How to Get a ServSafe Manager Certification in 2024 (2024)

US FDA works hard to keep the food supply in the USA safest worldwide. ServSafe managers help the FDA to enforce such stringent food safety regulations. You can also take part in this quest by getting a ServSafe certification.

This article will walk you through the entire process of training, preparing, and appearing for the ServSafe accreditation. Moreover, you will also discover some high-quality practice questions and prep materials that will help you pass the test.

What Is ServSafe Manager Certification?

The ServSafe accreditation is the most established food safety training program in the USA. Most US states, federal, and local food safety departments recognize this certification.

The ServSafe certification has been taken up by more than 2.6 million professionals working as food safety or restaurant managers. The national body Conference for Food Protection (CFP) also recognizes the ServSafe manager accreditation.

The National Restaurant Association administers this professional certification course and exam. In collaboration with foodservice industry experts, NRA has invested their expertise in the sector to prepare the course curriculum, study materials, and exam format.

How to Get a ServSafe Manager Certification

The National Restaurant Association has a stringent certification policy so that the certified professionals can uphold the food safety requirements laid down by FDA from time to time.

The certification is a challenging exam with a lot of competition since there are possibilities for promotion and salary increases. Find below a step-by-step guide to obtaining this prestigious certificate in the food services industry:

Requirement Checking

There are multiple ServSafe certifications. Different states and local bodies have additional requirements. You may need more than one certification, and only the ServSafe Manager Certification may not work. Also, there are specific internal policies from employers. Hence, perform your due diligence before signing up for a certification.

Select Training, Learning, and Exam Options

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ServSafe offers multiple learning, training, and exam options. It would help if you chose a perfect combination by analyzing your state’s requirements, company policy, local body regulations, and work schedule.

Again, you must correlate your regional food safety regulation policies and requirements with the ServSafe portal to find the best match. Otherwise, you may wind up wasting time, money, and effort.

The followings are the course and exam variations:

Training Type

  • Instructor-led training
  • Self-paced learning materials
  • Online learning courses

Course Languages

  • Online courses are primarily available in Spanish and English.
  • ServSafe certification textbooks come in Chinese, Korean, English, and Spanish.

Training Format

  • Classroom training under the guidance of a certified trainer
  • Online computer-delivered training

Exam Languages

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  • You can choose between English and Spanish for the online exam.
  • The pen and paper-based exams are available in Canadian, French, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, English, and Spanish.

Exam Format

  • Proctored online exam
  • Classroom or institutional exam

Select a Trainer, Class, and Exam Proctor

To begin the learning and training process for the ServSafe Manager Certification course, you must find a certified trainer. The National Restaurant Association also certifies exam proctors and trainers through separate programs. Hence, you must authenticate the trainer’s certificate before investing time and money.

Also, not everyone can proctor ServSafe certification tests. The proctors should possess a certification from ServSafe. Before selecting a proctor, ensure you verify the certificate of the person who claims they are a proctor.

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You may visit the Find an Instructor or Proctor portal of ServSafe to find the right trainer and proctor. In the portal, enter relevant information like state, training format, exam format, ZIP code, etc., to find the right trainer and proctor.

Moreover, you need to find a class to either get classroom training and then appear for the exam or directly appear for a classroom exam. You can log in to the Find a Class portal of ServSafe to look for a suitable class or exam for you. Remember, you can either choose an exam or a bundle of training and exam.

Buy Learning and Training Materials

Since this is a professional certification course, no doubt there will be some course content that may not have been covered in your high school or college educational programs. Hence, certification administrators also publish training or learning content to aid the test takers.

For the ServSafe Manager Certification or even other ServSafe certification courses, there are some high-quality training materials that you can buy from ServSafe. The National Restaurant Association reviews and approves the course outline to keep the learning objective.

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Before purchasing any materials, you can speak with your training provider. Some ServSafe accreditation trainer providers partner up with ServSafe to offer course materials. Also, you may not know which materials are needed, and only an experienced trainer can suggest the materials.

However, you can purchase the learning content directly from ServSafe and the exam voucher for self-service online exams and training.

You can go to the following online course shopping pages to find relevant courses for purchase:

In most cases, you get the online or offline exam voucher when you purchase the course material or sign up for classroom training by a third-party trainer. However, you can also buy an independent exam voucher from the above portal.

Take the Course and Training

Once you have all the materials in your hand or have joined a training agency, you need to go through the learning process diligently. Carefully complete all the necessary course curricula ServSafe and the National Restaurant Association suggested.

Take the Test

After completing the learning and training resources, it is time for you to schedule your ServSafe certification classroom or online exam. Remember, you can also take the test from the comfort of home if you purchase the exam and online proctoring tool voucher. More on the exam and its content is below.

An Overview of the ServSafe Manager Certification


  • You are an employee of the food services industry or managing restaurants.
  • Your regional regulations enforce that the certification is mandatory.


