On the occasion that you have hired other training companies with the goal of getting trained, and perhaps certified, in some particular subject, like food safety for example, how efficient was your trainer? Well that all depends on how you define “efficient”. In our own internal email survey of 55 of our food, beverage and hospitality clients (albeit a rather small sample), we were able to glean enough information to unempirically determine that “efficient” in their opinion generally meant “how quickly you do a very good job of getting the job done”. The Webster’s New World Dictionary defines it similarly:

Efficient (e fish ‘ent) —adj. Producing the desired result with minimal effort, expense or waste.

Even professional athletes have a Player Efficiency Rating. In the NBA, for example, the Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is a very complicated mathematical formula conceived by Bill Hollinger that in effect boils down two things: how many good things a player does minus how many bad things a player does, and puts a numerical value on it, and then sets the standard at 15. So if a player’s PER is above 15, he’s playing good. If it is below 15, he’s not playing well. The highest PER in the league’s history is Michael Jordan at 27.91, with LeBron, Shaq, David Robinson, Wilt Chamberlin and Dwyane Wade close behind.

The same can be said of the professional training company that you use for your food safety and sanitation classes. They too should disclose their Trainer Efficiency Rating (TER). It is theoretically the same thing, only instead of using things like points scored, rebounds and turn-over’s, it uses the two most important factors in any training environment; examination passing rate and time spent in the classroom. So the higher the pass rate, the better, and the less time spent in class, the better. That outcome would constitute a much more efficient experience overall! And that’s a good thing, is it not? Here’s how it’s calculated:

The Trainer Efficiency Rating considers the trainers average pass score on a given examination as published by the company that is responsible for scoring the exams (in this case, it’s the CPFM exam from the NRFSP or ServSafe) for the previous 24 months and divides it by the average time spent in one complete specified training class (the CPFM training class and subsequent examination), and then adds a point value depending on the number of measurable and specific subject matters covered in class that are directly extracted from the 2009 Model Food Code published by the FDA (which is the prevailing guiding document when it comes to food safety and sanitation, including the examinations). Points are added as follows:

1-100           FDA Food Code subjects covered in class = +lpt.

101-400      FDA Food Code subjects covered in class = +2pts.

401-800     FDA Food Code subjects covered in class = +3pts.

800+           FDA Food Code subjects covered in class =+4pts.

The more subjects in the training class that are directly extracted from the Food Code, the better! After all, the exams come from the Food Code. The number of different and separate topics covered must all be contained within the examination publishers examination blue print and all topics must be contained within the courses curriculum (so it’s rather easy to verify).

The Trainers Efficiency Rating can then be calculated, and is reflected on a scale of 0-18, and looks like this:

TER Score:

0-5 =poor.

6-11 = average.

12-18 =excellent.

18+ =superior.

Serve It Up Safe! has a Training Efficiency Rating, and we’re proud to say that in 2012-2013, our TER was 17. It was calculated by dividing our average pass rate (92%) by our average time spent in one training session (5.5 hours) for the previous 24 months, and then adding 3 points because we cover approximately 750 different topics that are extracted from the FDA Model Food Code and included in our proprietary curriculum (lecture, videos, PowerPoint slides, YouTube video’s, written materials and props). So what’s your trainer’s TER, and does it matter?

It matters a great deal, in that it’s your time, it’s your money, and it’s your legal obligation to obtain the Certified Professional Food Manager certification to comply with Florida 509.039 (DBPR Div. of Hotels & Restaurants). And what’s the most valuable thing you have? Time! So if you could choose to spend less time in the review class but walk out with a better score, would you? At Serve It Up Safe!, we can do that, and we look forward to proving it!