General Information

The coaching program is designed for people who are knowledgeable about gluten-free living and are interested in guiding restaurants through the GFFS validation program. As a coach, you’ll be providing your clients with all of the resources, support, and advice they’ll need to successfully complete the GFFS validation program.

The GFFS coach designation allows you to market yourself as a vital support to your local food service community. You’ll be able to sell, train, and assist in developing policies and procedures both in person and virtually with your local food service establishments. As part of the extended GFFS team, you’ll have access to all of our resources, training materials, handouts, and presentation guidelines to use with your clients.

Program Description

The coaching program was developed to assist food service establishments in becoming validated, by creating a group of people knowledgeable in the aspects of gluten, gluten sensitivities, gluten intolerance, celiac disease, and the proper techniques in food handling, storage, preparation and serving. These people will also be knowledgeable in how to audit food service establishments. The coaches will encourage and assist food service establishments in becoming validated to more safely serve their customers and to meet the requirements of GFFS. As required by GFFS, coaches will also audit new and existing establishments to achieve and maintain their validation.

Frequently Asked Questions

You do not need any specific degree or any other certification to be a GFFS Coach. However, we highly recommend you have existing knowledge regarding gluten, gluten sensitivities, gluten intolerance, and celiac disease.

First, you’ll go through our free application process. If you are accepted, you’ll pay the coaching fee, and begin the initial knowledge test.

The GFFS Coaching fee is $1,000, due 30 days after being accepted into the program. There is also a nominal $150 annual fee to maintain your GFFS coach status (See “CEUs” below.)

If you fail the initial knowledge test, you will have the opportunity to try again in 1-3 months free of charge. You can also choose to discontinue the testing process at that point for a full refund. If you choose to continue, there will be no further refund opportunities.

If you do request a refund after failing the initial knowledge test, you will need to wait 6 months before applying to become a coach again, for time to study.

If you reach the end of the testing process and have not earned high enough marks on the tests (85% or higher) to become a trained coach, there will be no refunds granted, and you must begin the application process again from the start, after a six-month period to allow for studying.

Yes, it is. GFFS puts a significant amount of time and energy into “creating” a GFFS coach. Our fees, and the ‘no refund’ policy for failing the initial knowledge test twice in a row, reflect the degree to which we take seriously this process to help provide safe dining experiences for persons with gluten sensitivities, and the degree to which we also want you to take it seriously. It is an investment in your understanding and expertise to inform, educate and train your community and improve the safe food options near you. The selection process will be rigorous.

No. The GFFS team reserves the right to excuse you from the process at any time, for any reason. If this should happen, we’ll issue you a full refund.

Generally, around four to six weeks. You may choose to complete the first four tracks very quickly, or take your time to study and prepare for each test after the training portion is complete. In addition, we may add up to a week to the process, should we need more time to review, discuss, or grade your materials.

The seven modules consist of an online interview, multiple-choice exams, and special projects. Should you pass all modules and be approved by the GFFS team, you’ll then become an official GFFS coach.

Training is done through the online system as well as some emails and phone calls. Testing is all done through our online system. Everything can be done from the comfort of your own home.

Yes. Scores will be calculated and displayed for each track, along with comments from your reviewer where appropriate. You and your GFFS team reviewer will be the only people with access to your testing materials and scores once you log into our system.

We want to work with our coaches to grow and develop you, and it’s important to us that this process doesn’t just rely on a calculated online score to determine whether a prospective coach passes or fails. To that end, a GFFS team member will be reviewing all of your material, and will take all factors into account before deciding your acceptance into the program. If you perform well overall, but have a few areas that could be strengthened, that will not automatically preclude you from passing the overall coaching program. However, it is at the ultimate discretion of the GFFS team whether or not to accept you at the end of the process.

It means you have been officially trained to use the GFFS coach title to advertise, promote, and market your services.

The only designation afforded by this program is GFFS coach. Unless your other certifications, licenses, or degrees specifically allow it, you may not call yourself a nutritionist, nutrition consultant, or dietitian, or any other term that implies you are licensed to perform nutrition consultations.

This coach title does not imply a professional designation, nor does it allow you to make specific nutrition, dietary, or medical recommendations, or practice one-on-one consulting, unless it is within your professional scope of practice to do so. Your role is that of an instructional coach. You’ll be helping clients by providing them with resources, offering advice for succeeding with the program, and supporting them during their validation process.

No. We have support groups spread throughout the world that take care of those opportunities.

No. If those opportunities present themselves we would ask that you pass the information along to gffs@gluten.org to handle. It is the goal of GFFS to make sure that we always present a unified image, which is best handled and maintained at the corporate level.

No. If opportunities for national or web-based media outlets requesting interviews (television, newspaper, radio, podcasts, or online sources with a broad audience) present themselves we would ask that you pass the information along to gffs@gluten.org to handle. It is the goal of GFFS to make sure that we always present a unified image, which is best handled and maintained at the corporate level.

Yes. GFFS receives the validation fees directly and then pays the coach a commission based off those fees collected after the validation process is finalized.

This list is not exhaustive, but as a coach, you may not: (a) conduct seminars, events, or presentations, (b) conduct events, seminars, or presentations online or virtually, (c) record or share previously recorded seminars, events, or presentations publicly, or (d) appear on any media or conduct any media interviews on behalf of GFFS, (e) perform any services for which you are not licensed.

Your coach training is good for one calendar year, beginning on the day you sign and accept your contract. The training may be renewed each year, provided you meet the requirements for renewal.

First, you must comply with all contractual obligations as outlined in your coaching contract. Second, you must complete annual continuing education credits (CEUs). Third, you must pay a $150 annual fee to remain a GFFS coach in good standing.

You earn CEUs by, prior to your yearly anniversary, taking and passing continuing education training and testing offered by GFFS through the same training portal used for the initial coach training.

Yes we do! We have a login area that you will be able to access once you complete the training and testing that will have many resources for working with food service facilities. From sales techniques to best practices, training PowerPoints to forms and documents. All these resources are to help our coaches guide facilities through the validation process and teach best practices.

It is highly recommended that you have your own liability insurance to work as a GFFS coach. Some companies that offer professional liability insurance for health and fitness professionals include Allied Health Insureon, Lockton Affinity, and Hiscox. (Note, for the purposes of insurance, the closest field of practice for coverage is probably “nutritionist,” a general term for those who help clients with food. Consult an attorney in your state for recommendations tailored to your context.)

No. We will choose applicants based on their strengths, not their geographic location. You may be the only coach working in a city, or there could be several in your home area.

Please email coach.gffs@gluten.org with additional questions.

Current Coaches and Learners

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