Food Protection Leader (FPL) Exam & Certification
The primary purpose of the WFSO – FPL Exam is the evaluation and certification of those candidates who wish to secure or maintain Food Protection Leader Certification in accordance with the criteria and standards established by the Conference for Food Protection, and the FDA Food Code. It is designed to test and assess food managers on knowledge, skills, and abilities relevant to the prevention of food borne illness and meet the requirements for a Certified Person in Charge of a food service operation serving the public.
The WFSO also has a responsibility to ensure that the certification process is fair to our examinees and protects their inherent rights. After successfully passing the exam, candidates may use the following terms to refer to themselves while they maintain a valid certification:
Certified Food Protection Leader
WFSO Certified Food Protection Leader
WFSO FPL Certified
They may also use the “WFSO Certified Food Protection Leader Certified” logo on their stationery, business card, personal website, etc. to indicate their status.
The certificate is valid for up to five years from the date of the exam.
The WFSO’s mission is to harmonize the food safety standard and related training and educational programs to support the development of the food business on a global level. In support of that mission, WFSO partnered with APS Culinary Dynamics, LLC to bring the WFSO certification program to the United States of America.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code 2017, Section2-102.20, states that a Food Protection Manager Certification is required by the Person in Charge of a food service operation.
WFSO offers an enhanced training and certification platform to increase the safety of the food system. The WFSO-FPL certification program is working to meet the requirements for certifying a Person in Charge (as referenced in FDA Food Code 2017, Section2-102.20) as well as providing the validation of global best practices in food safety protection and leadership in an establishment.
A Person in Charge demonstrates their knowledge as a food protection manager by earning certification through an approved food protection manager certification program (WFSO-FPL Certification is working towards this approval). An approved program conforms to the Conference for Food Protection standards, has been evaluated, and listed by a Conference for Food Protection-recognized accrediting agency.
The purpose of the WFSO-FPL certification examination is to assess whether a candidate has the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for competent practice as an entry-level WFSO-FPL (as defined by industry standards and in line with the mission of the WFSO-FPL certification program).
A high-quality credentialing program must follow certain logically sound and legally defensible procedures. WFSO partnered with Scantron Corporation (Scantron), an assessment solutions company, to ensure the WFSO-FPL examination adheres to standards outlined in federal regulation (Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures) and manuals such as Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (published by the American Educational Research Association, 1999).
The WFSO – FPL Certification Exam is an English-only, proctored, closed book exam with 90 questions. 80 questions will be graded with an additional 10 pilot questions that are for research purposes only. Questions are multiple choice with four options for each question. There is only one correct answer presented in each question. The exam is only available via computer. Paper copies are not offered. The examination is timed to 2 hours.
Target Audience Statement
The WFSO-FPL understands the foundational principles of keeping food safe in a food business, has industry experience, and is committed to guiding others in preserving the safety of food. The WFSO-FPL carries the knowledge and skills of standard global best practices for food that is safe for human consumption.
The WFSO-FPL certification exam is open to all candidates. The WFSO recommends that all candidates have a form of food safety training and/or food service industry experience prior to taking the examination.
Further, the WFSO specifically recommends the completion of the 8-hour Essentials of Food Hygiene training course and 4-hour Food Protection Leader Exam Preparation Course provided by the WFSO
Domain Break Down
The WFSO has determined that the key areas of responsibility performed by an FPL could be divided into four major content areas:
1 – Personal Hygiene: Demonstrate appropriate judgement as an employee and leader in personal health and safety, including proper handwashing, uniform guidelines, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and the reduction of pathogen transfer from human to food.
2 – Food Hygiene: Control the hygiene and safety of food through the operation from purchasing, receiving, storage, food preparation, and service.
3 – Physical Facility Management: Reduce the risk of food contamination from the physical facility.
4 – Food Safety Management Systems: Maintain and manage food safety best practices, HACCP analysis, and risk-based preventive measures to protect food for human consumption