roles and Responsibilities – the student will be able to:
3.1. Identify and explain the various stakeholders within the USDA Foods Processing Program
3.2. Determine each stakeholder’s role and responsibilities related to the program
3.3. Understand how each stakeholder works together to ensure proper utilization of USDA Foods

4. USDA Foods and Yields – the student will be able to:
4.1. Identify which USDA foods may be utilized in the Processing Program.
4.2. Explain the various yields:
4.2.1. Standard Yield
4.2.2. 100% Yield
4.2.3. Guaranteed Return

5. End Product Data Schedules and Summary End Product Data Schedules – the student will be able to:
5.1. Describe End Product Data Schedules and Summary End Product Data Schedules
5.2. Explain the approval process for both EPDS and SEPDS
5.3. Demonstrate the ability to read and understand the information contained in the EPDS and SEPDS

6. Processing Agreements – the student will be able to:
6.1. Explain the regulatory requirements for processor agreements
6.2. Explain the difference between a National Processing Agreement and a State Processing Agreement
6.3. Explain the approval process for agreements at the national and state level
6.4. Describe the requirements/content of the processor agreement
6.5. Describe the requirements of a Processor/Distributor Agreement

7. Monthly Performance Report and Monitoring – the student will be able to:
7.1. Identify the regulations and rules for Monthly Performance Reporting and Monitoring
7.2. Explain how to reconcile and verify Monthly Performance Reports
7.3. Explain the reporting requirements using standardized forms
7.4. Explain the process for calculating data required on the Monthly Performance Report
7.5. Explain the process of submitting the Monthly Performance Report

8. Value Pass Through – the student will be able to:
8.1. Identify the regulations and rules regarding Value Pass (VPT) Through Methods
8.2. Describe the various USDA recognized Value Pass (VPT) Through Methods
8.2.1. Refund or Rebate
8.2.2. Direct Discount
8.2.3. Indirect Discount (Net Off Invoice (NOI))
8.2.4. Fee for Service (FFS)
8.2.4.1. Direct Fee for Service
8.2.4.2. Fee for Service Through Distributor (FFSD)
8.2.4.3. Modified Fee for Service (MFFS)
8.3. Explain how to calculate the Value-Pass Through for each method
8.4. Explain the process of providing USDA food value to end user for each VPT method
8.5. Describe the method for record keeping, auditing, and reporting for each VPT method

9. Inventory Management – the student will be able to:
9.1. Explain the requirements for inventory management for processors, state distributing agencies, and recipient agencies
9.2. Define common terminology used in inventory management (FIFO, SKU, etc.)
9.3. Explain how to calculate the six (6) month inventory levels
9.4. Describe the process for “sweeps ”
9.5. Explain the reporting process for inventory management
9.6. Identify the required forms for inventory management
9.7. Identify the resources available for inventory management (software, forms, etc.)
9.8. Explain the restitution process for the loss of value of USDA Foods

10. Frontloading and Liability – the student will be able to:
10.1. Define frontloading
10.2. Understand the guidance from USDA and SDAs regarding frontloading
10.3. Explain the process of frontloading and the liability risks associated with this process
10.4. Describe the process for record keeping for frontloaded pounds of USDA Foods
10.5. Understand how discounts are provided when frontloading does/does not occur

11. Reconciliation – the student will be able to:
11.1. Identify the regulations and rules regarding reconciliation.
11.2. Describe the process of reconciliation.
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software