Obtaining the Food Distribution Specialist Credential

PLEASE NOTE: The inaugural FDS Credential Exam will be available in the third quarter of 2024. The application process will open fall 2024. 

Are you considering taking your career to the next level? The ACDA Food Distribution Specialist (FDS) Credential displays your deep and comprehensive knowledge of all six core competency areas. The six certification areas are USDA Foods Overview, Procurement and Planning, DoD Fresh, Direct Delivery, and Processing. 
This credential is a mark of excellence and reflects one’s knowledge, skills, and ability to effectively manage the USDA Foods Programs at various levels. â€‹Additionally, the FDS credential:

  • establishes a body of knowledge for professionals working in the USDA Food Distribution Programs
  • assess an individual’s level of knowledge in a reliable manner
  • encourage professional growth and elevation of industry standards
  • formally recognize individuals who attain a high degree of knowledge in key competency areas
You are ready for the FDS Credential Exam when you meet the criteria set forth in the charts below. Specific details and work experience qualifications are listed in the manual. 

    Application Process for the ACDA FDS Credential

    Once you have completed one of the three paths to the FDS credential listed above, you can begin the application process to obtain your credential.

    Once you have selected an exam date and location, please submit the documents listed below to info@commodityfoods.org by the appropriate dateline stated for the exam dateAll credential application packets must include the follow items:  

    1. FDS application
    2. Academic degree or transcript (unofficial transcript is acceptable)
    3. Proof of certificate requirements
    4. Payment
    Once the application has been reviewed and accepted, ACDA will send an exam confirmation notice via email. If you do not receive an email within 7-10 business days of submitting your application, please contact the office at 850-480-7332 or info@commodityfoods.org. Applications cannot be approved at the examination site.
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