Better Process Control School Course


Federal requirements state that operators of retorts, processing systems, aseptic processing and packaging systems, and container closure inspectors be under the operating supervision of someone who has successfully completed a course of instruction in these matters. Better Process Control School (BPCS) is a course that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as well as the United States Department of Agriculture for processors of acidified and low acid canned foods. This course is offered online as well as a two-day workshop (acidified only) or a 3 1/2-day workshop for the entire course.

Please contact Connie Bowman (; 865-974-7331) if you are interested in being added to our wait-list for in-person courses only.

Overview of the ONLINE Course

There are seventeen chapters associated with this course, which have been divided into three sections: 1) required chapters, 2) low-acid canned food and aseptic processing, and 3) container closure evaluation. We strongly urge participants of low acid canned foods to take all chapters in the BPCS course, as is it hard to predict what the future holds and what new processing methods or packaging types will be utilized. However, all participants must take the required chapters in addition to the chapter on container closure evaluations ((Chapter 15, 16, or 17) used in their facility. Low-acid and aseptic food manufacturers will also need to take the chapters pertinent to the processing equipment they employ in their facility, i.e. if using batch agitating retorts then Chapter 13 is required.

The course is offered so that participants can start and stop as their time allows.


You have up to six months to complete the course from date of registration. If needed, you can contact us to extend the deadline for completion up to 1 year. If you do not complete the course within 1 yr, your account will be deactivated. Contact us at

Currently, the online course is being updated to match the 9th Edition of the textbook. In the meantime, this course will require you to purchase the Kindle version of the 8th Edition Text here. This textbook is required for completing the course and is a good reference for complying with regulations. Each exam is timed, and you have thirty minutes to complete it. The exam is closed-book and notes. You must score a 70 percent on each exam, and you will be able to retake it once if this minimum score isn’t achieved. Additional attempts at completing the exams will require you to email us at

Who Should Attend

Food manufacturers processing low-acid or acidified foods must operate with a supervisor who has attended Better Process Control School on hand at all times during processing. Many operations will also elect to send individuals integral to processing, container evaluations, and sanitation to the course as well.

Upcoming BPCS Workshops (call or email for custom workshops at your site)

WorkshopDateLocationRegistration Link
ONLINEOn DemandOnlineRegistration