Classroom & Online Options
The South Dakota Retailers Association offers three types of foodservice training classes:
- 8-hour live ServSafe® class for certification or recertification
- 4-hour live state-approved recertification class
- Online ServSafe® course with proctored test
If you need training right away and don't have a class scheduled in your area, you may want to consider the online option. After going through the online course, you'll schedule a test with a certified ServSafe® proctor. A proctor may charge a fee for their service.
Pre-Registration and Pre-Payment is Required For All Foodservice Classes. We do not accept American Express. Due to high demand, a spot in a class will not be reserved until registration and payment is received.
8-hour National Certification- Recertification Member
8-hour National Certification- Recertification Nonmember
4-hour State Recertification Member
4-hour State Recertification Nonmember
Online Certification Member
Online Certification Nonmember
Notes about the 8-hour course:
You must register and pay at least two weeks before the class.
All participants who register for the 8-hour ServSafe® Certification / Recertification program will receive a course workbook. It will be mailed to you as soon as the South Dakota Retailers Association receives your registration form and fee. The workbook should be studied prior to the class.
Be sure to include your email address on the registration form, because after you pass your ServSafe® test you will receive your certificate via email. Please allow up to 2 weeks to receive your ServSafe® exam results. If you have lost your certificate and need a duplicate, call the National Restaurant Association at 1-800-765-2122, extension 6703.
ServSafe® National Certification / Recertification (8-Hour Class + Test) - 2018-2019 Class Dates
|Month||Aberdeen||Pierre||Rapid City||Sioux Falls||Watertown|
|January 2019||Tues., Jan. 8||Wed., Jan. 9|
|February 2019||Tues., Feb. 5||Wed., Feb. 6|
|March 2019||Tues., Mar. 5||Wed., Mar. 6|
|April 2019||Wed., Apr. 3||Tues., Apr. 9||Wed., Apr. 17|
|May 2019||Tues., May 14||Wed., May 22||Wed., May 8|
|June 2019||Wed., June 5||Tues., June 11||Wed., June 19|
|July 2019||Tues., July 16||Wed., July 17|
|August 2019||Wed., Aug. 14||Tues., Aug. 27||Wed., Aug. 7|
|September 2019||Tues,, Sept. 24||Wed., Sept. 11||Wed., Sept. 18|
|October 2019||Wed., Oct. 23||Tues., Oct. 22||Wed., Oct. 9|
|November 2019||Tues., Nov. 19||Wed., Nov. 6|
|December 2019||Tues., Dec. 10||Wed., Dec. 4|
Note about the 4-hour class:
When you complete the state recertification class, the instructor will immediately give you a certificate of completion. THIS IS THE ONLY COPY OF THE CERTIFICATE, so it is important that you keep it in a safe place.
State Recertification (4-Hour Class*) - 2019 Class Dates
|Month||Aberdeen||Pierre||Rapid City||Sioux Falls||Watertown|
|January 2019||Tues., Jan. 22||Wed., Jan. 16|
|April 2019||Tues., Apr. 2||Wed., Apr. 10|
|May 2019||Tues., May 21||Tues, May 7|
|June 2019||Tues., June 4|
|July 2019||Wed., July 10|
|August 2019||Tues., Aug. 13|
|September 2019||Tues., Sept. 17|
|October 2019||Tues., Oct. 22||Tues., Oct. 8||Wed., Oct. 16|
Why Do You Need Training?
The State of South Dakota requires food service establishments to have at least one person on staff who has passed an eight-hour food service training and certification program. Recertification is required every 5 years, so be sure to keep track of your expiration date.
The requirement is part of the South Dakota Food Service Code, which is designed to help ensure customers receive food that has been properly stored, handled, prepared and served.
What Type of Class Do you Need?
National ServSafe® Certification / Recertification (valid for 5 years):
This is the program you need to take the first time you get certified. You can choose either a live class or an online class to get your first-time certification. You would also take one of these classes when it's time for you to be recertified, IF you want to maintain your national ServSafe® certification.
- Live class and test: Take an 8-hour ServSafe® class and a test.
- Online: Prefer an online option? Go through the ServSafe® course online at your convenience, then take a test with a certified ServSafe® proctor. (The exam is in printed form only, and is not available online.) You can read more about the online program below.
- ServSafe® test only: When you're being recertified, if you would like to keep your national ServSafe® certification, you have the option of just taking the test at a regularly scheduled live class -or- you can schedule the test with a ServSafe® proctor.
State Recertification Class (valid for 5 years):
If you have a current (unexpired) certification and are renewing it, you may choose this option.
- 4-hour state program - no test: This provides a short refresher program with NO GRADED TEST. This is a live class only; it is not available online. It is only valid in South Dakota.
*The 4-hour program does not maintain the national ServSafe® certification, but it does meet the requirements of the South Dakota Department of Health. The 4-hour class is based on the ServSafe® course, but there is no test at the end of the course, and no workbook to study beforehand. This course also offers an economical way to train ALL employees on basic food handling techniques. (NOTE: The 4-hour course does not meet the recertification requirements for health care facilities. Some franchises have contracts that require them to take the ServSafe® recertification program and don't allow staff at those businesses to take the 4-hour state recertification program).
Pre-Registration and Pre-Payment is Required
Pre-registration - including payment - is required at least two weeks prior to the class, whether you are becoming certified for the first time or are being recertified.
Due to high demand for classes, SDRA is not able to reserve a spot in a class until payment is received. Be sure to register early, as seating is limited. A fee is charged for rescheduling a class and for retesting.
