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6 FAQs for Taking the Food Manager Certification Test Online

An online proctor keeps tabs on a test taker remotely.

In the foodservice industry, having your Food Protection Manager Certification (FPMC) is a big deal. Not only does the FDA Food Code recommend that persons in charge of food establishments have their FPMC, most areas across the United States require at least one manager per establishment to have the certification.

Getting your FPMC is also a big deal in part because to qualify, you must complete a lengthy proctored exam.

Here at StateFoodSafety, we’re committed to providing the most practical and innovative solutions for food safety training — including getting an FPMC. In 2018, we became the first provider to offer online proctoring for the certification exam.

Because online proctoring isn’t as common as traditional in-person proctoring for the food manager exam, people often have questions about how it works. We’ve answered six of the most frequently asked questions below.

1. Do I need a Food Protection Manager Certification?

Food manager training and certification requirements can vary by health department jurisdiction. Our online food manager training course is tailored to each health department’s requirements for hundreds of locations.

To find out if your health department requires you to get an FPMC, check their website or call them directly. Once you’ve determined if certification is required in your area, you can follow the steps in question #3 to become certified.

Even if your health department doesn’t require certification, the principles you learn from the training course can be very beneficial in creating a safe and healthy work environment.

2. Is online proctoring for the FPMC exam approved by my health department?

Online proctoring for the Food Protection Manager Certification is approved nationwide by ANSI (American National Standards Institute), an agency that helps regulate standards for food safety training.

 Most health departments that accept ANSI-accredited Food Manager Certification allow online proctoring for the exam. However, there are some areas that don’t accept online proctoring. If the online proctoring option is available when you select your product during our checkout process, then it is approved in your area.

3. How can I become a Certified Food Protection Manager online?

Becoming a certified food manager starts with purchasing the training and exam you need. On our food manager purchase page, select your location to get the training tailored to your area’s requirements.

After selecting your location and product, you will be asked about the type of proctoring you’d like. Selecting online proctoring will allow you to take your exam from any secure location with internet access, including a private, enclosed room in your home.

After completing the checkout process, you will be directed to your dashboard where you can access the online training course you purchased at any time.

After completing the training, you can schedule an appointment to take the online exam through ProctorU (see question #4 below). Upon passing the exam, you will be able to print your certificate verifying that you are a Certified Food Protection Manager.

4. How does online proctoring with ProctorU work?

Online proctoring is similar in many ways to traditional proctoring. In both cases, a proctor monitors you as you take the exam to ensure no cheating occurs.

The main difference is that with traditional proctoring, the proctor is physically in the room with you. With online proctoring, the proctor connects with you remotely over the internet. They are not with you in person.

While you take the exam from the comfort of your home, the proctor shares your screen, sees through your webcam, and hears through your microphone. Before the exam begins, you will be asked to use your webcam to show the proctor the room where you plan to take the test to make sure it doesn’t have any materials that you could use to cheat. Throughout the exam, the proctor will monitor your test-taking remotely.

StateFoodSafety has partnered with ProctorU, a professional online proctoring company, to provide this service for the food manager exam. If you want to take our exam online with a remote proctor, you must go through ProctorU. For example, you cannot ask a colleague or supervisor from your own company to act as a remote proctor.

Please note that Chromebooks, phones, and tablets are not currently compatible devices for taking the exam with ProctorU.

5. Is online proctoring secure?

Online proctoring is actually the most secure form of proctoring available for the food manager exam. With traditional proctoring, a proctor sometimes has to monitor as many as 35 individuals simultaneously. With online proctoring, a proctor will never monitor more than six at a time.

In addition, the remote proctor has access to your screen, webcam, and microphone throughout the entire test. This allows the proctor to prevent any cheating from taking place.

When you take the exam with ProctorU, you’re required to download ProctorU’s software. Once the test is completed and you close out of the software, the proctor can no longer access your screen, webcam, or microphone.

6. How do I get my certificate after passing the online test?

After you pass the Food Protection Manager Certification Exam, you will receive an email congratulating you. The email will include a link to your certificate where you can download or print it, then share it with others.

If you ever lose the certificate or the email, you can find a copy of the certificate on your StateFoodSafety account. Log in to your account, click “Certificates” in the left sidebar, find your FPMC certificate, and click “View Certificate” to download or print it.

In conclusion, completing the Food Protection Manager Certification Exam with online proctoring is health department approved, secure, and efficient. It’s the only way to complete the certification 100% online, without ever having to leave your home. Try online proctoring today!

If you have any other questions, check out our online proctoring page or contact us.

— Calvin Clark

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