As consumers increasingly scrutinize the beef they purchase and consume, the need to reassure them that their beef was reasonsibly raised becomes ever more critical. Historically, Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program requirements were determined independently by each state. And while these state programs were quite successful at identifying and solving the real and perceived safety and quality concerns associated with beef products, the producer leaders of the checkoff-funded BQA program identified the need for and initiated unification of state programs into a single set of national BQA certification standards that all states can adopt and follow.

The new standards are based on education and requires that all training programs and materials meet or exceed National BQA program guidelines, as well as all applicable FDA/USDA/EPA regulations. Separate sets of certification standards are available to address the needs of BQA trainers and beef producers. To be a certified BQA trainer, an individual must be approved by the state BQA coordinator for that particular state and must exhibit ample knowledge of BQA program materials and Best Managment Practices. To become a BQA certified producer, a person must attend a BQA training session, successfully pass a test covering national BQA guideslines and BQA Best Management Practices, and agree to adhere to national BQA guidelines. BQA certification is valid for three years from the training date, both for trainers and producers, at which time individuals must recertify. For information about the national guidelines, go to National Guidelines.