Live Course Agendas
8-Hour ServSafe® Certification / Recertification Classes:
- 7:45 a.m. - check in
- 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.- instruction
- Noon - lunch on your own
- 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. - certification exam (NOTE: after you pass the test, you will receive your certification via email within 7 to 14 days, so be sure to provide your email address on the registration form)
4-Hour State-Approved Recertification Classes:
- 12:45 p.m. - check in
- 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. - instruction and recertification
What to Bring to the Class
- All classes: Arrive 15 minutes prior to the class or test to sign in.
- All classes: Bring a photo ID such as a driver's license, State ID, tribal ID, student ID or passport.
- For 8-hour ServSafe® classes and ServSafe® tests: Bring a #2 pencil and eraser PLUS the ServSafe® textbook. Be sure the Examination Answer Sheet is in the textbook. (Note - there is no workbook for the state-approved recertification class).
Online ServSafe® Course & Proctored Test - National Certification & Recertification
Benefits of the online program
- All course materials are online, and you have immediate access to the materials once you sign up
- You can choose to print all or just portions of the materials
- Once you start the online program, it's available for 90 days so you can go back and review the information as you need to
- The online program is available 24 hours a day
- Practice questions and answers are interspersed throughout the training
- There is a practice test so you can see how you're doing before you take the actual proctored test
When you choose online training, the test you take following the training must be proctored by a certified ServSafe proctor.
How the online training works
- To register for the online training, call the South Dakota Retailers Association at 1-800-658-5545. We will sign you up for the program. Have your credit card ready when you call. We will also need a valid email addres.
- Once you're registered, you will receive an email from the National Restaurant Association. The email will contain a link to the online course and materials.
- You will have 90 days to complete the online training.
- Once you complete the online course, print the Certificate of Completion.
- Sign up to take a test. You have two options for the test: you can sign up to take the test at a regularly scheduled ServSafe class -OR- you may schedule a test with a certified ServSafe proctor. For help finding a ServSafe proctor, contact the South Dakota Retailers Association at 1-800-658-5545.
- Whether you take the test at a ServSafe class or with a proctor, bring the Certificate of Completion that you printed, PLUS a photo ID.
- After you take the test, you will receive the results within 2 weeks by email from the National Restaurant Association.
For more details on the online course, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do I have to become certified?
A: The Food Service Code adopted by the State of South Dakota is designed to make sure that businesses which serve food to the public use safe and sanitary food handling, serving, and storage procedures. As part of that code, the state requires foodservice businesses to have at least one person on staff who has participated in an 8-hour training program, and has passed a certification exam.
Q: I am opening a new restaurant. How long do I have to get a person on my staff certified?
A: You must have a certified person on staff prior to opening.
Q: If a business has just one ServSafe certified person on staff, and that person leaves, how long does the business have to get another person certified?
A: The state health code says when a certified food service manager leaves an establishment, the establishment has a 90-day grace period to obtain another certified food service manager.
Q: If I purchase an existing restaurant, how long do I have to get a person certified?
A: Upon a change of ownership, a food service establishment has 90 days to have a person certified.
Q: Will I receive documentation to show I have passed the ServSafe® program?
A: Yes. If you receive a score of at least 75%, you will be notified of passage and receive your certificate by email.
Q: How will I know if I passed the ServSafe® test?
A: EMAIL: Your test results will be emailed to you by the National Restaurant Association about 7 to 14 days after you take the test.
MAIL: The South Dakota Retailers Association will send you a letter with your test score.
ONLINE: You may also check online for results. Within 7 to 14 days after you take the test, your scores will be available to you online at www.nraef.org/classes. You must have the Class Number to check your score online. (The instructor will give you the Class Number the day of the class).
Q: Once I pass the certification test, do I have to become recertified in the future?
A: Yes. The South Dakota Food Service Code requires recertification every five years. The certification is valid for five years from the date of the exam. The expiration date appears on your certificate.
Q: How do I know when my current ServSafe certification expires, or when the certification expires for one of my employees?
A: ServSafe certification is valid for five years in South Dakota, so your certification would be valid for five years from the date you took (and passed) the exam. The expiration date is on the ServSafe certificate.
Generally, you can find your certificate number and expiration date on the National Restaurant Association (NRA) ServSafe page at https://www.servsafe.com/students.
If you don't have access to your certificate or aren't able to find your certification information on NRA's website:
- if you took the training through the South Dakota Retailers Association, you can email us at email@example.com and we'll check our records
- if you took the training through another group, you would need to contact that training group
You can read NRA's Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to ServSafe certificates at https://www.servsafe.com/manager/ecert_faqs
Q: Why are there two ways to be recertified?
A: One recertification is recognized on a national basis; the other is strictly a South Dakota program.
Some people who have received their national ServSafe® certification want to keep that national certification when their original certificate is expiring. They can participate in the ServSafe® training and exam. Health care facilities are required to maintain their national certification, and must take the 8-hour class for recertification.
Other people don't care if they maintain national certification - they just want to meet the state of South Dakota's requirements. For those people, the state has approved a 4-hour recertification program which does not involve a pass/fail exam. It is instruction only, and attendees receive a certificate of completion at the conclusion.
Q: If I have been ServSafe® certified in another state, is that certification valid in South Dakota?
A: If your certificate has not expired, your ServSafe® certification from another state is valid in South Dakota.
Q: The fees are lower for Retailers Association members. How do I become a member?
A: For information on membership in the South Dakota Retailers Association, call our office at 1-800-658-5545.
For more information, call SDRA at 1-800-658-5545, or contact us via email.