Food Service Training

Brochure explaining SDRA's alcohol and foodservice training programs
(PDF format / 6 pages / may take some time to load)

Training Schedule / Registration Form Dec., 2015 - July, 2016 (PDF format / 2 pages)



SDRA 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

Note: Pre-Registration and Pre-Payment is Required For All Foodservice Classes



8-hour National Certification / Recertification Member

8-hour National Certification / Recertification Nonmember

4-hour State Recertification Member

4-hour State Recertification Nonmember


Reschedule Fee

Online Certification Member

Online Certification Nonmember










December 2015 - November 2016 Class Dates:

ServSafe National Certification / Recertification ( 8-Hour Class + Test)

NOTE: After you pass your ServSafe test, you will receive you certificate via email, so be sure to include your email address on the registration form. We will mail the course workbook to you after we receive your registration and payment.

Month Aberdeen Pierre Rapid City Sioux Falls Watertown
Dec 2015     Tues., Dec. 8, 2015 Wed., Dec. 16, 2015  
Jan 2016     Tues., Jan. 19, 2016 Wed., Jan. 13, 2016  
Feb 2016     Tues., Feb. 23, 2016 Wed., Feb. 10, 2016  
Mar 2016   Wed., Mar. 16, 2016 Tues., Mar. 22, 2016 Wed., Mar. 9, 2016  
Apr 2016     Tues., Apr. 19, 2016 Wed., Apr. 6, 2016 Wed., April 13, 2016
May 2016 Wed., May 11, 2016   Tues., May 24, 2016 Wed., May 4, 2016  
June 2016     Tues., June 21, 2016

Wed., June 1, 2016


Wed., June 22, 2016

July 2016     Tues., July 19, 2016

Wed., July 13, 2016

Aug 2016   Wed., Aug. 3, 2016  

Wed., Aug. 10, 2016

Sept 2016     Tues., Sept. 20, 2016 Wed., Sept. 7, 2016 Wed., Sept. 14, 2016
Oct 2016 Wed., Oct. 19, 2016   Tues., Oct. 18, 2016 Wed., Oct. 5, 2016  
Nov 2016     Tues., Nov. 15, 2016 Wed., Nov. 2, 2016  


State Recertification (4-Hour Class) - 2016 Class Dates

Month Aberdeen Pierre Rapid City Sioux Falls Watertown
Jan 2016          
Feb 2016     Tues., Feb. 9, 2016 Wed., Feb. 3, 2016  
Mar 2016   Tues., Mar. 15, 2016      
Apr 2016       Wed., Apr. 20, 2016 Tues., April 12, 2016
May 2016 Tues., May 10, 2016        
June 2016     Tues., June 7, 2016    
July 2016       Wed., July 6, 2016  
Aug 2016   Tues., Aug. 2, 2016      
Sept 2016         Tues., Sept. 13, 2016
Oct 2016 Tues., Oct. 18, 2016   Tus., Oct. 4, 2016 Wed., Oct. 12, 2016  
Nov 2016          
Dec 2016          


The State of South Dakota requires every food service establishment and mobile food service establishment to have at least one person on staff who has passed an eight-hour food service training and certification program. The requirement is part of the State Food Service Code, which is designed to help ensure that customers receive food that has been properly stored, handled, prepared and served.

What Type of Class Do you Need?

First Time Certification:

If you are being certified for the first time -or- if your certification has already expired, you MUST take the 8-hour ServSafe® certification class and test.

There are two ways to get your first-time certification:

  • Live class and test: Attend an 8-hour program, which includes a test.
  • Online: Take the class online, then take a proctored test.

Certification is valid for 5 years.


If you have a current (unexpired) certification and are renewing it you have four choices:

  • Live ServSafe® class and test: Take the entire 8-hour ServSafe® class, which includes a test to retain your national ServSafe® certification.
  • ServSafe® test only: If you don't think you need the full 8-hour course but would like to keep your national ServSafe® certification, you can skip the classroom training and just take the test.
  • Online ServSafe® training and proctored test: Prefer an online program? Go through the ServSafe® class onine, then take a proctored test.
  • 4-hour state program - no test*: If you would just like a short refresher program with NO GRADED TEST, the 4-hour state recertification program is for you. (Only valid in South Dakota).

Recertification is valid for 5 years.

*The 4-hour program does not maintain the national ServSafe certification, but it does meet the requirements of the South Dakota Department of Health-Office of Health Protection. The 4-hour class is based on the ServSafe® course, but there is no pass or fail on the written test at the end of the course, and no book 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).


All participants who attend the ServSafe Certification and 8 hour ServSafe 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 seminar. 

Pre-Registration and Pre-Payment is Required

Pre-registration - including payment - is required prior to the seminar, 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 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, 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, student ID or passport.
  • For 8-hour ServSafe® classes and ServSafe® tests: Bring a #2 pencil and erase 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 Course & Proctored Test - National Certification & Recertification

When you choose online training, the test you take following the online training must be proctored by a certified proctor.

How it works:

1. When you register for the online training, you will sign up to take a proctored test. You'll have two options for the test: you can take it at a regularly scheduled ServSafe® class -OR- you may schedule a proctored test at the SDRA office in Pierre.

2. Once you compete the online course, you need to print the Certificate of Cmpletion.

3. Within 90 days after starting the online course, you will take the proctored test. Bring the Certificate of Completion that you printed PLUS a photo ID.

For more details on the online course, email


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 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: If 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 mail. 

Q: How and when will I get my scores?
A: By mail: Once you take your exam, the South Dakota Retailers Association (SDRA) forwards the tests to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation for grading. As soon as SDRA receives the results back from the national organization, we mail them to you.  It's usually about 2 weeks from the time you take the test until you receive your test results in the mail.

Online: You may also check online for results. Within 15 days after you take the test, your examination scores will be available to you online through the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation website at You must have the Class Number to check your score online. (The instructor will give you the Class Number the day of the class). An overall examination score as well as an analysis of specific content domains is available. 

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.

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.

Copyright © 2015 South Dakota Retailers Association, all rights reserved.
Phone: (605) 224-5050 / Toll-free 1-800-658-5545