Editor’s note: This is part of series of contributed articles and opinion columns we are publishing in recognition of September as Food Safety Education Month.

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) invites all retail food regulatory programs to submit applications to participate in a mentorship program with their peers to learn, share experiences, and acquire tools and resources related to the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (Retail Program Standards). This initiative is funded by a cooperative agreement between NACCHO and the Food and Drug Administration.

Access application materials here.

Mentorship program objectives
The overall objective of the mentorship program, now in its eighth year, is to match retail food regulatory program practitioners experienced in applying the Retail Program Standards with retail food regulatory programs newly or currently enrolled in the Retail Program Standards that are looking for assistance, guidance, tools and resources, and recommendations for conducting a self-assessment, achieving a specific standard, or achieving multiple standards.

This opportunity will provide capacity building among retail food regulatory programs participating in the NACCHO Mentorship Program. Additionally, the program will help strengthen relationships between retail food regulatory programs and the FDA.

Important dates and deadlines

  • Informational Webinars: NACCHO and FDA staff will present two optional webinars for interested applicants on Sept. 13 from 1 to 1:30 EDT and on Oct. 2 from 1 to 1:30 p.m. EDT. Access the webinars here, and dial in to ask questions at 866-740-1260; passcode 5074221.
  • Application deadline: Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. EDT

Requests for Application (RFAs)
There are two separate RFAs that can be used to apply for the Mentorship Program. Applicants interested in serving as a mentor are encouraged to respond to the Request for Applications to Become a Mentor, and applicants interested in serving as a mentees are encouraged to respond to the Request for Applications to Receive Mentorship.

The RAFs and applications can be downloaded by clicking here.

About the author: Known as the National Association of County Health Officials when it was founded in 1965, NACCHO experienced significant growth in membership in early 1984. The organization opened its own office then. In 1994, it was renamed to National Association of County and City Health Officials. NACCHO has sought to improve the public’s health while adhering to a set of core values: equity, excellence, participation, respect, integrity, leadership, science and innovation. Nearly 3,000 local health departments across the United States are members.

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