Q: What is an ANFP Spokesperson?
A: The ANFP Spokesperson is responsible for "public relations" in his/her ANFP state chapter. This includes gaining recognition for ANFP members, and the CDM credential.
Q: What goals should the Impact Team have?
A: The first goal of the ANFP Government Advocacy Program is to gain recognition of the CDM credential in foodservice regulations. Beyond that, the Impact Team should plan programs that will increase recognition and awareness of all ANFP members, the association, and the CDM credential in their state. Recognition and awareness should be gained among elected and regulatory officials as well as the general public.
Q: How do we get recognition for the CDM credential?
A: There are two ways to go about it. The first is through the regulatory process. This involves contacting state regulatory officials that deal with health care dietary services and working with them to change the regulations. The regulatory process differs in each state, but usually it involves opening the books for review. Once the books are opened, changes are proposed, comments on proposed changes are made, and final rules are adopted.
The second method is to go through the legislative process. If the books can't or won't be opened through the regulatory process, you can ask a state legislator to introduce a bill to gain recognition. Through this method, you can help create the language you want, and work with state representatives and senators as the bill moves through the legislative process.
Q: How do I decide which legislators to make contact with?
A: Whatever your Impact Team goals, it is a good idea to get to know state legislators. The best way to start is with your own state representative and senator. They have a vested interest in talking with you — you vote for them! Call up the district office of your state senator and representative and ask to meet with them. Tell them what your priorities are. Ask them about the legislative process and with whom else you should be meeting. Follow up with them — send a thank you card after your meeting, call to ask about bills that are of interest to you, arrange to take a tour of the capitol. These legislators will enjoy meeting a constituent and you will gain a valuable ally.
Q: How do I meet state regulatory officials?
A: The best way is to go through the chain of command — ask your state surveyor. They may be willing to help you and they will appreciate your interest. If the state surveyor does not know, call the ANFP Advocacy & Professional Development Coordinator. She may have names of contacts in key regulatory agencies.
Q: If my state already recognizes the CDM credential, what do I do?
A: If your state already recognizes the CDM credential — GREAT! You have done your work, but now is not the time to rest on your laurels. You should keep monitoring state legislative and regulatory information to make sure changes aren't made that will hurt CDMs. You should also plan public relations activities that will increase awareness of the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals to the public and key audiences. Attend trade shows of health care and food service associations. Do public service activities. Promote CDMs to administrators. Plan membership recruitment campaigns. Join coalitions with allied associations. Keep an eye on other legislative and regulatory activities that may affect CDMs and act on them as necessary.
Q: Why don't we promote the CFPP credential anymore?
A: Even though ANFP still has the sanitation portion of the certification exam, it is not recognized by the Conference for Food Protection and, so our exam will not qualify under the FDA Model Food Code rules. The reasons for not being affiliated with the Conference for Food Protection will most likely not change any time soon. They include:
Adhering to the Conference for Food Protection standards meant that we could not establish passing scores that are appropriate for our individual exam.
The Conference for Food Protection requires re-testing as a means of re-certification. The Certifying Board for Dietary Managers feels that continuing education is another viable alternative to re-testing, but continuing education is not accepted by the Conference for Food Protection.
The Conference for Food Protection only accepts exams that have been accredited by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Our exam is accredited by National Commission for Certifying Agencies. Getting approved by ANSI means additional costs (costs that would eventually be passed on to members in the form of increased certification fees) and meeting additional standards. The Conference for Food Protection refused to accept exams that were accredited by agencies other than ANSI.
The Certifying Board still considers sanitation knowledge an important part of dietary management; in fact it is still a large portion of the exam. We would have liked to have been a Conference for Food Protection accredited exam, however, trying to keep up with the Conference for Food Protection accreditation process, and the state regulations that followed, take away from our core mission, which is overall dietary management. So we are not pursuing Conference for Food Protection approval.
It has become more and more difficult to spend the time, money and energy necessary to fight this battle. As we move forward, we want to focus our resources on activities that will gain recognition for the overall CDM credential and show how important it is in institutional food service.