September 14, 2017

Boiling Down CFSP Exam Prep

Boiling Down CFSP Exam Prep Image

As foodservice professionals, most of us are familiar with the Certified Foodservice Professional (CFSP) certification and understand its relevance to our industry. The globally-recognized CFSP program promotes high standards of knowledge, education and ethics among foodservice industry professionals. For those considering sitting for the exam, do you have a plan in place to ensure success?

At AutoQuotes, twelve employees recently sat for the exam. Led by Content Manager Nancy Nelson, the group has worked together for more than a year and learned a lot about what works – and what doesn’t – when it comes to preparing for the CFSP exam. We’d like to share our experience with you – starting with why we think the certification is necessary.

“CFSP is a practical designation and one we can apply directly back to what we do at AutoQuotes,” says Nancy. “The more we understand about the industry, the better we are at our jobs.”

The best decision Nancy made in preparation for the exam was to turn to the experts for advice. Working closely with Marianne Byrne, Manager, Education & Events for NAFEM (North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers), they laid out a plan for maximum success utilizing the "in-house overview and exam" method. The method's layout includes:

• Conducting regular group meetings of 60 to 90 minutes in length. (“People in study groups absorb the material better,” says Marianne.)
• Splitting up the topics in NAFEM’s 20-chapter textbook, "An Introduction to the Foodservice Industry," among the study group members.
• Having members introduce their topics to the group using various presentation and teaching methods, such as creating PowerPoint presentations, flash cards and leading Q&A sessions.
• Holding group review sessions.
• Planning for a NAFEM industry veteran to conduct a final on-site, in-person study seminar.
• Scheduling the team to take the exam together at an off-site location.

The final study seminar before the CFSP exam.

The final study seminar before the CFSP exam.

In addition to leading the in-house review, Nancy also sat for the exam. Why is CFSP important to her? “In [Catalog] Content, if we understand the design and build of a kitchen, we can ask our manufacturers better questions about their products, and present them best in the AQ Catalog for dealers, designers and reps,” says Nancy.

“CFSP represents a person’s FES industry involvement, dedication and expertise,” says Marianne. “The exam is comprehensive and covers a huge variety of topics. Having a point person like Nancy is the best way to go. She keeps the group on pace and handles the communication and administration with us. It’s a great way to be successful."

“I hope I passed,” says Nancy. “But even if I didn’t and others from our group did, I’ll consider it a success.”

Look for an update to this story when the exam results are in. Learn more about NAFEM’s CFSP program here.

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