Since 2011, the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) has been working on
cooperative agreements with FDA and other partners to build training and certification for the
integrated food safety system (IFSS) as mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
This work has created a wealth of valuable educational and training resources, including the
National Curriculum Standard (NCS). The NCS is an educational roadmap that can help build food safety
regulatory capacity from the entry level through leadership. Inside this map, the waypoints are the
knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to achieve the public health goal of keeping the food supply safe
and wholesome. There is still much work to be done in developing education and training for every
aspect of the NCS in human food, animal food, and laboratory regulatory needs. NEHA will continue to
bring expertise and cooperation to the table.
As this development continues to take place, there is also a need to persist in teaching today’s
regulatory workforce on the scientific knowledge, tools, and techniques needed to regulate the food
supply with the goal of keeping food safe. This ongoing work will continue, using online resources for
the core knowledge elements, and face-to-face experiential learning that puts this knowledge into
practice. NEHA will continue to be a leader in this area as we refine adult learning principles such as
immersive teaching techniques, peer-to-peer learning, and kinesthetic experiences.
To complete the lifecycle of learning, NEHA will continue to measure knowledge learned
through formative and summative assessments and will reach out to participants post-training to
determine retention and usage of knowledge. Information gained from this and course evaluations will
be used to hone the courses as part of a total quality improvement plan.
In addition, the recent COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders have made it
clear that alternative education and training mechanisms must continue to be developed and refined to
not just impart information, but to reach adult learners with the same intellectual impact as interactive
face-to-face trainings. In fact, during the first week of April 2020, over 11,500 downloads of e-learning
content occurred on the NEHA learning management system (LMS). NEHA will continue to improve the
way we develop online resources and teach in a virtual environment as part of this cooperative