  • You can only take a No. 2 lead pencil for the print-based test.
  • You can take a bilingual dictionary if English is not your first language.
  • For the online test at home, you should have a compatible computer, webcam, microphone, and other requirements suggested by Pearson VUE and ProctorU.

Exam Format

  • The ServSafe certification test is a multiple choice question-based examination.
  • It is available in print and online tests.
  • The online test has two variants. You can take the exam home or go to an authorized testing center.

Duration of the Test

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  • You will get a maximum of two hours to answer all the questions.
  • On average, the test should be complete in 1 hour and 30 minutes.

No. of Questions in the Test

The ServSafe accreditation has a total of 90 questions. Out of these, 10 are pilot questions and only used for future research. You need to attempt all the 90 questions.

Passing Score

You need to obtain 75% or better to pass the exam. Then, ServSafe will issue a certificate to you. You should find the score in your ServSafe account within 3 to 4 business days, but it could take up to 10 days.

No. of Test Attempts

You can retake the exam immediately after failing for the first time. However, if you fall on the 2nd attempt, you must wait 60 days before the 3rd attempt. You can not appear for more than four tests within 12 months.

Exam Fee

  • With an online proctored exam, the ServSafe Manager learning course bundle is $179.00.
  • Online proctoring and the ServSafe Manager exam will cost you $99.00.

Instructor-Led Vs. Self-Paced Vs. Online Course

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ServSafe lets you decide your way of learning. Find below the training options:

Online Courses

Dynamic, self-disciplined, and multitaskers will love this course content. Materials are readily available 24×7 on websites or via certification guide eBooks. After subscription, start the learning as soon as possible within one year. You also need to appear for the ServSafe Manager test within 60 days from the first day of the course commencement.

Self-Directed Study

It is suited for you if you want to study on your schedule and terms. You can either purchase physical books of course content from ServSafe or its affiliates. If you are highly motivated, learning-oriented, and disciplined, you can save a lot by opting for self-guided study.

Instructor-Led Learning

If you prefer a classroom setting and want to clear doubts from a teacher, you should use this learning mode. You can find various options with ServSafe and its third-party affiliations for instructor-led training.

You can now check out the following resources which might help you in preparing for and passing this highly competitive professional certification exam:

ServSafe Manager Practice Tests: Test-Guide

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Test-guide has composed the practice papers following the latest ServSafe 7th edition course content. You will also get an idea of how the questions come up during the exam since these practice papers have been composed following an outline that ServSafe usually follows.

Sample questions, previous year’s questions, and practice papers are good options to test your ServSafe certification exam readiness. You get such high-quality questions for free from Test-Guide. According to the practice paper provider, the questions help you to pass the exam.

At the end of the questions, you get an immediate score. You also get detailed answers to the question, which you might fail.

ServSafe Practice Test: ServSafe-Prep

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ServSafe-Prep helps you to prepare appropriately for the upcoming ServSafe test by reviewing their training content. You get a practice test and example questions at the end of the course. The questions and other learning materials are in sync with ServSafe’s exam format and course outline.

Furthermore, ServSafe-Prep hosts the learning and practice test content on a responsive web-based platform. Hence, you can effortlessly access content from a computer, tablet, or mobile phone. On top of that, the training provider also offers its candidates a mobile app to keep the learning channel open.

If you like the course content, you may sign up for the entire course and test for a fee. You will have lifetime access to the trials and no ads that could distract you.

ServSafe Practice Test: Become

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Become provides the free-of-cost ServSafe Practice Test. You can take the test without signing up for any free account. However, if you sign up for an account, you can save your test progress and access your test score later.

Become offers example questions for four ServSafe exams: ServSafe Alcohol Advanced and Primary, ServSafe Allergens, ServSafe Food Handler, and ServSafe Manager Certification.

The ServSafe Manager accreditation sample papers have 90 questions for the free users. You can get more questions if you sign up for a premium account. A paid version also lets you download the question and answers in printable PDF for those who like paperback copies.

Servsafe and CPFM Study Guide 2022: Amazon

This book is your ultimate guide to becoming a food manager through ServSafe or CPFM. Miller Test Prep is the author of this food manager certification learning course.

Highlighted course topics are:

  • Foodborne Illnesses and Risks
  • Major Food Allergens
  • Food Contamination: Biological, Physical, and Chemical
  • Proper Ways to Cool, Reheat, and Thaw Food
  • Self Service/Buffet requirements
  • Integrated Pest Management

At the end of the learning sections, you will find a practice exam to evaluate your understanding of the course topic. The example question section also offers elaborated answers to boost your concept.

Final Words

So far, you have gone through an in-depth discussion of the ServSafe certification process. In the article, you have also discovered some trending and recommended resources to prepare for the exam. Most of the resources discussed above are free, so they could become additional resources and other materials you purchase from ServSafe.

The article has also helped you to decide whether to go for a self-paced training, instructor-led training, or online course for the ServSafe exam. Happy testing!

You may also be interested in food API solutions to develop an automated system for recipes and nutrition in your restaurant.

How to Get a ServSafe Manager Certification in 2024 (2024)
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